JPMorgan Chase & Co. is in last-minute talks with the U.S. government to settle a civil case that was to be filed accusing the bank of violating U.S. laws in its sale of mortgage bonds in California, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The case, which was to be filed on Tuesday by the Justice Department in the Eastern District of California, deals with the bank's sale of bonds backed by subprime mortgages and other risky home loans between 2005 and 2007.
It was not clear what led to the settlement talks between the government and the bank restarting. Sources said talks had broken down over the amount the bank would pay in a penalty. There was no immediate indication of how much JPMorgan would have to pay in fines to settle the civil case.
In a corporate filing in August, JPMorgan disclosed it was under parallel civil and criminal investigations by federal authorities in California and that authorities on the civil side had told the bank in May they had preliminarily concluded it violated federal securities laws.
A spokesman for the bank, Brian Marchiony, declined to comment.
However, there was no doubt another legal battle was the last thing the largest U.S. bank needed as it struggled to move past conflicts with regulators and prosecutors involving several business lines.
On Thursday, JPMorgan agreed to pay $1 billion to settle regulatory actions related both to a $6.2 billion trading loss it incurred last year in its Chief Investment Office and allegations of wrongful billing of credit-card customers.
Last week's settlements were part of a new push by the bank to try to remake its public image into one displaying more deference toward regulators.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement issued by the company on Thursday, "We have accepted responsibility and acknowledged our mistakes from the start, and we have learned from them and worked to fix them."
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