JPMorgan Madoff Deal OKed

Jan 9 2014 | 12:59pm ET

A federal judge yesterday finalized JPMorgan Chase's $1.7 billion settlement over its failure to notify authorities of its concerns about Bernard Madoff.

U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel signed off on the bank's deferred-prosecution agreement with Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Under that deal—the first of its kind for a U.S. bank—JPMorgan acknowledged the facts of the case against it and agreed to improve its money-laundering controls.

JPMorgan General Counsel Steven Cutler appeared in court for the bank to plead not guilty on its behalf to two counts of violating the Bank Secrecy Act. As part of the deferred-prosecution agreement, prosecutors will suspend an indictment against JPMorgan for two years.

Prosecutors allege that JPMorgan, which served as Madoff's primary banker for decades, failed to file a required suspicious activity report about Madoff just prior to his arrest five years ago. The bank had filed a similar report with British regulators about a month before Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme collapsed.

In addition to the $1.7 billion JPMorgan agreed to pay to settle the criminal charges, it has also agreed to pay $543 million to the trustee recovering money for Madoff's victims and $350 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

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