JPMorgan Chase announced Tuesday that some of its employees and customers may have abused the Paycheck Protection Program and other coronavirus stimulus programs.
The New York-based bank said it was working with law enforcement in some cases, although a memo sent to employees did not specify how many employees may have unethically abused the programs or what exactly they did. The bank declined to comment beyond the memo.
"Unfortunately, we have also identified behavior that is not in line with our business and ethical principles – and possibly even illegal," the memo said.
JPMorgan, the country's largest bank by assets, was also the country's largest participant in the paycheck protection program. The program, which was passed in the first few weeks of the pandemic, was intended to provide small businesses with futile loans to be used to cover payroll and other basic operating expenses when the nation stopped fighting the spread of the virus.
Hundreds of billions of dollars were awarded into the program, but the program also had some controversial elements. Some large publicly traded companies received loans even though they were likely able to get the money from private sources of finance. So do large organizations like the Roman Catholic Church in the United States.
The JPMorgan memo simply states that the bank has "discovered cases of customers who have abused paycheck protection loans, unemployment benefits and other government programs" and that "some employees have also been neglected."