NEW YORK Jan 20 A former JPMorgan Chase & Co
executive who ran the banks operations in Asia was
questioned by FBI agents late last year about a bribery probe
related to the bank's hiring practices, Bloomberg reported on
Monday, citing a person briefed on the matter.
Gaby Abdelnour, who left the bank in 2012, was questioned by
the investigators in a New York-area airport, the report said.
According to the report, Abdelnour and JP Morgan have not been
accused of wrongdoing.
Abdelnour could not be immediately reached for comment. JP
Morgan declined to comment.
U.S. authorities' interest in the hiring practices of banks
operating in China first came to light in August when media
reports disclosed that the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission was looking at whether JPMorgan's Hong Kong office
hired the children of powerful heads of state-owned companies in
China with the express purpose of winning underwriting business
and other contracts.
The U.S. Justice Department is also looking at conducting an
industry-wide investigation into whether banks' hiring practices
in China breached U.S. bribery laws, according to people
familiar with the matter.
Abdelnour headed the bank's Asia operations between July
2006 and 2012, and focused, in part, on building the bank's
operations in China. In that time its Asia revenue doubled and
net earnings tripled.
Abdelnour joined JP Morgan in 1998 having worked at Merrill
Lynch in Hong Kong and Singapore, and before that at Bankers