From Whale To Rat: DOJ Has Cooperating Witness In JPMorgan Case

Tyler Durden's picture

Over the past week many have been scratching their heads over why JPMorgan is so eager to comply with the DOJ's investigation into the bank's misrepresentation of the quality of its RMBS bundled mortgages, having gone so far as to suggest that JPM is weilling to settle for as much as $4 billion in cash (with a $7 billion non-cash component) though still shy of the DOJ's $20 billion ask. The reason, as the WSJ reports, may be very simple one: a rat is providing the Feds with information deep from within the house of the whale. "The Justice Department's pursuit of possible criminal charges against J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is based in large part on a key cooperator from inside the bank who is aiding the government and has provided information suggesting the bank vastly overstated the quality of mortgages that were being bundled into securities and sold to investors, according to people familiar with the matter."

The WSJ has more:

Among the offices that received leads was Sacramento, Calif., which got documents related to billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities issued by J.P. Morgan between 2005 and 2007, according to people with knowledge of the investigation. Among them, according to two people familiar with the investigation, was an email from a bank employee, warning her superiors they were vastly overstating the quality of the mortgages being bundled into securities. The bank went ahead and securitized them anyway, according to these people.


The woman who wrote that email has been cooperating with federal authorities and is expected to be available as a witness if the government ever brings a case to court, these people said. Her cooperation, along with documents, has fueled confidence among some lawyers within the Justice Department that they have built a solid, prosecutable case built on hard evidence. Among the documents the government has are ones suggesting J.P. Morgan knew the underlying mortgages it sold were of poor quality but told investors otherwise, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Curiously, it was also internal bickering, mostly between the firm's CIO office and various peripheral banking offices, that led to the media leaks in April 2012 exposing the London Whale's position, leading to the first "tempest in a teapot" comment from Jamie Dimon, which has since cost the bank very dearly, resulted in the admission of securities fraud guilt, cost many JPM employees their jobs, and has two ex-JPMorganites being charged criminally in NY court.

However, back then it was mostly cash and credibility damage to the bank, which primarily abused client deposits to serve as collateral for highly leveraged margined bets gone horribly wrong in an attempt to corner the IG9 market. This time there appears to be malfeasance in an area near and dear to Obama's heart: housing. And the DOJ seems to have locked in on not only JPM but the man who seemingly committed perjury in Congress in his recollection of the London Whale events.

Which is why this time the bottom line damage to JPM will be far greater.

Based partly on that belief, the Justice Department has been pressing the bank in negotiations to admit wrongdoing in some form. Bank officials have been adamant no crimes were committed and insist they won't admit to criminal wrongdoing. In the discussions, the bank has also denied suggestions that the Sacramento evidence is particularly incriminating or damaging to J.P. Morgan's reputation, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Reputation? Jokes aside, we can only hope this case goes to trial: because it is only in the treasure trove of public discovery that one will discover, beyond a reasonable doubt, just what other markets JPM was manipulating, and finally close the book on the biggest "conspiracy theory" of all - JPM's involvement in the precious metals market, despite the CME's most recent scrambling to shove all such allegations under the carpet as quickly as possible.

* * *

In parallel news, while John McCain has shown himself to be an adept poker player when it comes to foreign policy, he does bring up some valid point in this just released letter to Attorney General Eric Holder w/r/t JPMorgan. Highlights ours:

Dear Mr. Attorney General:
News reports indicate that you personally met last Thursday with JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon in the course of settlement talks between JPMorgan Chase and the Department of Justice (DOJ).  Your meeting with Mr. Dimon reportedly centered on multiple investigations into JPMorgan's issuance of mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the financial crisis.  These discussions are taking place while DOJ is also investigating the bank's actions related to the $6 billion "London Whale" trading losses, which the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations independently investigated.
Your personal meeting with the CEO of the corporate target of a major criminal investigation, at the request of the CEO, while negotiations on a global settlement agreement are pending, is highly unusual and, under the circumstances that the meeting occurred, gives rise to concern.  It is noteworthy that at the same time the bank is facing a litany of regulatory woes that carry hefty fines and potential liability in private civil suits, individuals within JPMorgan and other similarly culpable financial institutions have escaped accountability.
JPMorgan's misconduct seriously harmed investors, wreaked havoc on our nation's financial security, and continues to have painful effects on homeowners in Arizona and around the country.  Any government response relating to these events must hold the proper institutions and individuals accountable.  In matters involving major corporate malfeasance, individual accountability is vital to deterring similarly severe misconduct by financial institutions and their officers, directors, or key employees in the future.  Government enforcement actions must no longer be viewed by institutions and their management teams as simply the cost of doing business.
With this in mind, please provide responses to the following questions when the settlement agreement is announced:

1. Is the DOJ considering requiring admissions of wrongdoing on the part of any individuals within the bank as part of the settlement negotiations?  If not, why not?
2. Will the settlement agreement with the company preclude either civil or criminal enforcement action against individuals at JPMorgan? Why or why not?
3. Will you seek to hold any top officer, director or key employees within JPMorgan personally accountable for the wrongdoing?
4. Please describe how each of the following will be determined and structured in any potential settlement.

a. Penalties
b. Fines
c. Disgorgement
d. Compensatory damages and/or restitution
e. Admissions of wrongdoing

5. How will the DOJ ensure that the settlement provides the proper relief for consumers?
6. Will any settlement reached specify whether JPMorgan is permitted to receive a tax deduction or favorable tax treatment for any resulting restitution, fines or penalties, or will such a determination be left to the IRS?  How will this decision be reached? If deductions are permitted, please specify which aspects of the proposed settlement will be given favorable tax treatment.

