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An Open Letter To Tth United States Department Of Labor 5/26/15 - JPMadoff

An Open Letter To Tth United States Department Of Labor 5/26/15

5/26/15

Honorable Thomas E. Perez
United States Secretary of Labor
United States Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Secretary Perez:

We write on behalf of the honest, hard-working citizens of the United States to request that the Department of Labor deny JPMorgan Chase (“JPMC”) the right to provide asset management services to pension funds and individual retirement accounts.

Now that five banks have agreed to pay $9 billion in fines for crimes resulting in $85 billion of profits (who says crime does not pay?), and now that our morally bankrupt SEC (except for dissenting Commissioner Kara M. Steinn bless her soul) has given waivers to the criminal banks so that they can continue to commit crimes, the only remaining question in our too-big-to-jail, too-rich-to-prosecute society is whether the Department of Labor will permit the proven felons to provide asset management services to pension funds and individual retirement accounts.

We don’t purport to be experts on the criminal conduct of all five of the banks that have pled guilty to felonies with respect to the foreign exchange market (Citibank, Barclays, UBS AG, Royal Bank of Scotland, and JPMorgan Chase), but we are experts on the issue of the criminal enterprise known as JPMorgan Chase (“JPMC”). And we have twelve good reasons why JPMC should not be allowed to provide asset management services to pension funds and individuals who have individual retirement accounts.

1. JPMC aided and abetted Madoff’s theft of billions of dollars from pension funds and individual retirement accounts.

In the mid-1990’s, Bernard Madoff and his henchman, Norman Levy, were thrown out of Bankers Trust Company for doing illegal transactions and they went to Chemical Bank (now JPMC), which welcomed them with open arms. From 1994 on, documentary evidence proves that the folks at JPMC recognized that Madoff and Levy were committing crimes, but they didn’t care because the accounts were so profitable for the bank.

Outside of the 12 people at Madoff’s offices who knew he was stealing money from his customers, nobody in the world knew this—except for the people at JPMC who saw, on a daily basis, the millions of dollars entrusted to Madoff by pension funds and IRA investors. JPMC saw that Madoff never purchased securities with the investors’ money. And JPMC watched as billions of dollars of innocent retirees’ money was transferred to Madoff’s henchman, Norman Levy and Jeffry Picower, to name the two biggest thieves. See Chapter 2 of JPMadoff: The Unholy Alliance Between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook at jpmadoff.com.

In January 2014, the Department of Justice filed a criminal information against JPMC and simultaneously entered into a deferred prosecution agreement. JPMC agreed to forfeit to the federal government $1.7 billion (as a non-tax-deductible payment) relating to its failure to comply with the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act with respect to Madoff’s brokerage account. JPMC also paid a $350 million Civil Money Penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in connection with its violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. JPMC paid a $461 million Civil Money Penalty to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network for failure to detect and adequately report suspicious transactions conducted by Madoff. JPMC paid $218 million to settle a class action brought by Madoff victims. Finally, JPMC paid $325 million to settle claims brought by the Madoff trustee.

Is this an institution to be entrusted with retirees’ money? 2. JPMC manipulates pension funds and fiduciary accounts for its own enrichment.

In March 2012, JPMC paid $150 million to settle claims that it imprudently invested pension funds in a risky debt vehicle.

As alleged by the Christ Church of Indianapolis, JPMC has a corporate policy of enriching itself at the expense of institutions for which it serves as a fiduciary. The full details can be read in the Church’s complaint against JPMC.

Is this an institution to be entrusted with retirees’ money?

3. JPMC committed massive fraud leading to the 2008 global financial collapse. On November 19, 2013, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a $13 billion settlement with JPMC to resolve “federal and state civil claims arising out of the [fraudulent] packaging, marketing, sale and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”) by JPMorgan, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual prior to Jan. 1, 2009.” JPMC agreed to pay $13 billion in exchange for complete civil immunity. JPMC was not required to take any remedial measures to ensure that the conduct is not repeated.

The settlement money was allocated as follows:

• $2.0 billion as a civil penalty under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act;

• $1.4 billion to settle claims by the National Credit Union Administration;

• $515.4 million to settle claims by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;

• $4.0 billion to settle claims by the Federal Housing Finance Agency;

• $298.9 million to settle claims by the State of California;

• $19.7 million to settle claims by the State of Delaware;

• $100 million to settle claims by the State of Illinois;

• $34.4 million to settle claims by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;

• $613 million to settle claims by the State of New York; and

• $4 billion in the form of relief to aid consumers harmed by the unlawful conduct of JPMorgan, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual.

