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Warrant issued for Mexico chief of JPMorgan investment bank

Real estate developer alleges fraud in case of US $87-million loan

A judge in Acapulco has issued an arrest warrant for the head of the Mexico office of the United States investment bank JPMorgan Chase in a decade-old fraud case.

Eduardo Cepeda Fernández, who has been with the company for 30 years, and former managing director Miguel Ángel Barbosa Machado have been accused by the Mexican real estate developer BVG World of fraud in connection with a 2007 credit line for US $87 million.

As a guarantee for the loan, BVG World agreed to put properties into a trust controlled by JPMorgan. It was to sell the properties to recoup the money owed and pay the rest to BVG World.

The lawyer representing the real estate company said in a statement that an investigation started two years ago found that JPMorgan had intended all along to keep the real estate.

Javier Guerra González said the complaint against JPMorgan and Cepeda was filed in Acapulco because a significant number of properties in the trust are located there.

JPMorgan said Cepeda had the bank’s full confidence. “The accusations have no merit. We are working with our lawyers to respond to this demand and for justice to be served.” It said it also supported Barbosa.

The bank also said that BVG World is overdue on its loan payments and was attempting to exert pressure on JPMorgan with “baseless accusations” and trying to avoid its legal obligations by starting the criminal process.

Yesterday, BVG World and its owner, Elías Sacal Cababie, filed a US $1.2-billion lawsuit in New York against the bank, accusing it of fraud, unjust enrichment, defamation, civil racketeering and other crimes.

Source: El Universal (sp), Financial Times (en), Reuters (en)

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