Attorney Alayne Fleischmann, a former deal manager for JPMorgan Chase, recently came out publicly as the whistleblower who turned the banking giant into the U.S. Justice Department.
Fleischmann, who signed a confidentiality agreement with JPMorgan Chase, revealed her identity to Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi in an article that was published this month.
“I could be sued into bankruptcy,” Fleischmann said in Rolling Stone. “I could lose my license to practice law. I could lose everything. But if we don’t start speaking up, then this really is all we’re going to get: the biggest financial cover-up in history.”
Fleischmann began working at JPMorgan Chase in 2006. After only a couple of months, she said the bank was buying bad mortgage loans and continued to do so even after she brought it to her supervisors' attention with a detailed memo.
Fleischmann said she didn't know that JPMorgan Chase was selling the bad loans in securities while working for the banking giant.
Fleischmann was laid off by JPMorgan Chase in early 2008, but sounded the alarm in December 2012 to the federal government, which ended up fining the bank $13 billion in October 2013, noted Bloomberg News at the time.
Fleischmann and Taibbi appeared on Democracy Now today to explain how the U.S. Justice Department didn't press criminal charges against JPMorgan Chase (video below).
“[The Justice Department] brought a bunch of settlements and they collected a bunch of money, but there isn’t a single individual, in this entire tableau, who is actually individually paying any kind of penalty for any of these misdeeds,” said Taibbi.
“All of that money came out of the pockets of shareholders," added Taibbi. "No executives had to pay a fine. No executives had to do a single day in jail. There were not even charges filed against any individuals.”
"The big worry with these settlements and the way they’re being done, and I’m not the only whistleblower in these cases, is that you have these emails and these memos, but nothing happens," said Fleischmann. "A fine gets paid, and then all of the facts and who did what gets washed away. So, as a whistleblower, you’re thinking, 'I did all of this, and the DOJ has all of this, but for some reason they’re not going forward on it.'"
"The problem is, the political wing of the Justice Department can take those cases and do whatever they want with them," said Taibbi. "And we saw, in Alayne’s case and in many other cases, that they take these excellent investigations, and then they just turn them into these slap-on-the-wrist settlements."