By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
n the evening of Sunday, December 15 of last year, six weeks before the onset of the latest rash of tragic deaths of young men in their 30s employed at JPMorgan, the Pearland, Texas police received a call of a person in distress outside a Walgreens pharmacy at 6122 Broadway in Pearland. The individual in distress was Jason Alan Salais, a 34-year old Information Technology specialist who had worked at JPMorgan Chase since May 2008.
A family member confirmed to Wall Street On Parade that Salais died of a heart attack on the same evening the report of distress went in to the police. The incidence of heart attack or myocardial infarction among men aged 20 to 39 is one half of one percent of the population, according to the National Center for Health Statistics and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, based on 2007 to 2010 data, marking this as another unusual death at JPMorgan.
A person identifying himself as Dave Steiner wrote the following about Salais in the online condolence book provided by the funeral home: “My condolences to your entire family at the sudden passing of Jason. When I had the pleasure of interviewing Jason to be a part of the team at J.P. Morgan back in 2008, it was clear to me within just a few short minutes that he was a man of character, intelligence, work ethic, kindness and integrity. In the years that followed, and until the sad news of this week, I was witness to his hard work, the friendships he built, stories of his beloved family and of course baseball…”
According to the LinkedIn profile for Salais, he was engaged in Client Technology Service “L3 Operate Support” and previously “FXO Operate L2 Support” at JPMorgan. Prior to joining JPMorgan in 2008, Salais had worked as a Client Software Technician at SunGard and a UNIX Systems Analyst at Logix Communications.
Six weeks after the sudden death of Salais, Gabriel Magee, a 39-year old Vice President who was also engaged in Information Technology at JPMorgan, this time in London, died under extremely suspicious circumstances. A Coroner’s Inquest into the matter will be held on May 15 in London.
Family and friends report that Magee was a happy, healthy, vibrant young man who emailed his girlfriend on the evening of January 27 to say he was finishing up at work and would be home shortly. When he did not arrive, his girlfriend notified police and called local hospitals. According to the Metropolitan Police in London, at around 8:02 a.m. the next morning, workers looking out their windows saw Magee’s body lying on a 9th level rooftop that jutted out from the 33-story JPMorgan building in the Canary Wharf section of London.
London newspapers immediately called the death a suicide, initially suggesting that thousands of commuters had seen Magee jump from the 33rd level rooftop. When Wall Street On Parade pressed the Metropolitan Police on the issue of actual eyewitnesses who had seen Magee jump, the Police backed away from the suggestion that the fall had actually been observed by eyewitnesses.
Magee worked in the European headquarters for JPMorgan at 25 Bank Street in the borough of Tower Hamlets. Drawings and plans submitted by JPMorgan to the borough after it purchased the building for £495 million in 2010, show that the 9th floor roof is accessible “via the stair from level 8 within the existing Level 9 plant enclosure…”
According to Magee’s LinkedIn profile, his specific area of specialty at JPMorgan was “Technical architecture oversight for planning, development, and operation of systems for fixed income securities and interest rate derivatives.”
Two young employees engaged in computer technology dying in such a short span of time might seem bizarre at a bank. But JPMorgan is not just any bank when it comes to computer technology. According to Anish Bhimani, the Chief Information Risk Officer at JPMorgan Chase, in an interview published at the Information Networking Institute (INI) at Carnegie Mellon, JPMorgan has “more software developers than Google, and more technologists than Microsoft…we get to build things at scale that have never been done before.”
Let that sink in for a moment: a bank that has “more software developers than Google.” The growing concern in Congress is that America’s biggest bank by assets is now so complex in terms of derivative risks on and off its books and software programs that are incomprehensible to its regulators, that it could pose systemic risk to the U.S. economy in a replay of the Citigroup debacle of 2008.
Six days after the death of Magee, Ryan Crane, an Executive Director involved in trading at JPMorgan’s New York office, was found dead in his home in Stamford, Connecticut on February 3. No cause of death or circumstances surrounding the death has been released to the public. The Chief Medical Examiner’s office will only say that the cause of death is “pending” and final results will not be announced for several more weeks. Wall Street On Parade called the Stamford Police last week to ask for the police incident report. Under Connecticut sunshine laws that report should be available to the press. We were informed that if we were able to obtain the incident report, most information would likely be redacted.
Crane’s death on February 3 was not reported by any major media until February 13, ten days later, when Bloomberg News ran a brief story.
On February 18 of last week, again reports emerged of many witnesses having seen a 33-year old JPMorgan employee jump from the rooftop of a 30-story office building, Chater House, in Hong Kong where JPMorgan leases space. No eyewitnesses have been identified by name.
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