JPMorgan $13 Billion Accord Would Join Largest U.S. Pacts

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is preparing to pay $13 billion to end U.S. civil probes of its mortgage-bond sales, an amount that ranks among the largest settlements by a single company and dwarfs fines previously imposed by the Justice Department. Past accords include:

-- The $246 billion settlement by the biggest U.S. tobacco companies in 1998 to resolve state government claims for the costs of treating sick smokers. Philip Morris Cos. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. were among firms that reached agreement with 50 state attorneys general to pay out the money over 25 years, scale back marketing and take steps to reduce youth smoking.

-- Pledges by Wall Street firms including UBS AG and Citigroup Inc. to repurchase more than $50 billion of auction-rate securities to settle state and federal complaints. Firms allegedly touted the instruments as safe, cash-like investments before the $330 billion market froze in February 2008, stranding investors who could no longer sell their holdings. The accords returned more than $67 billion to investors, the Securities and Exchange Commission has said.

-- The $25 billion in payments and relief for troubled borrowers that five U.S. lenders -- JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co. and Ally Financial Inc. -- pledged to resolve probes into mishandled foreclosures as part of a February 2012 deal with federal regulators and state attorneys general.

-- BP Plc’s $4.53 billion in settlements last year with the Justice Department and SEC, including a $1.26 billion criminal fine, relating to the April 2010 Macondo well blowout and explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers and set off the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

In 2010, BP promised President Barack Obama it would set up a $20 billion trust fund for claims and costs. The company has so far spent at least $26 billion on the cleanup, reimbursements and other payments, and booked more than $42 billion in pretax charges related to the spill, according to statements on its website.

-- GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s $3 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations that it illegally promoted prescription drugs and failed to report safety data. The July 2012 settlement, the largest ever in a health-care fraud case in the U.S., included a $956.8 million criminal fine.

-- Pfizer Inc.’s $2.3 billion settlement in 2009, which included a $1.2 billion criminal fine, for illegally marketing the anti-inflammatory drug Bextra for uses that the Food and Drug Administration specifically had declined to approve because of safety concerns. The criminal fine was the largest ever imposed in the U.S. for any matter, then-Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli said at the time.

-- HSBC Holdings Plc’s $1.9 billion deal to resolve charges it enabled Latin American drug cartels to launder billions of dollars. The bank, Europe’s largest by market value, agreed to pay a $1.25 billion forfeiture and $665 million in civil penalties.

-- UBS $1.2 billion in fines from the Justice Department and Commodity Futures Trading Commission for trying to rig the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, a benchmark for more than $300 trillion of financial products worldwide. The bank also agreed to pay 160 million pounds ($259 million) to the U.K. Financial Services Authority, the largest fine imposed by the regulator, and disgorge 59 million francs ($65.3 million) in estimated profits to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.

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