JPMorgan Agrees to Settle With Jeffrey Epstein Victims

JPMorgan Agrees to Settle With Jeffrey Epstein Victims
The headquarters of JPMorgan Chase bank in midtown Manhattan in New York on July 13, 2012. (John Moore/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber
6/12/2023
Updated:
6/12/2023
0:00

JPMorgan Chase has reached a settlement with women who say they were abused by Jeffrey Epstein, the bank and the women said on June 12.

The parties said in a joint statement that they’ve notified a federal court in New York that they’ve “reached an agreement in principle” to settle a lawsuit filed in 2022 by women who accused the bank of facilitating Epstein’s sex trafficking operation.

The settlement is subject to approval by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, the Clinton appointee overseeing the case.

“We all now understand that Epstein’s behavior was monstrous, and we believe this settlement is in the best interest of all parties, especially the survivors, who suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of this man,” a spokeswoman for JPMorgan Chase told The Epoch Times via email.

“Any association with him was a mistake and we regret it. We would never have continued to do business with him if we believed he was using our bank in any way to help commit heinous crimes.”

David Boies, a lawyer representing the women, told The Epoch Times in an email: “While the road to justice for the survivors of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring has been too long, and we are not yet at its end, the historic recovery from JPMorgan, individually and in combination with our earlier recovery from Deutsche Bank, is another important step in achieving the vindication, recognition, and compensation they deserve.”

The specifics of the agreement weren’t disclosed.

“JPMorgan has requested that we not reveal the actual amount of the settlement (which is large), and for the moment, we are honoring that request,” Boies said.

Deutsche Bank, which was sued by the same women, in May agreed to pay $75 million to settle the related suit against it.
Rakoff had ruled this year that the banks could be liable for Epstein’s sex trafficking.

“Plaintiffs have pled sufficient facts to support their allegations that JP Morgan had ... knowledge of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking venture, either directly or by recklessly disregarding what was plainly to be seen,” Rakoff said.

He also said the plaintiffs had presented facts to support allegations that “Deutsche Bank knew or recklessly disregarded that Jeffrey Epstein ran a sex-trafficking venture.”

Epstein died at age 66 in a federal jail cell in New York while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking minors. His death was ruled a suicide. Epstein was accused of trafficking underage girls for years, including at his residence in the borough of Manhattan.

The woman who brought the suit that’s being settled was described as a ballet dancer in New York who was groomed by Epstein and his associates. She said she was abused and trafficked by Epstein from 2006 to 2013.

U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services' sex offender registry on March 28, 2017. (New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services via Reuters)
U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services' sex offender registry on March 28, 2017. (New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services via Reuters)

Cases

The cases against JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank were brought by an unidentified woman dubbed Jane Doe 1 as a class action lawsuit. She said the banks violated federal law that bars sex trafficking conduct and state law that prohibits intentional and negligent acts that lead to injuries as a result of sex offenses.

The suit alleged that the banks knew that Epstein was regularly violating New York laws and “acted in a negligent manner so as to enable Epstein to commit such offenses against countless young women.”

Epstein had accounts at JPMorgan beginning in 2000. After a top executive, Jes Staley, who was close with Epstein, left in 2013, JPMorgan began closing the accounts.

Epstein then turned to Deutsche Bank for his banking needs.

Having accounts at the banks enabled Epstein “to expand his operation to the level it ultimately reached,” according to the complaints.

Epstein benefited from banking at the banks because it let him have easy access to money to pay women he abused and others while the banks were brought new customers by Epstein, the complaints state.

Before the settlement was reached, JPMorgan had asked the court to dismiss the case, arguing that the claims against it were “meritless.”

Don’t Affect Virgin Islands Suit

The settlements don’t affect a separate case brought by officials in the U.S. Virgin Islands against JPMorgan.

Virgin Islands officials said JPMorgan helped facilitate Epstein’s sex trafficking by providing banking services, noting that the services remained in place even after Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for prostitution.

A number of revelations have been uncovered as the case, also lodged in New York, has proceeded to discovery.

A U.S. congresswoman who was deposed as part of discovery revealed that she went to Epstein’s home in New York in 2018, just months before he was arrested.

Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.), the congresswoman, also said she sought donations from Epstein despite his being a registered sex offender.

Other materials, described in a filing by JPMorgan, show that Plaskett and other Virgin Islands officials, such as former first lady Cecile de Jongh “actively facilitated” Epstein’s trafficking, the bank alleged.

Among the materials: messages from de Jongh, who worked for Epstein while her husband was governor, talking about opposing legislation that would tighten laws on monitoring sex offenders.

JPMorgan also said the materials, most of which were entered under seal, show that Epstein paid for de Jongh’s children to go to private school.

De Jongh didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]
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