JPMorgan whistleblower gets $63.9 million in mortgage fraud deal

Fri Mar 7, 2014 3:48pm EST
 
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By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - A whistleblower will be paid $63.9 million for providing tips that led to JPMorgan Chase & Co's agreement to pay $614 million and tighten oversight to resolve charges that it defrauded the government into insuring flawed home loans.

The payment to the whistleblower, Keith Edwards, was disclosed on Friday in a filing with the U.S. district court in Manhattan that formally ended the case.

In the February 4 settlement, JPMorgan admitted that for more than a decade it submitted thousands of mortgages for insurance by the Federal Housing Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs that did not qualify for government guarantees.

JPMorgan also admitted that it had failed to tell the agencies that its own internal reviews had turned up problems.

The government said it ultimately had to cover millions of dollars of losses after some of the bank's loans went sour, resulting in evictions and foreclosures nationwide.

"There were a lot of bad loans made during the financial boom, and the United States taxpayer was left holding the bag through the VA and FHA loan programs," Edwards' lawyer, David Wasinger, said in a phone interview. "Hopefully the settlement sends a message to Wall Street that this conduct is not allowed, and that in the future it will be held accountable."

Edwards could not immediately be reached for comment.

About $56.5 million of Edwards' award concerns the FHA portion of the case, and $7.4 million concerns the VA portion.   Continued...

 
A sign is seen on the Canary Wharf offices of JP Morgan in London September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Neil Hall