Working through a long list of legal problems, JPMorgan Chase is starting the new year with another steep payout to the government.
The bank plans to reach as soon as this week roughly $2 billion in criminal and civil settlements with federal authorities who suspect that it ignored signs of Bernard L. Madoff's Ponzi scheme, according to people briefed on the case.
(Read more: Feds probe JPMorgan interference in Madoff case)
All told, after reaching the Madoff settlements with federal prosecutors in Manhattan and regulators in Washington, the bank will have paid some $20 billion to resolve government investigations over the last 12 months
JPMorgan's Madoff settlements, the people briefed on the case said, would also involve a so-called deferred prosecution agreement, a criminal action that would essentially suspend an indictment as long as JPMorgan acknowledged the facts of the government's case and changed its behavior. The agreement, nearly unheard-of for a giant American bank and typically employed only when misconduct is extreme, underscores the magnitude of the case against JPMorgan.