JPMadoff: The Unholy Alliance Between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook – A SavvyReview


Authors: Helen Davis Chaitman & Lance Gotthoffer

JPMadoff_CoverThere is a lot to unpack as Helen Davis Chaitman, a nationally recognized litigator and an expert in the field of lender liability, provides great detail on the interconnected relationships between politicians, U.S. federal prosecutors and the flow of Wall Street money to those politicians. Chaitman accomplishes this through exclusive interviews conducted with Bernard “Bernie” Madoff and statements provided by JPMorgan Chase in its settlement of criminal charges. Throughout the book each statement of fact is supported by a citation to a corresponding authority.

Know your customer (KYC) is the process of a business verifying the identity of its clients. The term is also used to refer to the bank regulation which governs these activities.

In financial regulation, a suspicious activity report (or SAR) is a report made by a financial institution about suspicious or potentially suspicious activity. 

Check kiting is a form of check fraud, involving taking advantage of the float to make use of non-existent funds in a checking or other bank account. In this way, instead of being used as a negotiable instrument, checks are misused as a form of unauthorized credit. 

AP Photo | Seth Wenig

Without the help of JPMorgan Chase, the author believes Madoff would not have been able to pull off his crime and that JPMC had an obligation to know its customer and to report suspicious activity to the federal government. JPMC neither said or did anything until after a confession and the subsequent arrest of Madoff.

  • JPMorgan Chase was legally obligated to support suspicious activity in Madoff’s account and yet Madoff was able to buy the banks silence with billions of dollars of deposits.
  • JPMorgan Chase watched for years as Madoff and one of his co-conspirators kited checks totaling $106 billion, including $35 billion just in 2001.
  • JPMorgan Chase’s complicity with Madoff is but one of numerous examples of the bank’s illegal conduct, as evidenced by the fact that, just in the five years, JPMorgan Chase has paid $36 billion in fines, settlements and penalties for its fraudulent and illegal conduct.
  • Just in the last three years, America’s biggest bank has pled guilty to three felonies.
  • The government has encouraged Wall Street crime by refusing to prosecute undisputed criminals.
  • The Senate Subcommittee in Investigations found that Jamie Dimon committed securities fraud and yet the SEC looked the other way.
  • JPMadoff proves that the criminal laws of the United States are not enforced against the super-rich.

“We live in a society where a seventeen-year old kid who robs a 7-Eleven of $300 goes to jail in a police van. While a 34-year-old Wall Street banker who steals $1 billion from customers goes to Greenwich in his limousine.”

Madoff was able to do business for years and conceal his criminal activities. JPMadoff is a very intriguing (at times shocking) look at the above injustice and how crime pays but few are prosecuted for a large scale financial crime and provides insight into who was really responsible for the 2008 financial meltdown.

Bernie Madoff

Photo Credit | Bloomberg News

I’ve long since moved my accounts to a local credit union, for my own personal reasons, but Chaitman suggest that you close your accounts and put your money in small, honest banks If we are a customer of any of the big banks. The author’s belief that investing in big banks that defraud the public to the point of taking down the economy and destroying jobs and retirement is unethical.

‘Too Rich to Jail’

Available at Amazon, readers can choose between Kindle and Paperback formats.

Brian Tramuel is a regular contributor and helms the 'A Richer Understanding' series. He lives with his wife Michelle, their children Geneva and Brian, and their Cocker Spaniel Maestro in Charlotte, NC. They, along with his two older children from a previous marriage, Davina and Aaron, provide a constant source of inspiration. Aaron lives, works and plays in Charlotte and Davina lives, works and plays in Roanoke, VA.


  1. I don’t really trust big banks, or really big corporations for that matter. It’s easier to make decisions that negatively impact others when you don’t have to actually see the people you’ve impacted.

    • “It’s easier to make decisions that negatively impact others when you don’t have to actually see the people you’ve impacted.”

      Indeed. And/or when a culture of greed is allowed to take hold and flourish.

  2. Banks are partially responsible for the 2008 financial crisis, and they continue business like normal. They knew the government would bail them out, so they got greedy. Ponzi schemes have been around for many years.

    • There was certainly lots of blame to go around and the banks can claim their fair share. Greed is a terrible thing.

      Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

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