JPMorgan Finds Some Employees “Illegally Pocketed” Covid-Relief Funds


Update: According to the FT, JPMorgan has fired several employees accused of pocketing U.S. coronavirus relief funds. The employees had not been acting in their capacity as JPMorgan employees and breaking the law was a violation of the bank’s conduct code, which led to the dismissals. Clearly at JPM only executives are allowed to benefit from billions in government relief funds.

Yesterday, when we first reported that JPMorgan was probing its employees’ role in abuse of PPP funds following reports of “instances in which Covid-relief funds were misused by customers and is probing employees’ involvement in the potentially illegal activities”, we said that it was about time the role of banks was put under the microscope because ” while it was easy to blame the administration for rushing to hand out hundreds of billions in grants/loans (without which the US economy would still be in a depression), a key question is how and why did the private banks that were gatekeepers for all this capital, allow such abuse to take place.

Well, it now turns out that not only did JPM employees allegedly enable fraud by clients when obtaining PPP loans, the largest US bank also found that some of its employees themselves “improperly applied for and received”, i.e. stole, Covid-relief money that was intended for legitimate U.S. businesses hurt by the pandemic, according to Bloomberg.

The bank discovered the actions, which were tied to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, “after noticing that suspicious amounts of money had been deposited into checking accounts owned by bank employees.” The findings prompted an unusual all-staff message from JPMorgan Tuesday which according to Bloomberg “puzzled many across the industry for its candid admission of potentially illegal acts by some of its own while not describing what they had done.” – READ MORE

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