Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged JPMorgan Chase & Co. with misstating financial results and lacking effective internal controls to detect and prevent its traders from fraudulently overvaluing investments to conceal hundreds of millions of dollars in trading losses.
The SEC previously charged two former JPMorgan traders with committing fraud to hide the massive losses in one of the trading portfolios in the firm’s chief investment office (CIO). The SEC’s subsequent action against JPMorgan faults its internal controls for failing to ensure that the traders were properly valuing the portfolio, and its senior management for failing to inform the firm’s audit committee about the severe breakdowns in CIO’s internal controls.
JPMorgan has agreed to settle the SEC’s charges by paying a $200 million penalty, admitting the facts underlying the SEC’s charges, and publicly acknowledging that it violated the federal securities laws.
Click here to read or download the SEC order or settlement.
“JPMorgan failed to keep watch over its traders as they overvalued a very complex portfolio to hide massive losses,” said George S. Canellos, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “While grappling with how to fix its internal control breakdowns, JPMorgan’s senior management broke a cardinal rule of corporate governance and deprived its board of critical information it needed to fully assess the
company’s problems and determine whether accurate and reliable information was being disclosed to investors and regulators.”
As part of a coordinated global settlement, three other agencies also announced settlements with JPMorgan today: the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, the Federal Reserve, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. JPMorgan will pay a total of approximately $920 million in penalties in these actions by the SEC and the other agencies.
According to the SEC’s order instituting a settled administrative proceeding against JPMorgan, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 established important requirements for public companies and their management regarding corporate governance and disclosure. Public companies such as JPMorgan are required to create and maintain internal controls that provide investors with reasonable assurances that their financial statements are reliable, and ensure that senior management shares important information with key internal decision makers such as the board of directors.
JPMorgan failed to adhere to these requirements, and consequently misstated its financial results in public filings for the first quarter of 2012.
The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, has been conducted by Michael Osnato, Steven Rawlings, Peter Altenbach, Joshua Brodsky, Joseph Boryshansky, Daniel Michael, Kapil Agrawal, Eli Bass, Sharon Bryant, Daniel Nigro, and Christopher Mele.