J.P. Morgan Nears SEC Settlement

JPM -2.99% J.P. Morgan Chase JPM -2.99%& Co. is close to a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that would end one probe into how the company’s Bear Stearns Cos. unit packaged and sold home loans to investors, according to people familiar with the case.

A pact with the nation’s largest bank by assets would be the first tangible victory in a wide-ranging SEC investigation into Wall Street’s sale of mortgage-backed securities before the onset of the financial crisis. Since 2010, the SEC has issued more than 300 subpoenas or document requests related to the probe and collected more than 30 million pages of documents, enforcement chief Robert Khuzami said earlier this year.

J.P. Morgan’s payment isn’t expected to exceed the $550 million paid in 2010 by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -3.56% to settle claims by the SEC that it misled investors in a collateralized debt obligation called Abacus 2007-AC1. In that deal, hedge-fund firm Paulson & Co. bet that underlying assets, some allegedly chosen by Paulson & Co. to be included in the CDO, would fall in value. Goldman didn’t admit or deny wrongdoing.

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