The victim who attended private school while dad worked at Goldman

“How Charlie Javice Got JPMorgan to Pay $175 Million for … What Exactly” (NYT, January 21) gives us a window into the thinking of America’s best journalists and also the folks who say that they can beat the S&P 500 with their investment acumen. NYT:

When JPMorgan Chase paid $175 million to acquire a college financial planning company called Frank in September 2021, it heralded the “unique opportunity for deeper engagement” with the five million students Frank worked with at more than 6,000 American institutions of higher education.

“To cash in, Javice decided to lie,” the suit said. “Including lying about Frank’s success, Frank’s size and the depth of Frank’s market penetration.” Ms. Javice, through her lawyer, has said the bank’s claims are untrue.

JPMorgan’s legal filing reads like pulp nonfiction, with jaw-dropping accusations. Among them: that Ms. Javice and Olivier Amar, Frank’s chief growth and acquisition officer, faked their customer list and hired a data science professor to help pull the wool over the eyes of the bank’s due-diligence team.

When Frank was born, in 2016, Ms. Javice was 24 years old, displayed great media savvy and claimed to have real-world experience with financial aid and the struggle to pay for college. “It’s grueling, it’s emotional,” she told The Daily Pennsylvanian, a student newspaper at the University of Pennsylvania, adding that her mother would frequently cry while talking to financial aid officers.

Ms. Javice’s personal story — and pledge to cut through the painful thicket of government forms, jargon and regulations surrounding the aid process — must have made compelling reading for angel investors and venture capitalists. Especially those who have little firsthand knowledge of how financial aid actually works.

Ms. Javice’s career helping others began, in her telling, on the border of Thailand and Myanmar. She spent time volunteering there one summer, between terms at her private high school in Westchester County, N.Y.

Ms. Javice has said she needed help herself while she was an undergraduate at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she quickly drew notice by appearing on Fast Company’s 2011 list of the 100 most creative people in business.

There, she was on financial aid, and she found the forms confusing. So did her parents, according to an interview she gave to Diversity Woman magazine — including her father, Didier, who has worked on Wall Street for more than 35 years, with 11 years at Goldman Sachs and three at Merrill Lynch, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Ms. Javice appeared on the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 finance list. Then she made the Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40 list. “Javice has done her homework,” the Crain’s article said.

In other words, the smartest people at Penn, in American business journalism, and on Wall Street accepted that someone who attended “private high school” while Dad worked at Goldman was a rags-to-riches heroine and a member of two victimhood classes: women and poor people.

(Separately, can the New York Times sue Diversity Woman magazine for trademark infringement?


  • Equity Funding fraud, in which Californians with a mainframe computer generated fictitious insurance policies (movie version stars suppressed-on-Twitter coronaheretic James Woods!); a good reminder that California was famous for fraud before it became famous for righteousness, lockdowns, school closures, mask orders, vaccine papers checks, and homeless encampments!
  • “Why Women-Owned Startups Are a Better Bet” (from the big Harvard MBA brains at Boston Consulting Group) says that all you need to do to outperform the S&P 500 is invest in female-founded companies such as Ms. Javice’s: “businesses founded by women ultimately deliver higher revenue—more than twice as much per dollar invested—than those founded by men”

10 thoughts on “The victim who attended private school while dad worked at Goldman

  1. It’s always fun to read a story where everyone comes off badly. Her fraud was brazen, sure, but she does deserve some credit for getting Chase to pay $175m for what amounted to an email list and an affiliate marketing website. Someone had to have ignored a lot of red flags to sign off on this deal.

    (Separately, I do wonder what percentage of people on “30 under 30” and “40 under 40” lists end up bankrupt, in jail or otherwise disgraced. It has to be a pretty significant percentage.)

  2. I just keep thinking of the term “Normalization of Deviance.” Everywhere you look today, you have people who once would be respectable pillars of their professions and communities who are all looking for the best opportunity under our slippery rules of situational ethics and morality – to plan their “big score” and f*** the dupes and investors however they can.

    I ask myself: are all these episodes just being reported better because of the Internet, and so my sense is an artifact of being constantly reminded, or are people just really turning into a giant collection of ethically debased slimeballs?

  3. I don’t know if it’s bad or good that Wall Streeters’ kids need/get financial aid.
    I suppose all the elite institutions are moving to an approach (like health care) where the prices are so nuts that nobody except the careless rich actually pay full price.

    • It doesn’t surprise me that Florida ranks low in affordability. People earn money all over the world and then bring it to Florida because they enjoy sunshine/recreation (pre-2020) or the freedom to walk outside their homes (post-2020). See for example. If the scores factors in housing cost vs. salaries for wage slaves, Florida is not going to do well because the houses are bid up by people who’ve earned money in other places.

  4. I’m really sick and tired of companies that make acquisitions without performing adequate due diligence, then later claim they were defrauded when the acquisition doesn’t work out. HP/Autonomy is probably the best example.


    • Well, quite a few of these strangely due diligence-deficient M&As are, in fact, paybacks for previous favors. All quite legal, of course.

      I once saw 17 slides (which was the sum total of company’s assets) being acquired for $40M cash. Stixk around doing business in high-tech and you will observe many strange things… and you will end up as a jaded cynic, with a very dim view of human nature.

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