The Justice Department has just officially announced the largest settlement with a single entity in American history. The settlement, between JPMorgan and the Department of Justice (DOJ) will total $13 billion and resolves many outstanding allegations that stood against JPMorgan. The settlement does not relieve the firm from potential criminal charges.
“Without a doubt, the conduct uncovered in this investigation helped sow the seeds of the mortgage meltdown,” said Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement.
“While many will hope that this settlement serves as a ‘shot-across-the-bow’ to these investment firms,” commented Peter Mougey, a shareholder with the Levin, Papantonio law firm who heads the firm’s business torts and securities litigation department, “…but if their past is any indicator of their future, you shouldn’t hold your breath.”
As part of the settlement, the bank has been required to make certain acknowledgements. These recognitions include that it made “serious misrepresentations to the public – including the investing public” about residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). Additionally, parts of the settlement will be used to provide “relief to underwater homeowners and potential homebuyers, including those in distressed areas of the country.”
The particulars of the settlement are as follows:
$9 billion to federal and state civil claims by various entities related to RMBS
$2 billion civil penalty to the DOJ
$1.4 billion to settle federal and state securities claims by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
$515.4 million to settle federal and state claims by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
$298.9 million to settle claims by the State of California
$19.7 million to settle claims by the State of Deleware
$100 million to settle claims by the State of Illinois
$34.4 million to settle claims by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
$613.8 million to settle claims by the State of New York
$4 billion in aid and relief to consumers harmed by the unlawful conduct of JPMorgan, Bear Stearns and Washington mutual.
The settlement is the largest in American history between the government and a single entity. The $13 billion settlement dwarfs the $4.5 settlement between the government and BP over the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster.