US justice dept probes JPMorgan

The US department of justice (DoJ) is investigating JPMorgan Chase & Co over allegations that Bear Stearns provided misleading information about its mortgage products during the lead-up to the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter.

JPMorgan acquired Bear Stearns in a 2008 fire sale encouraged by the government, and has pushed back against government suits that have sought to hold JPMorgan accountable for the failed investment bank's alleged mortgage-related misconduct.

In this investigation, civil lawyers in the department are looking into whether Bear Stearns altered due diligence information that third parties provided about the quality of mortgage loans packaged into securities, said the people, who were not authorised to speak publicly about the probe.

The investigation, which is in early stages, shows that enforcement authorities are still actively building cases amid criticism that institutions have not adequately been held to account for their role in causing the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Jennifer Zuccarelli, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan, declined to comment. So did DoJ spokeswoman Adora Andy.

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