Thank you for your timely response to this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Stephanie Hall, Counsel to the Minority, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, at 202/224-XXXX.
John McCain
Ranking Member
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

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spinone's picture

Whoever the cooperating witness is, he better not get in any small planes.

Motorhead's picture

Yeah, this lady had better avoid all bodies of water, including whirlpools, bathtubs, and hot tubs, just to name a few.

But, c'mon, do we really believe the Feds will do anything to the JP Morgue?  (Or, did JPM pee in someone's corn flakes and is now getting some "feedback"?)

MisterMousePotato's picture

Glass of water. Raindrops. Perspiration.

gmrpeabody's picture

God..., I love to watch JPM squirm.

btw... Holder is never called in until they are needing evidence to be destroyed/lost.

xtop23's picture

Give me a break. No one that matters will do a single nanosecond behind bars. A couple of token little fish, settlement with no admittance of guilt, and business as usual.

This is a shakedown, plain and simple. Move along.

Pure Evil's picture

What McCain really mean to write:

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

    As an esteemed member of an elite criminal organization commonly referred to as the US Senate.

    And, having been indicted as a co-conspirator, although not a convicted member, of the Keating Five scandal (thanks daddy).

    I hereby request that you sweep this scandal under the rug as you have so deftly swept all of Ohomo's scandals under the rug since 2009.

    Thanks again homey and peace out.


     Your recovering criminal warmongering psychopath, John McCain, JAE

philipat's picture

DOJ might like to ask the whisteblower about Gold manipulation also? Oh no, I forgot, The Fed and BIS are above the law. Case closed. What a fucking joke the whole thing has become.

Triggernometry's picture

Now we know who really matters in the Senate. Stephanie Hall for President

DeadFred's picture

You're missing the point. The banks own the government, what does it mean that DOJ is even pretending to do this? Some new dynamic has entered into play for this to happen at all. The squid is making a power play on the morgue? It's time to tank the market? Somethings up.

eatthebanksters's picture

Think about it...Lanny Breuer did not go after any of the TBTF banks because Obama and Holder did not want to disrupt the economy (or so they say - but they knew it was fucked up and disregarded the law).  Now, with the fucking mess of his own creation, Obama is looking for someone, anyone, as th culprit responsible for the coming implosion. What better target than a TBTF bank?  So how does he look good?  Going after th corrupt TBTF bank/s.  IMHO the reason Holder is meeting with Dimon is to discuss how Dimon walks after they take down the bank...Holder is telling Jamie,"you make the bank the bad guy in all this and we'll figure out how to make you look good and walk away without a problem.'  Just sayin...

Omen IV's picture

so why Chase on this issue and not Country Wide and Mozzillo - the poster boy for giant scale fraud end to end - stuffing the CDO's for the downstream CDS shorts with entire branch offices cut and paste boiler rooms

 - why did they let him go? there were countless whistleblowers available - why?

Real Estate Geek's picture

They don't want to upset the BAC applecart just yet.  Its depositors will be needed when Merrill's derivatives portfolio implodes.

Ranger4564's picture

You are giving him too much personal privilege and credit. The guy is a pawn of the Bankers.

Ranger4564's picture

I'm with you DeadFred... as I've said many times before... GS was intended to be one of the last standing banks, perhaps BOE will be the last, who knows, but JPM will be taken down at the appropriate time, when the markets are crashing, FED pulls the plug, and War commences... JPM controls a vast amount of transactions and funds, all of which will be funneled to the Oligarchs... it will devastate the markets, bringing with it many other banks, and cripple most nation states as their banks fail. People will be dying by the billions.

Something is definitely up. Collusion in corruption.


WillyGroper's picture

I wonder what the rat's return will be? 

McCain forgot one little detail. WTF wasn't the NSA putting a stop to this to begin with? They've got the skinny on the whole planet.

We all know why. 

Den of thieves.

Eeyores Enigma's picture

Whats her Paypal account info?

I want to chip in $100.

Just think if all whistleblowers got flooded with millions in donations.

Think anymore might come out?

sunaJ's picture

Funny how this gal - perhaps because it is anything but daring to call her anything else even sarcastically by this webstite - a rat.  Perhaps Tyler would like to amend their statement and consider this person a patriot (?)  Not that it matters, as we are living in a fascist state, where the corporate and public entities are so enmeshed that you cannot tell when you have a rat or a patriot.  I'm just sayin' that when you have those that are willing to speak against corruption, you shouldn't refer to them as rats.  Fuck ZH's headline aggregator, though...


malikai's picture

Don't worry guys!

