Lawsuit Against JPMorgan Chase Alleges 'False And Misleading Statements' Regarding Securities Trading

In the wake of JPMorgan Chase's startling news last week of its $2 billion trading loss, and of the equaling startling statements of Jamie DImon, the bank's CEO, that the losing trades were, among other things, "flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed, and poorly monitored," there has been speculation whether these disclosures would lead to litigation. In particular, commentators have asked whether Dimon's candid statements would hurt the company in any litigation that might arise.

Well, it looks like we will be finding out. On May 14, 2012, plaintiffs filed a securities class action in the Southern District of New York, against the bank; Dimon; Ina Drew, the bank's former Chief Investment Officer: and Douglas Bronstein, the bank's chief financial officer. A copy of the complaint can be found here.

According to the plaintiffs'' lawyers' May 14, 2012 press release (here), the complaint alleges that during the class period of April 13, 2012 through May 11, 2012, the defendants issued "materially false and misleading statements regarding certain securities trading by the Company's Chief Investment Office ("CIO"). Specifically, Defendants misrepresented and/or failed to disclose that the CIO had engaged in extremely risky and speculative trades that exposed JPMorgan to significant losses." The complaint specifically references the defendants' reassuring statements made between the time the rumors about the trading activity first surfaced in April and the time of the disclosures of the trading losses, and blockbuster admissions about the trades.

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Read other items of interest from the world of directors & officers liability, with occasional commentary, at the D&O Diary, a blog by Kevin LaCroix.

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