The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Charlie Javice, the founder of the now shuttered student loan assistance company previously known as Frank, with fraud in connection with the $175 million sale of the company to JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., (JPMC) in 2021. The SEC’s complaint alleges that Javice orchestrated a scheme to deceive JPMC into believing that Frank had access to valuable data on 4.25 million students who used Frank’s service when in reality the number was less than 300,000.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Javice made numerous misrepresentations about Frank’s purported millions of users to entice JPMC. As negotiations progressed, JPMC pressed the Frank executives for the data associated with its customers, and Javice allegedly sought the help of Frank’s director of engineering to generate synthetic data to make it appear as if Frank had 4.25 million customers. When the director refused to comply, Javice allegedly paid a data science professor to manufacture the data required to close the deal with JPMC.
The SEC’s investigation shows that, as a result of the eventual $175 million acquisition of Frank, Javice received $9.7 million directly in stock proceeds, millions more indirectly through trusts, and a contract entitling her to a $20 million retention bonus as a new employee of JPMC.
Source: SEC.gov | SEC Charges Founder of Frank with Fraud in Connection with $175 million Sale of Student Loan Assistance Company