More good news for JPMorgan Chase, the investment bank which has paid $30 billion in fines in the last two years: the firm's ex-head of investment banking in China was recently arrested in Hong Kong by an anti-corruption agency in an investigation believed to be related to the bank's possibly-illegal nepotistic hiring practices.
The date of the arrest of 48-year-old Fang Fang—who left the bank in March—is not known. Nor is it known how long he was detained, if at all. But New York Times sources confirmed a report in the Beijing-based financial news outlet Caixin that says Fang is unable to leave Hong Kong. The Times is also reporting that his broker's license was either cancelled or surrendered on March 24.
JPMorgan Chase has been under months-long scrutiny by officials in both China and the United States regarding its hiring of the children of influential Chinese government and business officials. If the bank is found to have made hires in order to secure business, it could be in violation of several laws in each country.
Fang, emails show, had central knowledge of the firm's "Sons and Daughters" program, which is accused of being used as the hub for hiring the kids of Chinese officials:
Mr. Fang was one of several JPMorgan executives whose emails discussing hiring practices were turned over to the United States authorities by the bank. In one of them, he wrote: ''You all know I have always been a big believer of the Sons and Daughters program — it almost has a linear relationship'' with winning assignments to advise Chinese companies.
Charges have not yet been brought against Fang, but the severity of the situation is not lost on him. When reached by the Times, he inquired whether they had called him to see if he was still alive.
[image via Getty]