JPMorgan settles Madoff fraud claims for $1.7B

Associated Press
FILE - In this May 11, 2012, file photo, people stand in the lobby of JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York. JPMorgan Chase & Co., already beset by other costly legal woes, has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges accusing the bank of ignoring obvious warning signs of Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, federal authorities said Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
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FILE - In this May 11, 2012, file photo, people stand in the lobby of JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York. JPMorgan Chase & Co., already beset by other costly legal woes, has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges accusing the bank of ignoring obvious warning signs of Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, federal authorities said Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan Chase & Co. is agreeing to pay a record $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges in the Bernard Madoff scam, but it says it doesn't believe any employee knowingly assisted the massive fraud.

The bank made the comment in a statement Tuesday after federal prosecutors announced JPMorgan had agreed to pay the largest forfeiture by a U.S. bank.

The forfeiture comes with a deferred prosecution agreement that will let it avoid formal criminal proceedings on two charges of violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. The government says JPMorgan ignored obvious warnings signs of Madoff's multibillion-dollar fraud.

In its statement, the bank says it could have done better to try to discover Madoff's fraud. It says the lessons it has learned will make it a stronger company.

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