West News Wire: The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that the CEO of a tech startup who was once regarded as a leading American businessperson had been detained and charged with fraud for supposedly defrauding J.P. Morgan Chase. 

According to the DOJ, Charlie Javice was detained in New Jersey on Monday night for lying about the number of clients her business served with its student debt assistance program. Javice had previously been recognized as one of Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” honorees. 

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, “She lied directly to JPMC and fabricated data to support those lies — all to make over $45 million from the sale of her company.” “This arrest should serve as a warning to company owners who exaggerate in order to advance their enterprises that their lies will be exposed, and this Office  will hold them accountable for putting their greed above the law.” 

A spokesperson for Javice said she denies the allegations and her lawyer declined to comment. 

The company, Frank, had been billed as a way to simplify the student loan application process. Javice is accused of fabricating data to make it appear as though the platform had millions more users in order to sell the company for $175 million. 

She is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, one count of wire fraud affecting a financial institution and one count of bank fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. She also faces one count of securities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 

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Javice enlisted the help of a data scientist to create a fake database that was used to convince JP Morgan Chase the platform had more than 4.25 million users, according to charging documents. The tech CEO also allegedly purchased real data on 4.25 million college students that she tried to pass off as her user data. 

Javice made an initial appearance in court on Tuesday, and she was released on a $2 million bond that restricts her to certain parts of New York and southern Florida. 


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