Full speed ahead to another Asian meltdown

Section:

From Reuters
Thursday, May 5, 2005

http://www.reuters.com/financeQuoteCompanyNewsArticle.jhtml?
duid=mtfh99650_2005-05-05_22-47-57_n05553518_newsml

NEW YORK -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. said on Thursday it had agreed to
pay $356 million to settle investor lawsuits related to the failure
of Commercial Financial Services Inc.

In a securities filing, the bank also said the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission may sue a former Bank One employee for
securities violations in connection with the collapse of National
Century Financial Enterprises.

In the Commercial Financial settlement, the investors originally
sought $1.6 billion in damages from the No. 3 bank, JPMorgan said in
its quarterly report filed with securities regulators. The lawsuit
was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Oklahoma.

The plaintiffs were institutional investors who bought about $2
billion of asset-backed securities issued by Commercial Financial
and backed by charged-off credit card receivables. They accused
JPMorgan of fraud and negligent misrepresentation in the sale of the
securities.

JPMorgan, which bought Chicago-based Bank One last year for about
$58 billion, declined further comment on both matters.

In the National Century Financial Enterprises matter, Bank One had
acted as a trustee for notes issued by Healthcare Finance Co., which
has been bankrupt since 2002.

The SEC has served subpoenas on JPMorgan Chase Bank and Bank One and
has interviewed certain current and former employees concerning
National Century.

National Century filed for bankruptcy after it failed to give
investors audited financial statements for the previous year and
lenders stopped advancing it new money.

The founders of the company made a multibillion-dollar business out
of buying patients' bills from healthcare providers, and packaging
them into bonds for investors.

A group of National Century's creditors have claimed in a separate
lawsuit the company operated as a sophisticated Ponzi scheme, using
money from new investors to pay off existing investors.

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