A long-delayed whistleblower trial began Monday over claims that JPMorgan Chase fired a wealth manager for raising red flags about a client in 2009, just months after the discovery that Bernard Madoff used JPMorgan Chase accounts to advance his multibillion-dollar fraud.
Bloomberg News reports that Jennifer Sharkey, a former vice president of JPMorgan Chase’s private wealth management group, sued in 2010, claiming she was fired for investigating suspicions that a client might be involved in fraud or money laundering. The trial in Manhattan federal court is expected to take about a week.
It’s rare for a bank to be accused of violating whistle-blower protections in the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act. According to Sharkey, she was fired less than a week after making a formal recommendation that the bank end its relationship with a client after she had spent months warning about possible illegal activity. The man is referred to in court only as "Client A."
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