Charlie Javice is indicted for a ‘brazen scheme to defraud’ JPMorgan over its $175 million acquisition of her startup, Frank

May 18, 2023, 10:03 PM UTC
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.
Cyril Marcilhacy/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Frank founder Charlie Javice was formally indicted on charges that she defrauded JPMorgan Chase & Co. in its $175 million acquisition of the college financial planning site.

Javice was arrested on a criminal complaint in early April on charges that include conspiracy, wire fraud affecting a financial institution and bank fraud. Her indictment was posted on the court docket on Thursday.

Javice had been in talks with prosecutors to resolve the charges.

Prosecutors say Javice engaged in “a brazen scheme to defraud” JPMorgan, “lied directly to JPMC and fabricated data to support those lies — all in order to make over $45 million from the sale of her company.” She was arrested April 3 and is free on a $2 million bond.

Alex Spiro, a lawyer for Javice, didn’t respond to a request for comment on the indictment.

JPMorgan sued Javice for fraud in Delaware federal court in December, claiming she helped falsify records to show the site had more than 4 million customers when it actually had less than a tenth that number. JPMorgan has since shut down the Frank site.

Javice argues JPMorgan rushed to buy Frank without doing proper due diligence and was also trying to deflect attention from violations of student privacy laws. Spiro has called the suit “nothing but a cover” and said JPMorgan was just trying to “retrade the deal.”

A judge in Delaware earlier this month said JPMorgan must pay Javice’s legal bills in the lawsuit.

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