The DOJ refused to execute a Treasury Dept subpoena for JP Morgan records on the bank's relationship with Bernie Madoff. So, the Treasury Dept dropped the investigation altogether. It's Christmas!
The government has been looking into whether J.P. Morgan, which had a two-decade relationship with Madoff, ignored warning signs that the operation he was running was actually a giant Ponzi scheme. Banks are supposed to report suspicious activity by clients.
But the Treasury Department, in its investigation, couldn't seem to catch a break: In May, the Treasury's inspector-general office subpoenaed J.P. Morgan for Madoff-related documents, but J.P. Morgan declined. Then Treasury asked the Department of Justice to enforce the subpoena, but the Justice Department declined that request in September.
The documents included internal interviews that J.P. Morgan conducted with more than 90 employees after Madoff's arrest in December 2008. And the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates national banks, had originally asked for the documents in 2009. J.P. Morgan had argued that the documents were protected by attorney-client privilege and "work product" immunity.
The behind-the-scenes development is from a letter from the Treasury's inspector general, stamped Oct. 8. It was posted on the website of Government Attic, which posts documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, and previously reported by Newsweek.
After the Justice Department declined to enforce the subpoena, the OCC and the Treasury's inspector-general office agreed that the latter"could not undertake further actions regarding the matter," according to the letter.
"As a result we are closing this matter accordingly," a Treasury special agent wrote.