NEW YORK — A new lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co. relies on a jailhouse interview with Bernard Madoff to bolster claims that top bank executives for many years questioned Madoff about concerns, but always backed off.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court. In the lawsuit, lawyers for two pension funds quoted Madoff from an in-person interview conducted last fall in North Carolina where Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence.

The lawsuit said top JPMorgan executives confronted Madoff in the 1990s and through the next decade, too. But the lawsuit said they usually raised their concerns “as an afterthought” at the end of meetings.

A Chase spokeswoman did not immediately return a message for comment. JPMorgan agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges stemming from Madoff’s fraud.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.