Annie Hunt Jan. 13, 2016, 1:19pm


COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) — JPMorgan Chase & Co. recently reached a $150 million settlement with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System over claims that Chase hid up to $6.2 billion in losses incurred in a trading scandal.

Attorneys for OPERS filed the suit in July 2012 in the wake of the London Whale incident - a banking debacle that involved risky insider trading and hidden deals.

After years of deception, the scandal resulted in massive fines for Chase and losses for investors. Investigations against the man at the center of the scandal, Bruno Iksil, were dropped in 2015.

The Ohio suit claimed the trading losses caused stock value to plummet, accusing Chase of speculative trading and issuing misleading statements involving its trading strategy. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine issued a statement that declared that investors expect accurate information from companies and reiterated the danger of providing wrong or incomplete information.

“Ohio, like many states has elected to take part in public pension systems, which offer benefits to employees across the state, some for teachers, police, fire fighters, but the largest group that will benefit from the suit is OPERS,” said Dan Tierney, spokesperson for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

According to Tierney, OPERS elected to invest in Chase pensions during the time of the London Whale Scandal. As the largest public pension program in Ohio and one of the largest in the nation, OPERS members stand to greatly benefit from the settlement, but they are not the only investors who are due restitution, the AG's office said.

The settlement covers all class members who invested in JPMorgan common stock between April 13, 2012, and May 21, 2012.

The claim was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiffs included OPERS, pension fund in the states of Oregon and Arkansas, and Swedish Pension fund AP7.

As for Ohio class members, Tierney reports that the number of investors the case covers is undetermined.

“We don’t have an estimate, as any Ohioan who invested in the Chase pension plan is eligible to file a claim. The court will appoint a claims administrator who will contact people who purchased the stock during the period of the scandal. Usually they will set up a website to provide info and notify those who are eligible,” Tierney said

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