“With a record $13 billion sticker price, the settlement deal between JPMorgan Chase and the government captured the attention of Wall Street and Washington late last year.
“And yet, according to a lawsuit that a nonprofit group filed against the Justice Department on Monday, the crucial details of the deal were for the government’s eyes only. The lawsuit filed by Better Markets, a group critical of Wall Street, challenged the constitutionality of the deal, a landmark settlement stemming from accusations that JPMorgan overstated the quality of mortgage securities it sold before the financial crisis.
“In a complaint filed on Monday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Better Markets argued that the Justice Department violated the constitutional principle of separation of powers when it “unilaterally” struck the deal without a judge’s blessing.
““The executive branch, through DOJ, acted as investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury, sentencer and collector, without any review or approval of its unilateral and largely secret actions,” Better Markets said in the lawsuit.”
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