JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) will pay $1.42 billion in cash to resolve most of a lawsuit accusing it of draining Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. of critical liquidity in the final days before that investment bank’s September 2008 collapse. The settlement was made public last month, and requires approval by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman in Manhattan. It resolves the bulk of an $8.6 billion lawsuit accusing JPMorgan of exploiting its leverage as Lehman’s main “clearing” bank to siphon billions of dollars of collateral just before Lehman went bankrupt on Sept. 15, 2008, triggering a global financial crisis. Lehman’s creditors charged that JPMorgan did not need the collateral and extracted a windfall at their expense.
The settlement also resolves Lehman’s challenges to JPMorgan’s decision to close out thousands of derivatives trades following the bankruptcy. The accord would permit a further $1.496 billion to be distributed to the creditors, including a separate $76 million deposit. More than $105 billion has already been paid to Lehman’s unsecured creditors, Lehman has said.
Both sides settled nearly four months after U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan ruled for JPMorgan, saying the largest U.S. bank had no obligation to keep Lehman alive and did not defraud it into providing collateral. Once Wall Street’s fourth-largest bank, Lehman reported $639 billion of assets when it filed for Chapter 11 protection, making its bankruptcy by far the largest in U.S. history. Lehman emerged from bankruptcy in March 2012, and has since been winding down.
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