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U.s. Steps Up Probe Of Jpmorgan Over Bear Stearns Mortgages - Sources

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http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/08/09/uk-jpmorgan-probe-bear-idUKBRE97803O20130809

The U.S. Department of Justice has stepped up a probe in recent weeks into Bear Stearns mortgage dealings in the run-up to the financial crisis, adding to JPMorgan Chase & Co's legal problems, according to three sources familiar with the situation.

JPMorgan bought failing Bear Stearns with government encouragement during the financial crisis in 2008, but then became embroiled in private lawsuits by mortgage bond insurers alleging that home loans underlying securities were rotten from the start.

The probe, news of which was first reported by Reuters in February, has picked up steam in recent weeks. Justice Department officials have taken sworn testimony from at least three people, including former Bear Stearns employees, about mortgage-backed securities, according to one of the sources.

If this ends up on court rather than a back room deal it could get interesting.

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