JPMorgan deal-making flurry being scrutinized by US regulator -FT

(Reuters) -JPMorgan Chase & Co is being scrutinized by U.S. regulators for the due diligence the bank conducted on a number of its past acquisitions, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) scheduled a specific audit of JPMorgan’s deal making after the bank bought dozens of smaller companies in 2021 and 2022, the report said.

This comes after the U.S. government filed criminal charges accusing Charlie Javice, the founder of the now-shuttered college financial aid company Frank, of defrauding JPMorgan into buying the startup for $175 million in 2021.

Javice, 31, was charged by the Department of Justice with repeatedly lying to the largest U.S. bank by claiming that Frank had lined up 4.25 million student customers when in fact she had data for only about 300,000.

JPMorgan had sued Javice and Olivier Amar, who was Frank’s chief growth officer, in Delaware federal court in December. The OCC audit was scheduled before JPMorgan’s lawsuit, the report said.

Javice filed counterclaims in February, accusing JPMorgan of having “compromised her reputation” and wrongfully withholding $28 million of retention payments and equity.

The bank shut down Frank in January, and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon branded the acquisition a “huge mistake” in a Jan. 13 conference call with analysts.

JPMorgan and a spokesperson for the OCC declined to comment on the report.

(Reporting by Baranjot Kaur in Bengaluru; Editing by Jamie Freed, Jason Neely and Mark Porter)