Charlie Javice, the founder of the college financial planning site Frank — which JPMorgan Chase bought and later shut down — pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.
Javice, who was arraigned Monday by video conference, had not entered a plea in the nearly seven weeks since she was arrested and released on a $2 million bond.
She was indicted Thursday.
JPMorgan acquired Frank for $175 million in September 2021, but sued Javice in December, claiming she vastly exaggerated the platform’s customer base in an attempt to persuade the bank to make a deal. The bank asserts Javice then created fake student accounts to back up her claims.
In pitch materials and verbal presentations, Javice claimed Frank had 4.25 million users, but the platform’s actual customer base numbered fewer than 300,000, JPMorgan said in its suit.
Javice has denied the allegations, and sued JPMorgan in Delaware Chancery Court, alleging the bank launched an internal investigation of the Frank deal and later fired her from her role as head of student solutions to get out of paying her a $20 million retention bonus.
The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission last month charged Javice on four counts. Javice has been in talks with prosecutors to settle the charges, according to a May 4 court filing seen by Bloomberg.
Javice’s case has seen at least two notable twists during her time in custody. Javice agreed, as part of the case, not to contact JPMorgan employees, but a magistrate judge later allowed her to be in touch with certain bank workers because the bank held her mortgage.
In another misfortune, Javice — shortly after JPMorgan put her on administrative leave — moved her money out of accounts with the bank because she “no longer wanted to bank with an entity that was retaliating against her,” she said last month.
But she transferred her money to Signature Bank, which would fail in March.
“As it happened, that timing was ill-fated,” Javice’s lawyer said, according to Bloomberg.