JPMorgan Chase & Co. said that it discovered several employees possibly involved in the misuse of financial relief funds.
A large American bank has discovered that several of its staff received COVID-19 funds dedicated to suffering businesses amid the pandemic. Bloomberg reported that a person familiar with the matter said JPMorgan Chase & Co. fired the employees involved in the act.
According to the Bloomberg report from Wednesday, some employees of JPMorgan Chase improperly applied for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The program from the Small Business Administration (SBA) aims to help American businesses that are hurt by the pandemic.
— Bloomberg (@business) September 9, 2020
The source revealed that the company found suspicious money deposited in the involved employees’ accounts. The company also dismissed people suspected of getting the money.
‘Unethical and Illegal’
The multinational investment company even sent out a memo to employees citing possibly illegal acts committed. Although the JPMorgan Chase did not tell more details regarding the particular deed, Bloomberg said. Executives signed on the notice, including chief executive Jamie Dimon. The company said that the act “does not live up to our business and ethical principles.”
Moreover, the memo also revealed that the company was investigating if employees aided in the misuse of relief programs.
The message also included a request from employees to report any matter related to the issue to a dedicated hotline. “We are doing all we can to identify those instances, and cooperate with law enforcement where appropriate,” the memo reads.
Misuse of Funds
Previously, the SBA issued a warning to banks to watch out for suspicious activity regarding the disaster relief program. An inspector general from the body found evidence of fraudulent activities in the program. The inspector noted that possibly unqualified people received $250 million supposedly for relief and $45.6 million of possibly duplicate payments.
Bloomberg’s source said that though the company determined misuse of SBA’s disaster program, only a small portion relate to their employees. However, they didn’t find evidence of fraud for other relief programs.