Shareholders file suits against JPMorgan

May 16, 2012 at 6:55 PM
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NEW YORK, May 16 (UPI) -- JPMorgan Chase shareholders reacted to the bank's recent $2 billion in trading losses by filing lawsuits in New York Wednesday, court papers indicate.

The bank "misrepresented losses and risk of loss to the Company arising from massive bets on derivative contracts," say papers filed by financial management firm Saratoga Advantage Trust.

"These derivative bets went horribly wrong," the court papers say.

The bank declined to comment on the suits, which name Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon and Chief Financial Officer Douglas Braunstein as defendants, ABC News reported Wednesday.

The bank announced last week it had lost about $2 billion in bad bets on the market in a 15-day period. The losses provoked investigations by regulators in Britain and the United States.

The FBI has opened a file on the case and U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, has called for a hearing on the matter.

The losses provoked a series of apologies from Dimon, who has called them "self-inflicted."

However, Saratoga Advantage Trust Chief Executive Officer Bruce Ventimiglia told ABC News, "We believe that [Dimon] made false and misleading statements and omissions quite frankly."

While the bank has called the losses part of a hedging strategy to protect it from other losses, Ventimiglia said they were not.

"We think they were outright bets," he said.

Despite the debacle, shareholders voted Tuesday to approve Dimon's remuneration package for the year.

In London, the trader known as the London Whale, who is at the center of the losses, is leaving the bank, colleagues said.

The New York Times reported Bruno Iksil, also known as "Voldemort," is still working at the bank but is expected to tender his resignation soon, with a departure timed before the end of the year.

Ina Drew, one of the bank's chief investment officers and one of Wall Street's most successful women, resigned from JPMorgan Monday as a result of the losses.

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