Three New JPMorgan IT Deaths Include Alleged Murder-Suicide
By Russ Martens and Pam Martens: July 14, 2014
Since December of last year, JPMorgan Chase has been experiencing tragic, sudden deaths of workers on a scale which sets it alarmingly apart from other Wall Street mega banks. Adding to the concern generated by the deaths is the recent revelation that JPMorgan has an estimated $180 billion of life insurance in force on its current and former workers.
Making worldwide news last week was the violent deaths of JPMorgan technology executive Julian Knott and his wife, Alita, ages 45 and 47, respectively, in Jefferson Township, New Jersey. However, two other recent, sudden deaths of technology workers at JPMorgan have gone unreported by the media.
The bodies of the Knott couple, who have a teenage daughter and two teenage sons, were discovered by police on July 6, 2014 at approximately 1:12 a.m. According to a press release issued by the Morris County Prosecutor’s office, Jefferson Township Police Officers Tim Hecht and Dave Wroblewski responded to the Knott home located in the Lake Hopatcong section following a “report of two unconscious adults.”
Who made the call to police and whether the children were home at the time has not been announced by the police or the prosecutor’s office. After a preliminary investigation, the police announced on July 8 that they believe Julian Knott shot his wife repeatedly and then took his own life with the same gun.
Friends and colleagues say Julian Knott was a kind and thoughtful individual. The idea that he would orphan his three teenage children, leaving them with the memory of the brutal murder of their mother at the hands of a father they loved and trusted, is causing shock and disbelief among relatives and friends in the U.K.
The Morris County Prosecutor’s office has said the “investigation is ongoing” and anyone with information is asked to contact First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Knott had worked on JPMorgan computer networks in London since 2001, initially on behalf of Computer Science Corporation and, later, IBM, according to his LinkedIn profile. In January 2006, Knott formally joined JPMorgan Chase in London and worked there until July 2010. At that time, Knott transferred to JPMorgan’s sprawling operations in Columbus, Ohio and eventually rose to the rank of Technical Director of the Global Tier 3 Network Operations. Knott relocated again in September 2012 in order to work at the high tech Global Network Operations Center of JPMorgan in Whippany, New Jersey. He received a promotion in January 2014 to Executive Director.
Knott’s years at JPMorgan in London overlapped with those of Gabriel Magee, a JPMorgan Vice President who worked in computer infrastructure. Magee, aged 39, is alleged to have leaped from the rooftop of the 33-story JPMorgan London headquarters at 25 Bank Street on the evening of January 27, 2014 or the morning of January 28, 2014. Despite initial London newspaper reports that the jump was observed by “thousands of commuters” and JPMorgan colleagues, the coroner’s inquest on May 20 of this year revealed that not one eyewitness actually saw Magee leap from the building. Nonetheless, based on evidence produced internally by JPMorgan, the coroner ruled that Magee’s death was a suicide.
Six weeks before Magee’s tragic death, another sudden death of a technology worker at JPMorgan Chase occurred in Pearland, Texas. Jason Alan Salais, age 34, was standing outside a Walgreens on the evening of December 15 and died of a sudden heart attack according to a family member. Prior to joining JPMorgan in 2008, Salais had worked as a Client Software Technician at SunGard and a UNIX Systems Analyst at Logix Communications. Wall Street On Parade previously reported on the death of Salais.
|Richard (Rich) Gravino: From
Public Facebook Page
Just 13 days before Julian and Alita Knott were found dead in their home, another highly skilled technology worker at JPMorgan died suddenly. This death has not previously been reported by the media. Richard Gravino, age 49, was an Application Development Team Lead for JPMorgan in Tampa, Florida. His death occurred on June 24, 2014 at his home in Riverview, Florida. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s office said the cause of death is “pending” with toxicology tests not expected back for 8 to 12 weeks.
Gravino had an extensive and accomplished career in the computer technology field. Previous employers included Motorola and HSBC bank where he was a Senior Technical Consultant.
|Thomas James Schenkman: From
Public Condolences Page
In the month prior to Gravino’s death, on May 7, 2014, Thomas James Schenkman, age 42, died suddenly in Connecticut. (Schenkman’s death has not previously been reported by major media.) Schenkman held the high rank of Managing Director of Global Infrastructure Engineering for JPMorgan Chase and had a highly marketable resume. Schenkman began his technology career with Microsoft, where he worked for 11 years. He moved on to Goldman Sachs in 2000 and worked there for six years. In 2006, Schenkman moved to Bear Stearns and was there at the time of its collapse in March 2008. Schenkman had been with JPMorgan for the past six years.
According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Connecticut, which only gets involved in an investigation if the death is “sudden, unexpected, or violent,” the initial cause of Schenkman’s death was listed as “pending.” It has since been amended to read: “atherosclerotic coronary artery disease.”
This Chief Medical Examiner’s office is the same one that investigated the death of JPMorgan Executive Director, Ryan Crane, age 37, who died suddenly at his home in Stamford, Connecticut on February 3, 2014. The Medical Examiner did not release the cause of death for approximately three months, finally assigning it to ethanol toxicity/accident. Crane was not directly engaged in computer technology but his work in algorithmic trading may have led him to interact with various technology teams at JPMorgan.
The Justice Department, the FBI, Congressional committees and the New York State Attorney General’s office are currently investigating if the stock and futures markets have been rigged by some Wall Street firms using high speed computer technology in conjunction with algorithms deploying artificial intelligence. The investigations gained momentum after bestselling author, Michael Lewis, brought details of the allegations to light in his new book, Flash Boys, and shared the allegations with millions of Americans in a March 30 appearance on Sixty Minutes.
The sheer quantity and persistence of the sudden and/or violent deaths related to JPMorgan is raising eyebrows both in mainstream media and the internet. In addition to Magee, a JPMorgan employee in Hong Kong, 33-year old Dennis Li (Junjie) is alleged to have leaped to this death on February 18, 2014 from the 30-story Chater House office building where JPMorgan occupies the top floors. Days went by with no clarification from JPMorgan as to Li’s job function at the firm.