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Charlie Javice Released After Fraud JPMorgan Allegation




Business

April 5, 2023 | 10:17 a.m


The 31[ads1]-year-old tech entrepreneur who allegedly inflated user numbers at her college financial aid startup to trick JPMorgan Chase into buying her company for $175 million was released on a $2 million bond Tuesday.

Charlie Javice, founder of financial planning website Frank, was seen leaving Manhattan federal court on Tuesday after federal prosecutors announced a slew of charges against her, including conspiracy, wire fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud.

If convicted, Javice, a Miami Beach resident who was featured on Forbes’ 2019 “30 under 30” list, could face decades in prison.

She was taken into custody by authorities at Newark Airport in New Jersey on Monday night ahead of her court appearance on Tuesday, according to the feds.

Javice, who holds US and French citizenship, surrendered both her passports as part of a deal with prosecutors, according to Bloomberg News.

She is also restricted from traveling between New York City and South Florida.

Charlie Javice, 31, was released on $2 million bail on Tuesday. She was indicted by the feds for allegedly defrauding JPMorgan Chase.
AP

Javice “engaged in a brazen scheme to defraud” JPMorgan Chase, according to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams.

“She lied directly to JPMC and fabricated data to support those lies – all to make over $45 million from the sale of her company,” according to Williams.

A charging document in Manhattan federal court said she claimed her company had more than four million users when it had fewer than 300,000 customers.

When JPMorgan asked for proof of Frank’s user base, Javice allegedly paid “outside data scientist” $18,000 to create a fake customer list.

The falsified data allegedly helped secure JPMorgan’s commitment to a deal to buy Frank, which was designed to streamline the application process for those seeking financial aid for college tuition.

Javice was arrested at Newark Airport on Monday evening, according to federal authorities.
LinkedIn/Charlie J

Javice received a $21 million payout for selling a stake in Frank to JPMorgan and another $20 million in a retention bonus, the FBI said.

Javice and other Frank employees also got jobs at the bank.

The federal complaint alleged that Javice first approached Frank’s director of engineering to create the fake data set.

When the engineer pushed back on the request, Javice tried to assure the employee that it was legal.

“We don’t want to end up in orange jumpsuits,” Javice said, according to the complaint.

JPMorgan realized the fraud after it launched an email marketing campaign to people included on Frank’s alleged list of clients that generated few responses.

The Frank founder also faces a set of civil charges from the SEC.

Javice allegedly increased the number of clients signing up to her financial planning website, Frank.
Sincere

SEC enforcement chief Gurbir Grewal said Javice had engaged in an “old school scam.”

“She lied about Frank’s success in helping millions of students navigate the college financial aid process by fabricating data to support her claims, then used the false information to get JPMC to enter into a $175 million transaction,” Grewal said.

When reached for comment, a representative for Javice said she “denies the allegations.”

In late December, JPMorgan filed suit against Javice for allegedly leading the bank to believe that Frank “was a business deeply engaged in the college-age market segment with 4.625 million customers.”

“Instead, it received a business with fewer than 300,000 customers,” according to the explosive lawsuit filed in Delaware federal court.

JPMorgan Chase paid $175 million to buy Frank.
Reuters

Javice contradicted herself, alleging that she was fired last November from her position as head of student solutions so that JPMorgan could avoid paying out the $20 million bonus.

At the time, her attorney, Alex Spiro, described the allegations in JPMorgan’s lawsuit as “nothing but a cover-up.”

Javice’s attorney, Alex Spiro, and a JPMorgan representative declined to comment on the latest allegations.

Additional reporting by Thomas Barrabi




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