JP Morgan Chase has opened up a lawsuit against Charlie Javice, a young Wharton graduate the company claims snookered it out of $175 million with her financial services company. Her major backer and advocate? Another Wharton grad: Apollo Global Management CEO Marc Rowan, who is also a major donor to – you guessed it – the GOP.
Rowan, who frequently gives millions to Republican causes (see his OpenSecrets page) sunk $10 million into Javice’s startup and has served on its board of directors.
Yet it may all come crashing down.
The company, called Frank, was a platform for facilitating student loans, supposedly expediting and improving the process.
It targeted lower-income students and was intended to break the process down for them, demonstrating how much a loan would cost over time and pointing them toward potential scholarships they may have overlooked.
As initially reported by the Wall Street Journal, Javice first brought a potential deal to JP Morgan during the summer of 2021.
She said Frank had over 4 million users by that point. Chase now says that the actual number was around 300,000.
According to the lawsuit that the financial giant has filed, Charlie Javice and Olivier Amar, Frank’s Chief Growth Officer, paid a professor of data science to help them invent fake user lists, then bought another list of names from a marketing firm to supplement it.
JP Morgan then ponied up 175 million smackers to purchase Frank because, frankly, they’re what most people would call “idiots.”
This was a deal that your average Damon Runyon character on the street would have known smelled fishy.
Yet it wasn’t until the financial giant tried to email people on the list and found over 70% of the emails had bounced back that the execs there started to figure out that something might be up, and that they may in fact be the dumbest MF’s this side of the Rio Grande.
Javice’s attorney, Alex Spiro — who has also worked for Elon Musk dealing with fake Twitter accounts — says that the suit against Javice is spurious and that it is a retaliatory measure against his client, who just days prior brought a lawsuit of her own against Chase alleging that they had reneged on the deal and stopped making agreed-upon payments.
There is no indication at this point that Rowan or any other major investors were aware of any deception that may have taken place.
If the allegations are true, Javice may soon find herself in some rather poor company.
Sam Bankman-Fried ran FTX like a Ponzi scheme while donating millions upon millions to liberal causes and additional funds to candidates in both the GOP and the Democratic Party.
Perhaps a more direct comparison can be drawn, however, to a sweet-faced swindler who duped many a member of the GOP: now-convicted felon Elizabeth Holmes.
Holmes once hobnobbed with Henry Kissinger but come the end of April will be hobnobbing with the ladies of her federal prison facility.
Maybe another fraudster who has ripped off plenty of Republicans will soon be in a prison too. I won’t tell you his name, but it rhymes with Fronald Frump.
Overall, it’s clear that the best strategy for getting rich quick is to find a wealthy member of the GOP.
As is said, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”
Quick side note: For those of us old enough to remember and willing to hop on the Stupidity Nostalgia train, the entire episode is also reminiscent of a fellow named John Spano, who managed to temporarily buy the Long Island Islanders in the 1990s with not much more than some letterhead and a confident manner.
Maybe something like that can work again today.
Hey, Chase execs: Can I have $175 million? My name is John D. Rockefeller and I have a business card to prove it!
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