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The Associated Press July 7, 2011, 12:11PM ET

JPMorgan pays $228M to settle bid-rigging charges

A JPMorgan unit is paying $228 million to settle civil fraud charges that it rigged dozens of bidding competitions to win business from cities and counties.

The Securities and Exchange Commission says J.P. Morgan Securities LLC made secret deals with companies handling the bidding process that allowed them to peek at competitors' offers. Banks help municipalities invest the money so they can earn interest before paying for projects.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department's investigation into the issue. Bank of America and UBS have agreed to similar settlements.

The settlement with JPMorgan covers charges brought by the SEC, the Internal Revenue Service, bank regulators and 25 state attorneys general.

JPMorgan blames the wrongdoing on former employees and a division that has closed.

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