By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 19, 2014
Kenneth Bellando, age 28, was found outside his East Side apartment building on March 12 in what the New York Post is calling “an apparent suicide” despite an ongoing police investigation into the matter. The building from which Bellando allegedly jumped was only six stories – by no means ensuring that death would result – providing the police with an additional reason to investigate for foul play.
The young Bellando, who had previously worked for JPMorgan Chase himself, was the brother of John Bellando, who was named in the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations’ report on how JPMorgan had hid losses and lied to regulators in the London Whale derivatives trading debacle that resulted in losses of at least $6.2 billion. Congressional outrage was heightened by the fact that JPMorgan was gambling in London in high risk and illiquid derivatives using deposits from its FDIC insured bank, not with its own capital.
At the time of the London Whale investigation in the U.S. Senate, John Bellando’s job title was “Associate” at JPMorgan. In September of last year, the same month that JPMorgan settled the London Whale matter with four sets of regulators for $920 million, John Bellando was promoted to Vice President, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is still doing much of the same work he did during the buildup of the London Whale derivative positions, which includes: developing and presenting “key risk analytic reports for senior treasury management, business partners, various risk committees and regulators…”
John Bellando has worked for JPMorgan since 2008, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers where he had worked as an analyst in fixed income operations.
According to the Senate investigation, John Bellando had been providing monthly valuation reports on the derivative trades to James Hohl, an examiner in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the regulator of national banks. But during a critical period in the London Whale episode, February and March of 2012, John Bellando did not send the reports to Hohl. The missing reports were noticed by Hohl on April 13, 2012 at 11:49 a.m. when he emailed Bellando asking for them.
Bellando responded in an email to Hohl at 5:58 p.m. that day, writing:
Hi James –
Apologies for not distributing the February valuation work. I just sent the February and March reports.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
The Senate report summed up the two months of missing reports as follows in its more than 300-page investigative report:
“A second type of report that the bank routinely provided to the OCC was the CIO’s [Chief Investment Office] Valuation Control Group (VCG) reports, which were monthly reports containing verified valuations of its portfolio assets. The OCC used these reports to track the performance of the CIO investment portfolios. But in 2012, the OCC told the Subcommittee that the CIO VCG reports for February and March failed to arrive. These are the same months during which it was later discovered that the CIO had mismarked the SCP [Synthetic Credit Portfolio] book to hide the extent of its losses. On April 13, 2012, after the London whale trades appeared in the press, the OCC requested copies of the February and March VCG reports, which were provided on the same day. Again, it is difficult to understand how the bank could have failed to provide those basic reports on a timely basis, and how the OCC could have failed to notice, for two months, that the reports had not arrived. Moreover, when the March VCG report was later revised to increase the SCP liquidity reserve by roughly fivefold, that revised report was not provided to the OCC until May 17.”
Kenneth Bellando is now the third young man who has died suddenly this year with ties to JPMorgan whom the New York Post is reporting as taking their life by jumping from a building: Gabriel Magee, 39, a JPMorgan Vice President, from the 33-story London offices of the bank on January 28; and Dennis Li Junjie, a 33-year old accountant in JPMorgan’s Hong Kong office, said to have jumped from that 30-story building on February 18.
The New York Post writes the following about Magee: “Gabriel Magee, 39, a vice president with JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank technology arm in the UK, jumped to his death from the roof of the bank’s 33-story Canary Wharf tower in London.”
In fact, the cause of Magee’s death has yet to be determined. A formal Coroner’s inquest into the matter will be held in May in London.
Suicides by leaping from tall buildings are extremely rare. Using data from the New York City Department of Health, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2010 that during 2008, the most stressful year of the financial crisis on Wall Street, when tens of thousands of workers were fired and century old iconic investment banks collapsed, there were “473 people who committed suicide in the city in 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available; 93, just under 20%, did so by leaping to their deaths.”
New York City (Manhattan and boroughs) has a population of approximately 8 million. The 93 deaths resulting from leaping from skyscrapers represents .000011625 of the population. That makes the three alleged leaps by individuals tied to JPMorgan in less than two months a statistical improbability given that JPMorgan’s global workforce population is just 260,000.
Other young men employed by JPMorgan are dying sudden, unusual deaths as well. On December 7 of last year, Joseph M. Ambrosio, 34, who worked in the finance department of JPMorgan in Menlo Park, New Jersey, was rushed to the Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy where he died of Acute Respiratory Syndrome according to an immediate family member. He had no related illness to account for the sudden death.
Eight days later, on December 15, 2013, Jason Alan Salais, also 34, a technology specialist for JPMorgan, died from a sudden heart attack outside a Walgreens in Pearland, Texas.
And the toxicology report for Ryan Crane, 37, an equity trader at JPMorgan in Manhattan who died suddenly at his home in Stamford, Connecticut on February 3 of this year has still not come back according to a call placed yesterday by Wall Street On Parade to the Chief Medical Examiner’s office in Connecticut.