JPMorgan Chase is nearing a deal to pay the government about $2 billion to close out claims related to the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, the New York Times says.
The newspaper reported Sunday people briefed on the case say the bank will pay the criminal and civil penalties to settle up with federal authorities who suspect it ignored signs of Madoff's fraudulent investment racket that cost his clients billions of dollars.
JPMorgan would pay more than $1 billion to prosecutors in Manhattan and the rest to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and a unit of the Treasury Department, the Times said. Some of the money would be set aside for Madoff's victims, the Times' sources said.
The payments would bring to about $20 billion JPMorgan will have paid to resolve government investigations in the past year, the Times noted.
The Times' sources also said the settlement would defer any criminal prosecution of the bank so long as JPMorgan acknowledged the facts of the government's case and changed its practices.
The Times said JPMorgan, which was Madoff's primary bank for years, the U.S. attorney's office in New York City, the comptroller's office and the FBI all declined to comment on the matter. The bank has maintained its staff acted in good faith regarding the Madoff case.
No JPMorgan executives have been accused of wrongdoing, the Times said.