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JP Morgan fires trainees for cheating on basic math test

About a dozen trainees in JP Morgan’s New York office were fired after they were caught cheating on a “basic” math test.

The trainees at the investment bank were told to pay for their own flights home after they were caught cheating, the Telegraph reported Thursday.

Some of the trainees were British graduates.

“They were caught sneaking notes into the exam room or copying fellow trainees’ answers,” the Telegraph said.

Trainees in the competitive program often come from Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge.

JP Morgan staff told the Telegraph that “the accounting tests were unlikely to have been very difficult, but claimed cheating was commonplace.”

Another investment bank, Goldman Sachs, fired around 20 junior analysts in London and New York for the same cheating offense, the Telegraph said.

A JP Morgan source said the trainees “must have cheated in a pretty stupid, clumsy way for them to get caught  . . .  by either bringing notes into the room or looking at the other pupils’ work.”

The test covered basic math and economics and should have been easy for a university graduate to pass, the report said. “There is an accounting element to it. Sometimes it’s just putting things into a spreadsheet.”

A spokesman for JP Morgan said, “This behavior was entirely unacceptable and is not tolerated at our firm.”


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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  1. Perfectly understandable, so long as the "getting caught" was the problematic part of it all. It's an investment bank after all, their existence depends on cheating without getting caught.

  2. Arithmetical ineptitude in a high risk environment just does not add up??

  3. The arrogance of the top of the line university graduates… "I am so darn smart, I will not be caught." Very disappointing from an ethical perspective but to be commended for the confidence in which they strode into the exam room answers in hand.

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