An investigation agency in India said it had preliminary evidence that units of JPMorgan Chase & Co. were involved in crimes generating Rs 187 crore ($24 million) in proceeds, raising the stakes in a months-long money laundering probe.
The anti-money laundering agency Enforcement Directorate informed the Supreme Court on Friday about the findings as part of an investigation into JPMorgan's alleged role in financing the Amrapali group, once among India's largest real estate companies. Assets belonging to the JPMorgan unit, including bank accounts, could be seized, according to the order posted on the court's website Friday, formalizing a ruling it first made in January.
"We are aware of the claims made against JPMorgan in court and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves against them," JPMorgan's India spokeswoman Mollica Senapati said in an email. She didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment about the amount of alleged criminal proceeds, which the agency raised from an estimate of Rs 140 crore at the probe's outset last year.
The Amrapali investigation emerged after a series of petitions by home buyers frustrated over unfinished housing projects. The court last year scrapped Amrapali's registration under real estate laws and directed government-owned NBCC India to complete all incomplete projects.
The court will next hear the Amrapali case on May 27.