Jamie Dimon’s fine-filled nightmare may be over

No more taking from the rich to give back to the public.
No more taking from the rich to give back to the public.
Image: AP Photo/Robin Hood Foundation, Craig Warga
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With the $2.6 billion that JP Morgan has just agreed to pay for its role in Bernard Madoff’s decades-long Ponzi scheme, the bank is hoping that it can put the days of hefty fines behind it. The latest penalty—$1.7 billion to the US Attorney’s office led by Preet Bharara, $350 million for a civil case by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and $543 million to Madoff trustee Irving Picard—brings the total the bank has shelled out in the past year alone to $22 billion.

The bank still faces a handful of lingering probes, including one over potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for hiring scions of wealthy Chinese officials with an eye toward scoring plum deals in China. The bank has been the subject of an array of such fines over the course of the past few months. The Department of Justice is also looking into criminal penalties against the bank after it paid $410 million in penalties to settle allegations that some of its  traders manipulated  electricity pricing in California.

But it’s largely believed that the worst of the bank’s penalties—which compelled it in the third quarter to make the atypical disclosure for the firm that it set aside $23 billion in potential future litigation costs—are over. Some analysts estimate that the bank may face a mere $2 billion to $3 billion in legal-related costs over the next few years.