Matt Taibbi: The $9 Billion Witness – Meet JPMorgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare


Matt Taibbi: The $9 Billion Witness – Meet JPMorgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare

Meet the woman JPMorgan Chase paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep from talking

She tried to stay quiet, she really did. But after eight years of keeping a heavy secret, the day came when Alayne Fleischmann couldn’t take it anymore.

“It was like watching an old lady get mugged on the street,” she says. “I thought, ‘I can’t sit by any longer.'”

Fleischmann is a tall, thin, quick-witted securities lawyer in her late thirties, with long blond hair, pale-blue eyes and an infectious sense of humor that has survived some very tough times. She’s had to struggle to find work despite some striking skills and qualifications, a common symptom of a not-so-common condition called being a whistle-blower.

Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion (not $13 billion as regularly reported – more on that later) to keep the public from hearing.

Back in 2006, as a deal manager at the gigantic bank, Fleischmann first witnessed, then tried to stop, what she describes as “massive criminal securities fraud” in the bank’s mortgage operations.

Thanks to a confidentiality agreement, she’s kept her mouth shut since then. “My closest family and friends don’t know what I’ve been living with,” she says. “Even my brother will only find out for the first time when he sees this interview.”

Six years after the crisis that cratered the global economy, it’s not exactly news that the country’s biggest banks stole on a grand scale. That’s why the more important part of Fleischmann’s story is in the pains Chase and the Justice Department took to silence her.

She was blocked at every turn: by asleep-on-the-job regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, by a court system that allowed Chase to use its billions to bury her evidence, and, finally, by officials like outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, the chief architect of the crazily elaborate government policy of surrender, secrecy and cover-up. “Every time I had a chance to talk, something always got in the way,” Fleischmann says.

This past year she watched as Holder’s Justice Department struck a series of historic settlement deals with Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America. The root bargain in these deals was cash for secrecy. The banks paid big fines, without trials or even judges – only secret negotiations that typically ended with the public shown nothing but vague, quasi-official papers called “statements of facts,” which were conveniently devoid of anything like actual facts.

And now, with Holder about to leave office and his Justice Department reportedly wrapping up its final settlements, the state is effectively putting the finishing touches on what will amount to a sweeping, industrywide effort to bury the facts of a whole generation of Wall Street corruption. “I could be sued into bankruptcy,” she says. “I could lose my license to practice law. I could lose everything. But if we don’t start speaking up, then this really is all we’re going to get: the biggest financial cover-up in history.”


6 Responses to “Matt Taibbi: The $9 Billion Witness – Meet JPMorgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare”
  1. Dan Schramm says:

    Yes, we have all been screwed on various levels in a massive way. What the banks have completely overlooked is the importance of the Depositor. Every mortgage assignment is a fraud because it never transfers to the Depositor. ONLY the Depositor can put anything into a REMIC trust. The assignment is a one party contract, it has no acceptance and no Trustee would ever accept one on the record. No borrower can argue this stuff. But what if the DEPOSITOR came forward (a critical party to the PSA and the entire trust transaction) and testified under oath that the property was never properly transferred into the trust? This is about to happen in several states shortly. Nobody has thought of this before.

  2. Glad she wrote up very sad what banks do to cover up so much fraud

  3. hammretime says:

    What? She sacrifices her career and we should move on and be happy? You must be a broker or lawyer pushing corrupted loan mods!

    Sign my petition and stop the CONTINUING abuse!

    Also my detailed petition and extreme case with Chase here

  4. Alabama John says:

    Don’t expect many comments as we simply just understand we got screwed and nothing will be done about it.
    Move on and be happy!!!

    • concerned21 says:

      I understand how you might feel but don’t give up! I am certainly not cause I won’t give up until the banksters, lawyers & Judges are jailed.

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