WASHINGTON (AP) - JPMorgan Chase & Co. is paying more than $700
million to settle federal regulators' charges it made unlawful payments to friends of public officials to win municipal bond business in Jefferson County, Ala.
The scandal over the county's $3.9 billion debt has pushed it to the brink of filing what would be the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement with JPMorgan, which canceled interest-rate swap contracts with the county worth $700 million in March.
The Wall Street bank did not admit or deny the SEC allegations in agreeing to pay a $25 million civil fine, a $50 million payment to the county and to forfeit $647 million in termination fees it claims the county owes from the canceled swap agreements.