On May 2, 2014, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York gave preliminary approval to a settlement of $280 million to resolve claims against JPMC that it misled investors in billions of dollars’ worth of mortgage-backed securities. The suit was brought by the Plumbers’ & Pipefitters’ Local # 562 Supplemental Plan & Trust. The court granted final approval on July 24, 2014.

On November 15, 2013, JPMC announced it had reached a $4.5 billion agreement with 21 major institutional investors to make a binding offer to the trustees of 330 residential mortgage-backed securities trusts issued by JPMC and Bear Stearns to resolve all claims on trusts issued between 2005 and 2008.

On October 25, 2013, JPMC agreed to resolve, for $1.1 billion, litigation with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac concerning mortgage repurchase obligations.

In November 2012, JPMC paid $296,900,000 to the SEC to settle claims that the bank misstated information about the delinquency status of mortgages that served as collateral for securities offerings underwritten by the bank. JPMC received more than $2.7 million in fees on the offering and investors suffered losses of at least $37 million on undisclosed delinquent loans. [/tippy]

In June 2011, JPMC paid a penalty to the SEC of $153.6 million to settle charges that it failed to disclose material information to investors in collateralized debt obligations.

Is this an institution to be entrusted with retirees’ money?

4. JPMC illegally conspired to set credit and debit interchange fees.

In October 2012, JPMC paid $1.2 billion (20% of a global $6.05 billion settlement) to settle claims that it, along with other banks, conspired to set the price of credit and debit card interchange fees. This, effectively, cheated every man and woman who has a credit card.

Is this an institution to be entrusted with retirees’ money?

5. JPMC officers committed fraud with respect to the “London Whale” fiasco.

In September 2013, JPMC paid $920 million in fines to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority to settle claims of “mismanagement” with respect to its oversight of traders involved in the “London Whale” disaster which caused losses in excess of $6 billion. See Chapter 6 of JPMadoff: The Unholy Alliance Between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook at jpmadoff.com. In fact, the London Whale did not simply involve “mismanagement.” It involved outright securities fraud by none other than Jamie Dimon. As found by the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations in its Report: JPMorgan Chase Whale Trades: A Case History of Derivative Risks and Abuses (2013) at 252:

In the April 13 [2012] earnings call, in response to a question, Mr. Dimon dismissed media reports about the SCP as a “complete tempest in a teapot.” While he later apologized for that comment, his judgment likely was of importance to investors in the immediate aftermath of those media reports. The evidence also indicates that, when he made that statement, Mr. Dimon was already in possession of information about the SCP’s complex and sizeable portfolio, its sustained losses for three straight months, the exponential increase in those losses during March, and the difficulty of exiting the SCP’s positions.

Is this an institution to be entrusted with retirees’ money?

6. JPMC defrauded homeowners on mortgage loans.

On January 7, 2013, JPMC announced that it and a number of other financial institutions entered into a settlement agreement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Bank providing for the termination of the Independent Foreclosure Review programs that had been required under the Consent Orders with such banking regulators relating to each bank’s residential mortgage servicing, foreclosure and loss-mitigation activities. Under this settlement, JPMC will make a cash payment of $760 million into a settlement fund for distribution to qualified borrowers. JPMC has also committed an additional $1.2 billion to foreclosure prevention actions under the settlement, which will be fulfilled through credits given to the Firm for modifications, short sales and other types of borrower relief.

In December 2013, JPMC paid $22.1 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the bank imposed expensive and unnecessary flood insurance on homeowners whose mortgages the bank serviced.

In April 2011, JPMC agreed to settle claims that the bank over-charged active or recently active military service members on their mortgages by paying $27 million in cash to approximately 6,000 military personnel, by lowering interest rates and fees in excess of that permitted by the Service Members Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) and the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (“HERA”) on soldiers’ home loans, and by improperly foreclosing upon homes owned by borrowers protected by SCRA and HERA. Thereafter, additional borrowers were added to the class and JPMC agreed to pay an additional $8 million into the settlement fund.

Is this an institution to be entrusted with retirees’ money?

7. JPMC defrauds veterans.

In February 2014, JPMC agreed to pay $614,000,000 to settle charges asserted by the United States Attorney’s Officer for the Southern District of New York, the Federal Housing Administration, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the United States Department of Veteran Affairs resolving False Claims Act, FIRREA and other civil and administrative liability for FHA and VA insurance claims that have been paid to JPMC since 2002 through the date of settlement.

In March 2012, JPMC paid the federal government a $45 million fine to settle charges that it charged veterans hidden fees in mortgage refinancing transactions.

