The former head of investment banking in China at JP Morgan Chase has been arrested by Hong Kong’s anti-corruption agency, according to reports.
Fang Fang, 48, (pictured) isn’t in custody but can’t leave Hong Kong, the New York Times said, citing a report by the Chinese language Caixin business news service in Beijing.
The report didn’t provide details of the arrest but said Fang Fang was detained late Wednesday by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Fang left JPMorgan in March.
He’s been at the center of the investigation into the bank’s “sons and daughters” hiring program.
In August, JP Morgan opened an internal investigation that flagged more than 200 hires for review.
The DOJ and SEC are looking at whether hiring decisions were tied to specific business deals landed by the bank.
An internal email within JP Morgan reportedly talked about a job candidate whose father chaired state-controlled financial services firm China Everbright Group. The email talked about the “existing and potential business opportunities” that would result from hiring the potential recruit.
The FCPA prohibits giving or promising to give anything of value to a foreign official in order to obtain or retain business or gain an unfair advantage.
Hiring a family member or friend of a government official isn’t always a violation of the FCPA. But a hiring decision intended to reward or induce an official to award work could be an offense.
JP Morgan also allegedly hired Fullmark Consultants, a firm run by former prime minister Wen Jiabao’s daughter, Wen Ruchun, also known as Lily Chang.
Her $75,000 per month role was allegedly to pull in deals from state-owned Chinese companies during a time that coincided with her father’s premiership.
The bank’s hiring practice was highly unpopular with some employees. Two whistleblowers reported it to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and to U.S. authorities.
Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.