U.S. billionaire Len Blavatnik filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase
Blavatnik's lawyers blame Ted Ufferfilge, a JPMorgan banker appointed to manage the assets for Access, for losing $98 million of the company's money betting on risky subprime mortgage securities, according to court documents.
JPMorgan and Mr. Ufferfilge implemented a series of ill-conceived investment strategies, wrote Access' law firm, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, in the complaint.
The lawsuit contends that Access hired JPMorgan to manage the investment account, called CMMF, with conservative objectives and specific diversification and liquidity requirements.
Instead, the bank and Ufferfilge invested the fund in risky and illiquid mortgage-related securities.
JPMorgan and Mr. Ufferfilge made the reckless and unnecessary decision to saturate CMMF's portfolio with the riskiest and most illiquid residential real estate securities, according to the lawsuit.
These investments for Access were made at the same time as companies affiliated with JPMorgan were dumping similar real estate securities from their own portfolios, the lawsuit says.
JPMorgan intends to contest the lawsuit.
We believe this case is without merit, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan said. We intend to defend it vigorously.
JPMorgan has hired the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to represent it in the case, she added.
CMMF had tried to resolve the matter with JPMorgan without litigation, but it was unable to do so, said a spokesman for Access in an emailed statement.
The case is: CMMF LLC vs. J.P. Morgan Investment Management, New York State Supreme Court (New York County), no. 09-601924.
(Reporting by Chakradhar Adusumilli in Bangalore and Elinor Comlay in New York; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Tim Dobbyn)