Is this an institution to be entrusted with retirees’ money?

8. JPMC defrauds its credit card customers.

In September 2013, JPMC agreed to pay $80 million in fines and $309 million in refunds to consumers who were billed for credit monitoring services that the bank never provided.

Is this an institution to be entrusted with retirees’ money?

9. JPMC criminally violates the antitrust laws.

On May 20, 2015, JPMC settled charges that it committed criminal violations of the antitrust laws by conspiring with other banks to fix the $5.3 trillion/day foreign exchange market. It pled guilty to felony charges and agreed to pay $892 million.

On December 2013, JP Morgan reached a settlement with the European Commission regarding its Japanese Yen LIBOR investigation concerning antitrust rigging of benchmark interest rates and agreed to pay a fine of €79.9.

In July 2013, JPMC paid $410 million to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to settle claims of bidding manipulation of California and Midwest electricity markets.

In October 2013, JPMC paid a $100 million fine to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and admitted to reckless conduct and market manipulation.

In December 2012, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, granted final approval of a $43 million settlement of individual actions against JPMorgan Chase and Bear Stearns, as well as numerous other providers and brokers, alleging antitrust violations in the market for financial instruments related to municipal bond offerings.”

Is this an institution to be entrusted with retirees’ money?

10. JPMC defrauds the municipalities with which it does business.

In July 2011, JPMC paid the SEC $228 million to settle charges that it fraudulently rigged at least 93 municipal bond transactions in 31 states, generating millions of dollars in profits.

In July 2010, JPMC paid $25 million to settle claims that it sold unregistered securities to a state-run municipal money-market fund that suffered a run on deposits because it held defaulted debt.

Is this an institution to be entrusted with retirees’ money?

11. JPMC violates government sanctions laws.

In August 2011, JPMC paid the Treasury Department $88.3 million to settle claims that it improperly processed transactions in violation of sanctions laws against Cuba, Iran and the Sudan.

Is this an institution to be entrusted with retirees’ money?

12. JPMC routinely defrauds its banking customers

In September 2013, JPMC agreed to pay $80 million in fines and $309 million in refunds to consumers who were billed for credit monitoring services that the bank never provided.

In February 2012, JPMC agreed to pay $110 million to settle claims that it over-charged customers for overdraft fees.

In June 2010, JPMC paid $48.6 million to settle claims by Great Britain’s financial regulator that the bank’s London unit failed to maintain required separation between customers’ accounts.

Is this an institution to be entrusted with retirees’ money?

13. JPMC lies to government agencies

On July 29, 2014, JPMC agreed to settle charges brought against it by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for filing inaccurate reports to the agency from 2012 and continuing even after the charges were brought against JPMC.

In April 2012, JPMC paid $20 million to settle claims by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that the bank improperly extended credit to Lehman Brothers based, in part, on commingled customer funds that it was required to keep separate.

Is this an institution to be entrusted with retirees’ money?

Conclusion

JPMC has paid out over $30 billion in fines and penalties in the last five years to satisfy criminal and civil charges brought by various governmental agencies and others. JPMC has proven itself to be run by recidivist criminals. The Department of Labor has the opportunity—and the duty—to protect innocent Americans against the criminal conduct of JPMC. We respectfully ask that the Department raise its voice to bar JPMC from providing its criminal services to pension funds and IRA investors. If there is any doubt in the minds of the people at the Department of Labor, we respectfully request a public hearing where we can put in evidence to prove all of our assertions.

Yours respectfully,

Helen Davis Chaitman (hchaitman@bplegal.com)

Lance Gotthoffer (lgotthoffer@bplegal.com)

2013 Annual Report at 328-29.2013 Annual Report at 328-29.
Complaint Rector, Wardens and Vestrymen of the Christ Church Cathedral of Indianapolis v. JPMorgan Chase & Co. http://jpmadoff.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2014-08-13-Christ-Church-v.-JPMC.pdf
United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, JPMorgan Chase Whale Trades: A Case History of Derivatives Risks and Abuses, March 15, 2013. http://jpmadoff.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/SENATE-REPORT-JPMorgan-Chase-Whale-Trades-4-12-13.pdf
Aruna Viswanatha, Banks to Pay $5.6 Billion in Probes, The Wall Street Journal, (May 20, 2015), http://www.wsj.com/articles/global-banks-to-pay-5-6-billion-in-penalties-in-fx-libor-probe-1432130400
TABLE-Global FX volume reaches $5.3 trillion a day in 2013, Reuters, (Sept. 5, 2013),http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/05/bis-survey-volumes-idUSL6N0GZ34R20130905
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