File:BernardMadoff.jpg

Bernard Madoff

Nothing says justice like giving people involved in one the biggest ponzi schemes in history a laughably small fine. JPMorgan will pay $2 billion for its criminal role in helping Bernie Madoff defraud charities and private investors of $65 billion. Oddly, it was this particular crime that put JPMorgan in jeopardy of finally facing the music in criminal court. But that was really just a dream.

The pending settlements are expected to include a deferred-prosecution agreement that would require JPMorgan to acknowledge the findings of federal investigations and beef up the bank’s internal monitoring procedures.

The financial penalties would raise the bank’s total tab for settling government investigations to $20 billion during the past 12 months.

Because if any company warrants a deferral of prosecution it is JPMorgan – the company that has had to pay roughly $20 billion in the past 12 months due to other crimes they have committed. Clearly they have learned their lesson.

Let’s all remember this when the Justice Department cracks down on activists and their other political opponents in order to “send a message.” They’ve certainly sent a message here – get rich, escape justice. Rinse and repeat.

Meanwhile the Madoff victims will continue to pursue JPMorgan for the Too Big To Fail/Jail bank’s crimes.

However, the Madoff trustee still has several U.S. Bankruptcy Court actions pending against JPMorgan and other banks, collectively involving an estimated $4 billion in recovery claims.

Any agreement reached between JPMorgan and the Department of Justice “would be independent” of the trustee’s claims against the bank

Apparently JPMorgan’s shareholders will continue with the current criminal management team they have – led by Jamie Dimon. Because they still make money despite their crimes so why change anything? Of course, the more accurate statement would be JP Morgan makes money from their crimes.

Because if JPM has proved anything it’s that crime is their business model.

Photo by US Department of Justice under public domain.