JPMorgan Banker Backed $200 Million Madoff Loan in 2008

Daniel Bonventre (Bloomberg)

Daniel Bonventre (Bloomberg)

According to Bloomberg,

A former JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) banker who managed Bernard Madoff’s account said the con man was on track to receive a $200 million loan less than a month before his arrest if the request hadn’t been dropped.

Daniel Bonventre, one of five ex-Madoff employees on trial for allegedly aiding the fraud, asked JPMorgan in November 2008 to borrow twice Madoff’s credit limit of $100 million, with U.S. Treasuries as collateral, Mark Doctoroff, who left the bank last year, testified yesterday in federal court in Manhattan.

“They are doing well financially,” Doctoroff said of Madoff’s securities firm in an e-mail to JPMorgan’s credit department on Nov. 17, 2008. “They are looking at the current market as an opportunity to make investments, true to their value investing style.”

The five former employees are accused of helping Madoff hide his fraud from customers, banks and regulators for years, and getting rich in the process. It’s the first criminal trial stemming from the scheme, which prosecutors say started in the early 1970s and imploded at the peak of the financial crisis.

The loan was part of a last-ditch attempt by Madoff to  secure cash as his Ponzi scheme was collapsing and  Bonventre’s role in the application process was one of the  many examples of his involvement in the fraud, prosecutors  have said.

Doctoroff, who was Madoff’s relationship manager at the bank from about February 2008 until Madoff’s arrest in December that year, said he didn’t know at the time Madoff had a formal investment advisory unit — the center of the Ponzi scheme involving fake trades — or that Madoff’s JPMorgan account was used for that business.

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