**Founder of Student Aid Startup Faces Fraud Charges for Tricking J.P. Morgan Chase**
The founder of student aid startup Frank, Charlie Javice, is facing criminal charges for allegedly tricking J.P. Morgan Chase into paying $175 million for her business. Javice and Olivier Amar, the company’s chief growth officer, appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Prosecutors claim that Javice and Amar created a fake data set to make it seem like Frank had over 4 million customers when in reality, it only had around 300,000 clients. Let’s delve into the details of this case.
**The Alleged Fraudulent Deal**
During a pretrial hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Micah Fergenson described the criminal charges against Charlie Javice and Olivier Amar. According to Fergenson, the deal between Frank and J.P. Morgan Chase was only finalized after Javice and Amar created a fake data set in response to the bank’s data validation request. This data set was meant to inflate the number of customers Frank had, making it appear to have over 4 million clients instead of the actual 300,000.
**Fake Data and Misleading Information**
Assistant U.S. Attorney Micah Fergenson claimed that Javice and Amar produced a substantial amount of data for J.P. Morgan Chase, but it was all fake. The pair allegedly paid $100,000 to obtain college student data with over 4 million names and contact information. However, when the bank tested around 400,000 of these entries, the response was disappointing. Many of the emails provided did not work, indicating the fraudulent nature of the data presented by Frank.
**Defense Arguments and Expected Evidence**
Javice’s attorney, Alex Spiro, expressed confidence that upcoming communications between J.P. Morgan Chase executives would support his client’s claims of innocence. Spiro argued that the prosecutors were merely repeating the claims made by J.P. Morgan Chase in their lawsuit against Javice. He further stated that the prosecution should collect evidence such as communications among the bank’s employees before bringing criminal charges.
In response, Assistant U.S. Attorney Micah Fergenson admitted that prosecutors still had to review hundreds of thousands of documents. Only when enough evidence is gathered and provided to the defense lawyers will a trial date be set. The next pretrial hearing is scheduled for August 15, and it is possible that a trial date will be determined at that time.
**No Comment from Olivier Amar’s Lawyers**
While Charlie Javice’s defense attorney spoke up during the hearing, lawyers for Olivier Amar did not immediately respond to requests for comment. It remains to be seen how Amar’s legal team will approach the case and what arguments they will present in his defense.
**Previous Arrest and Recognition**
Charlie Javice was arrested in April for her alleged involvement in the fraudulent scheme. Authorities claimed that she stood to gain $45 million from the deal with J.P. Morgan Chase. Javice was previously recognized for her work and appeared on the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list of young professionals with admirable careers.
**About Frank and its Mission**
Frank, also known as TAPD Inc., was founded by Charlie Javice in 2017. The company aimed to simplify the process of filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a government form used by students to apply for financial aid for college or graduate school. Frank provided an online platform to streamline this often-complicated process.
In conclusion, the founder of student aid startup Frank, Charlie Javice, is facing charges for allegedly tricking J.P. Morgan Chase into paying $175 million for her business. The prosecution claims that Javice and her co-defendant, Olivier Amar, created a fake data set to mislead the bank about Frank’s client base. The defense anticipates evidence that will support Javice’s innocence. The case is ongoing, and future developments will determine the trial date.