Charlie Javice accused US prosecutors of trying to turn up the heat in the criminal fraud case against her by blocking information exchanges in a separate lawsuit filed by JPMorgan Chase & Co., which claims she tricked the bank into buying her Frank college financial-planning website.
(Bloomberg) — Charlie Javice accused US prosecutors of trying to turn up the heat in the criminal fraud case against her by blocking information exchanges in a separate lawsuit filed by JPMorgan Chase & Co., which claims she tricked the bank into buying her Frank college financial-planning website.
There’s no legitimate reason for prosecutors to halt discovery in the Delaware civil case so that Javice can’t use it to bolster defenses in the criminal case, her attorneys said in a court filing. Javice and a colleague were charged with defrauding JPMorgan when it acquired Frank for $175 million and made them executives at the bank. They were both fired.
“The government’s motion is designed to maximize pressure on defendants, who are facing the threat of prison in a separate criminal case and for months have suffered reputational and financial ruin” as a result of JPMorgan’s suit, Alex Spiro, Javice’s lead defense attorney, said Tuesday in the 26-page filing.
Jacob Laksin, an assistant US attorney based in Wilmington, Delaware, didn’t immediately return a call for comment Wednesday about Javice’s filing. JPMorgan spokesman Pablo Rodriguez declined to comment.
Javice and Olivier Amar face conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and securities fraud charges over claims they created fake customer accounts to dupe JPMorgan officials about Frank’s financial strength.
Prior to the criminal charges, New York-based JPMorgan sued Javice and Amar in December. The bank accused them of hiring a data-science professor to create fake customer accounts showing Frank had some 4.25 million users, even though they knew it had fewer than 300,000. The pair have pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges and deny engaging in fraud.
Since both cases focus on the same set of facts, prosecutors say a delay in pre-trial information exchanges in the civil case won’t hurt Javice’s and Amar’s rights and will bar them from misusing material from the suit to help their criminal defense.
Lawyers for the former executives counter there’s no reason both cases can’t move forward simultaneously, so Javice and Amar can “clear their names.” The request by prosecutors deprives the defendants of “a level playing field and their right to timely defend themselves against JPMC’s claims while the government pursues its rash and derivative criminal claims,” the defense lawyers said.
The civil case is JPMorgan Chase Bank v. Javice, 22-cv-01621, US District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington)
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