Bernie Madoff committed the biggest financial crime in history. He stole $64.8 billion from tens of thousands of innocent people from countries all over the world. But he did not do this alone. In fact, he could not have done this alone. He needed the assistance of a major bank that could service his needs and he needed to be sure that the bank would conceal his criminal activities.
This was a pretty tall order because, ever since the 1970 enactment of the Bank Secrecy Act, American banks have been required to scrutinize their customers’ activities to assure that they are not acting illegally and the banks have been required, by law, to train their personnel to identify illegal conduct and to report it to the federal government.
JPMorgan Chase is one of the biggest banks in the world and you can be sure that they knew about the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act. But they also knew how much money they could make off Madoff’s criminal activities and so they gave Madoff all of the services that were essential for him to carry out the biggest theft in history. And the folks at JPMorgan Chase looked the other way, every single day for 20 years, as thousands upon thousands of innocent hard-working people lost their life-savings.
And JPMorgan Chase knew exactly who their victims were. There were only 12 people in Madoff’s office who knew what he was doing. And then there were all the people at JPMorgan Chase who knew what he was doing. They knew that tens of billions of dollars of customer money — belonging to upstate New York union pension funds, belonging to charities, belonging to corporate profit-sharing plans — were sent to Madoff for the purpose of Madoff investing that money for the accounts of the customers. They knew this because the checks were deposited at JPMorgan Chase.
The people at JPMorgan Chase also saw what Madoff did with the money: he transferred billions of dollars to his co-conspirators, Norman Levy, Jeffry Picower, and others. He transferred billions of dollars overseas. But he never used any of those billions of dollars to purchase securities. And the people at JPMorgan Chase could see that every single day of the week for 20 years.
And they looked the other way. Despite their legal obligation to know their customer; despite their legal obligation to report suspicious activity to the federal government, the folks at JPMorgan Chase just looked the other way while they profited from Madoff’s crimes. For 20 years, officers of JPMorgan Chase watched as the life savings of tens of thousands of innocent people were stolen.
And what did our government do?
Did it prosecute the individual officers at JPMorgan Chase who were handsomely compensated for keeping Madoff in business for 20 years? No.
Did it put any bankers in jail? No.
Did it take any steps to ensure that the officers at JPMorgan Chase would not do this again? No.
So what did it do?
It allowed JPMorgan Chase to purchase immunity from criminal prosecution of its dishonest officers by paying money to the government and to a fund to compensate some of Madoff’s victims a few pennies on the dollar for their losses. Thus, the victims received practically nothing and the dishonest officers kept all their fat bonuses.
Wouldn’t you like to know why some 18-year-old kid who robs a 7/11 store of $3000 goes to prison, but someone at JPMorgan Chase who helps Madoff steal $64.8 billion just goes to Greenwich in his limousine?
Wouldn’t you like to know why the dishonest officers at JPMorgan Chase, who allowed the Madoff fraud to continue for 20 years under their watch, are still there, ready, willing and able to profit from the dishonesty of other bank customers?
Our criminal justice system is premised on the belief that the only way to discourage financial crimes is to make sure the criminals don’t profit from them. Why are the folks at JPMorgan Chase exempt from that system? Why would our government, and JPMorgan Chase, tolerate dishonesty at a major financial institution? Why would anyone in his right mind (who is not a criminal) bank with JPMorgan Chase?
We are putting together on this website all of the documents you need to make your own determination on this issue. You don’t need to believe us. Read the documents for yourselves.
Who are we?
We are lawyers dedicated to obtaining an appropriate recovery from JPMorgan Chase for the massive losses of thousands of Madoff customers. But it is not just about money.
We are patriotic Americans and we want to be proud of our country and of our country’s financial institutions. And we want to make sure that other people don’t lose their life savings because the people at JPMorgan Chase like to profit from criminal activity.
Our goal is to make JPMorgan Chase own up to its responsibility for sheltering Madoff for 20 years and change its practices so that neither this type of financial fraud, nor the other acts of financial fraud in which JPMorgan Chase has engaged over the recent past — all documented on this website — can ever happen again.
We want JPMorgan Chase to make a pledge to the American people that it will not shelter criminals and that it has zero tolerance for any bank employee that shelters criminals.
We want JPMorgan Chase to fire all dishonest employees and force them to disgorge all the bonuses they were paid by the bank.
What can you do?
If it bothers you that the government doesn’t put Wall Street criminals in jail, and if you want to do something about it, here are some suggestions:
1. Take your money out of JPMorgan Chase. Find a small community bank that doesn’t go in for the fancy bonuses that the Wall Street crowd commits crimes for.
2. Tell your friends to do the same thing.
3. Make sure your pension funds are not at JPMorgan Chase.
4. Tell your political representatives you are sick and tired of elected officials who are controlled by Wall Street lobbyists. Let’s elect people to public office who are not on the Wall Street dole and who will enforce the laws against Wall Street crooks. If there’s room in prison for someone who holds up a 7/11, how come we don’t put Wall Street bankers in prison when the impact of their crimes is to steal tens of millions of dollars from innocent people?
5. Tell your governor you don’t want the State using JPMorgan Chase to bank state pension funds or taxpayer dollars. Let your governor find an honest bank.
6. Write JP Morgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, a letter telling him how you feel.
7. Write to your senators and congressmen and tell them how you feel.
8. Just say no. Raise your voice and tell the government that enough is enough. We want an honest government and we want honest financial institutions.
9. Make the world a better place. Boycott JPMorgan Chase.