John McCain is on this thing..


max2205's picture

It's probably a syrian or snowden

Ranger4564's picture

The point of the DOJ revelations was not to imply something would be done to JPM... we know who owns whom... the point was to identify the squealer by gender and actions, so the assasins can pinpoint whom to target to ensure silence.

I was just telling some friends, I hope the next article is not about this woman committing suicide by driving down a steep cliff with no brakes, while on her way to a dinner with her recent fiance.

I believe the Morgue has already figured out who the informant is, and is now working on the silent treatment, so to ... .

And the McCain letter... nice cover story. Honestly, we tried to pursue the scoundrels, but their bribes were too difficult to ignore.

BanksterSlayer's picture

this couldn't possibly be Blythe, could it???

Ranger4564's picture

That would be spectacular... double agent like intrigue. Nice suggestion.

Downtoolong's picture

The revenge of Ina Drew perhaps?

Dibs on the movie rights.


bonin006's picture

And she better have 24 hr surveillance on her car to be sure no thermite gets into it.

doggings's picture

they dont need thermite they can just hack the car and full throttle you into a tree.

definitely beware people bearing gifts of brand new Mercedes though

bonin006's picture

That's why my car has direct mechanical throttle, steering and brake control.

bonin006's picture

Engines don't jump out of cars in anticipation of a crash from hacking the controls, and cars very rarely catch on fire no matter how severe the crash. There is a good chance he would of survived if he hadn't been incinerated (assuming he was wearing seat belts, even if they could hack off the airbags)

robertsgt40's picture

Too bad McCain wasn't this straight forward during the Keating Five years

Xibalba's picture

Fuck you Jamie

eatthebanksters's picture

Corzine next...then he and Jamie can play bitch for some trash in the Big House.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

I agree wholeheartedly, but anything walnuts mccain is involved in I'd fukkin run the other way from, or at least view with as much skepticism I could possibly muster.. Let's not forget that a few decades ago, before McCain was given leave of his sanity and focused on aiding al quaeda, his brand of corruption was financial - specifically enabling some of the savings and loan crisis.


Given the above, my bet, is this is a fan dance of some sort.

PeeramidIdeologies's picture

I find this drama to be rich and flavourful. The addition of a high profile politician taking a position against jpm is something to be noted IMO

I am also of the opinion JPm is in much deeper water then is being let out at the moment. They have been involved in a steady onslaught of high profile legal battles for a couple years now, and to have a face like McCain attach it's self seems intriguing to say the least. This bank would be tits up if their actions were fully disclosed to the public, and I for one, am lookin forward to the day.

Make em pay DOJ

DosZap's picture

Make em pay DOJ

That would truly be the day,but who on this site in their right mind thinks,the pot is gonna prosecute the kettle?.Not me.

22winmag's picture

Fucking slimy prosecutors couldn't convict a fly for landing on a piece of shit without a snitch.

bunnyswanson's picture

Whale to a rat?  Why not whale to a ~whistleblower~?????  Rats are scavengers.  We know who the scavengers are and it is not the person who blew the whistle.  Want an example of a rat?  A rat is one who prevents a long prison term by ratting out his accomplices in criminal activity. 


So, why RAT?  ARE YOU TRYING to give a bad name to whistleblowers? 

Motorhead's picture

I always thought rats were clever little rodents.

JohnG's picture

But they can live thier entire lives without ever seeing daylight.  Really.

venturen's picture

She is going to be ONE WEALTH HERO WHISTLE BLOWER. Hey all you wall streeters want to make the real money...look at some recent whistle blower cases....she is in line for at least $100 Million!

Restcase's picture

Whistleblowing from inside JPM with Obama in charge is like a Soviet volunteering to spy for the USA in the days of Ames and Hansen. Shelf life, not so good. Someone at Justice will expose this person.

As the fourth stooge might say, "Not in accordance with safer Chinese citizenish practices!"

WTFUD's picture

Banged to Rights X 100 and we still haven't found what we're looking for.

lolmao500's picture

Take their bank chart away. Kill JPMorgan already. Those fucks need to hang.

assistedliving's picture

why is it the only people with balls in this country are women...

pndr4495's picture

This post reminds me of what Betty White is rumored to have said : " I hate it when people say why don't you grow some balls - how about growing a vagina ? Those things take a pounding."

WillyGroper's picture

Could it be oppression?

Damaged ovaries from being allowed to drive?


ebworthen's picture

I'll celebrate when every TBTF bank files bankruptcy, is liquidated, and expunged from the face of the Earth.

And when all the crooks on Wall Street are actually prosecuted and put in jail for breaking the law - instead of 19 year old kids with a dime bag of pot.

12th of never probably, but I can dream, can't I?

It will be one hell of a celebration.

optimator's picture

If Jamie went States Evidence they wouldn't even touch him.

mayhem_korner's picture



No death is good enough for Jamie...even if he suffered like Quint or the dude in Fargo, he'd be getting off easy.

shovelhead's picture

Eeww. Woodchipper.

Jaime's turned to scum.