The non-profit group Better Markets filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department on Monday to block what it called an "unlawful" $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co over bad mortgage loans sold to investors before the financial crisis.
The record settlement, which was reached in November, does not release JPMorgan from potential criminal liability over the mortgages it packaged into bonds. But Better Markets said it was still appalled that the settlement gave the bank "blanket civil immunity" for its conduct without sufficient judicial review.
"The Wall Street bailouts were bad enough, but now taxpayers are being forced to accept a secretive backroom deal that may well have been another sweetheart deal," said Dennis Kelleher, chief executive of Better Markets.
"The Justice Department cannot act as prosecutor, jury and judge and extract $13 billion in exchange for blanket civil immunity to the largest, richest, most politically connected bank on Wall Street," he said.