Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase

A Wilmington, Del. Law firm has expanded the class action lawsuit filed against JPMorgan Chase relating to losses in speculative trading by its London-based investment team.

The new suit seeks damages for securities fraud for investors who purchased JPMorgan stock from Feb. 24, 2010 to May 10, 2012.

This expands the suit to include investors who purchased the bank holding company’s stock from one month to more than two years. Earlier suits had sought redress only for investors who purchased the stock from April 13, 2012 to May 14, 2012.

The suit was filed by Grant & Eisenhofer P.A., in federal court for the southern district of New York. Grant & Eisenhofer represents the Louisiana Municipal Police Employees Retirement System, and seeks to be named lead plaintiff in the case.

The suit is captioned Smith v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., et al., Case No. 12-cv-3852 (GBD) (S.D.N.Y.). The deadline for class members to move to serve as lead plaintiff is July 13, 2012.

The suit stems from losses sustained on the purchase of securities allegedly to hedge the holding company from losses on trading in volatile European sovereign securities.

Estimates on the losses range from $2 billion to $5 billion.

The suit alleges that JPMorgan and certain officers violated provisions of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 by misrepresenting the high-risk trading activities conducted by its Chief Investment Office, headquartered in London.

The suit also alleges concealing the extent of the risk as well as misrepresentation.

The suit asserts that JPMorgan did not come clean on the losses until May 10, 2012, following the close of the markets, when the Company filed its Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2012.

Disclosure of the losses caused JPMorgan’s stock to drop “precipitously” the day after the losses were disclosed, down 9.3%, on high trading volume. 

The blunder is germane to the insurance industry because of its relation to the Volcker Rule which, if fully implemented, some argue would kept the losses from happening. 

The suit alleges that the decline reduced the value of JPMorgan’s stock by $14.4 billion.