March 10, 2023

USA: US Judge On Thursday 3/9 Ordered JPMorgan Chase To Hand Over Documents Concerning CEO To US Virgin Islands For Their Lawsuit Accusing The Bank Of Aiding In Jeffrey Epstein’s Sex Trafficking.

Reuters News
written by Jonathan Stempel
Thursday March 9, 2023

NEW YORK - A U.S. judge on Thursday ordered JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) to hand over more documents concerning Chief Executive Jamie Dimon to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the territory's lawsuit accusing the bank of aiding in Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said the bank must turn over requested documents from 2015 to 2019, a period after JPMorgan had dropped Epstein as a client. Rakoff did not explain his reasoning in his one-sentence order.

JPMorgan declined to comment.

The U.S. Virgin Islands is seeking damages from JPMorgan for allegedly aiding in Epstein's sex trafficking by keeping him as a client, and missing red flags about his misconduct on Little St. James, a private island he owned.

Epstein had been a JPMorgan client from 2000 to 2013. He killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

The U.S. Virgin Islands has called Dimon "a likely source of relevant and unique information" about why JPMorgan kept Epstein on, and discussions on Epstein's referrals of prominent and wealthy potential clients.

JPMorgan countered by accusing the U.S. Virgin Islands of going on a "fishing expedition" after having obtained a "massive trove" of information in litigation in which the territory recovered more than $105 million from Epstein's estate.

Lawyers for the U.S. Virgin Islands did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Rakoff scheduled a March 16 conference in the case.

JPMorgan also faces a proposed class action over its ties to Epstein by Jane Doe 1, a former ballet dancer who said Epstein abused and trafficked her from 2006 to 2013.

On Wednesday, the bank filed two lawsuits accusing former private banking chief Jes Staley of "intentional and outrageous conduct" in concealing information about Epstein, with whom he had been friends.

JPMorgan wants Staley to reimburse it for damages it might incur in the other lawsuits, and return eight years of compensation.

Its lawsuits attempt to portray Staley as a "bad apple" solely at fault for the bank's relationship with Epstein, said Alison Taylor, a corporate governance professor at New York University's Stern School of Business.

The case is Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands v JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-10904.
The Financial Times
written by Joe Miller and Joshua Franklin in New York
Tuesday February 28, 2023

JPMorgan Chase is resisting attempts by lawyers to question Jamie Dimon under oath in litigation over the US bank’s decision to retain Jeffrey Epstein as a client for 15 years, although it has agreed for one of its longtime chief executive’s key lieutenants to be deposed.

In documents filed to a New York court on Tuesday, lawyers for the lender — which faces related lawsuits from an Epstein victim and the US Virgin Islands, where the late sex offender had a home — said they did not believe Dimon was an “appropriate deponent”.

Lawyers for JPMorgan did agree to find a date in March for a deposition of Mary Erdoes, the head of JPMorgan’s asset and wealth management division, where Epstein was a client. Erdoes remains one of the bank’s top executives.

They also agreed to find a date for lawyers to interview Mary Casey, another private banker at JPMorgan in the period before the lender eventually dropped Epstein as a client in 2013.

The developments come in two fast-moving civil cases that allege JPMorgan knowingly facilitated Epstein’s pay-offs to victims and accomplices who helped him recruit young girls.

Just days earlier, lawyers for both plaintiffs asked the court to compel JPMorgan to hand over more documents detailing Dimon’s communications, alleging that he played a role in deciding to keep banking Epstein despite numerous internal red flags about human trafficking.

An internal email cited by the US Virgin Islands’ complaint earlier this month reads: “I would count Epstein’s assets as a probable outflow for ’08 ($120mn or so?) as I can’t imagine it will stay (pending Dimon review).”

Last week, JPMorgan said: “We have found no evidence of, nor does [Dimon] recall, such a review.”

In its response filed to the court on Tuesday, JPMorgan claimed Dimon was “not relevant” to the US Virgin Islands’ case and added “he was not involved in any decisions regarding Epstein’s account”.

It said expanding the range of communications the bank was required to hand over “would increase the number of documents captured” by search terms “from at least 364,000 to at least 694,000”.

The filings on Tuesday also contained claims from lawyers for the US Virgin Islands that Jes Staley, the former JPMorgan executive who went on to lead UK bank Barclays, was personally involved in the decision to keep Epstein on as a client in 2008, even after Epstein was arrested for soliciting a minor in Florida.

The lawyers cited an internal JPMorgan exchange in which it was noted: “Jes Staley conferred with [then JPMorgan general counsel] Stephen Cutler and the decision was made to keep him . . . as a [private banking] client.”

They added Cutler “also was included in at least one rapid response meeting related to new information regarding Epstein’s human trafficking”.

Internal emails noted Epstein “will require re-approval by Steve Cutler if it is determined that the relationship will be retained”, according to an exchange cited in court filings.

JPMorgan declined to comment. Cutler and a lawyer for Staley did not respond to a request for comment.
The Guardian, UK
written by Rupert Neate Wealth correspondent
Thursday December 29, 2022

The US Virgin Islands is suing the bank JPMorgan Chase, accusing it of helping Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking of women and girls, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in New York.

The documents submitted by the US Virgin Islands’ (USVI) attorney general accuse JPMorgan of “turning a blind eye” to illegal activities committed by Epstein – a client of the bank – on his private island, Little St James, which is part of the Caribbean US territory.

The USVI attorney general, Denise George, said the bank should have known about the financier’s crimes and should have reported them as part of anti-money laundering laws.

“JPMorgan knowingly, negligently and unlawfully provided and pulled the levers through which recruiters and victims were paid and was indispensable to the operation and concealment of the Epstein trafficking enterprise,” the lawsuit states according to reports. “Human trafficking was the principal business of the accounts Epstein maintained at JPMorgan.”

JPMorgan declined to comment. However, a source familiar with the lawsuit sought to point out that the bank “ended its relationship with Epstein long before his ongoing misconduct became known”.

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages for violating sex-trafficking, bank-secrecy and consumer laws. It claims that the bank concealed “wire and cash transactions that raised suspicion of a criminal enterprise whose currency was the sexual servitude” of women and girls.

Epstein was found dead in a New York jail cell in 2019 where he was being held without bail after his arrest on sex-trafficking charges. He was facing trial in Manhattan on federal crimes, having worked out a plea deal in Florida years earlier on charges of sex offences.

His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted of similar charges in December 2021. Maxwell, daughter of the British press baron Robert Maxwell, was found guilty of sex trafficking and related charges for luring girls as young as 14 into Epstein’s abusive orbit. During her trial, a JPMorgan banker testified that Epstein wired her $31m (£25m), and prosecutors suggested this was Maxwell’s payment for procuring young girls for Epstein and friends.

Last month Epstein’s estate agreed to pay the USVI more than $105m as part of a settlement in a case involving his sex trafficking and child exploitation on the islands’ territory.

As part of the agreement, the estate agreed to pay the USVI half the proceeds from the sale of Little St James, the private island he bought in 1998 and allegedly used for many of his sexual crimes.

The settlement, which does not include any admission of wrongdoing, includes the return of more than $80m in economic development tax benefits that Epstein and others had “fraudulently obtained to fuel his criminal enterprise”.

At the time of the agreement, George said: “This settlement restores the faith of the people of the Virgin Islands that its laws will be enforced, without fear or favour, against those who break them.

“We are sending a clear message that the Virgin Islands will not serve as a haven for human trafficking.”

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