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JPMorgan Disputes Whistleblower Case

November 3, 2017

A former JPMorgan wealth manager says the firm fired her in 2009 for raising red flags about a suspicious client. But her ex-boss says she was let go over lying, Bloomberg writes.

In a trial that started Monday in Manhattan federal court, Jennifer Sharkey testified in front of a jury that JPMorgan had dismissed her for alerting the company to a client she suspected of money laundering and fraud, according to the news service. According to Sharkey, she was fired a day after she told JPMorgan she was planning to send out documents terminating the accounts of the client, a diamond seller and founder of a calling-card business who had about $14 million under management at the firm, Bloomberg writes.

The client was eventually cleared by JPMorgan and stayed with the firm, and U.S. District Judge Denise Cote told lawyers there was no evidence the client had participated in any criminal activity, according to the newswire. In court testimony Sharkey said she had never put her suspicions about the client’s criminal activities in writing, Bloomberg reports.

Leslie Lassiter, Sharkey’s former boss and one of the defendants named in Sharkey’s suit, claimed Sharkey was let go for lying, Bloomberg reports. Lassiter claimed she had asked Sharkey numerous times about having been in contact with another client, who had about $25 million managed by the firm, and received reassurances that everything was fine, until the client’s office manager threatened to pull the client’s funds out of JPMorgan, according to the news service.

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In July 2009 Sharkey admitted to never having contacted the client, Lassiter said, Bloomberg reports. The firm fired Sharkey about two weeks later, according to the news service. The trial is expected to take about a week, Bloomberg writes.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Bloomberg article cited in this story, click here.
  • To read the Bloomberg article cited in this story, click here.