JPMorgan ordered to pay $50m damages to Russian billionaire

WALL Street investment bank JPMorgan has been told to pay more than $50 million (£32 million) in damages to Russian billionaire Leonard Blavatnik.

A New York court ruled that the bank was liable for stuffing an investment account held by Blavatnik with risky subprime mortgage securities. In a decision made public yesterday, New York State Supreme Court Justice Melvin Schweitzer said JPMorgan breached its contract with Blavatnik's investment fund, CMMF LLC. He ordered the bank to pay $42 million plus 5% annual interest dating back to May 2008.

Blavatnik is worth about $16 billion, making him the world's 44th richest person, according to Forbes magazine. He said: "There are a lot of people out there who, I understand, feel they have been wronged by JPMorgan but cannot afford to take on a huge bank. They shouldn't have to."

JPMorgan, which is also dealing with last year's London Whale trading scandal, said: "We respectfully disagree with the court's interpretation of our agreement with CMMF, and we are considering our options regarding that finding."