- The US Virgin Islands accused JPMorgan Chase of complicity in Jeffrey Epstein’s trafficking ring.
- The lawsuit alleged that the financial firm failed to report “suspicious activity” even after Epstein’s 2008 conviction.
- Parts of the lawsuit were unsealed Wednesday, detailing the allegations.
At least 20 people who were victims of Jeffrey Epstein’s trafficking ring were paid through JPMorgan Chase accounts, according to recently unsealed details from the US Virgin Islands’ lawsuit against the financial institution.
The documents were part of the Virgin Islands government’s lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase, originally filed in December, accusing the financial firm of facilitating the now-dead pedophile’s sex-trafficking scheme and ignoring red flags that should have halted activity on his accounts.
The US Virgin Islands filed a significantly less redacted version of the lawsuit on Wednesday, which includes a fuller accounting of the claims. It alleges Epstein had 55 different accounts with JPMorgan Chase worth “hundreds of millions of dollars,” and used funds in those accounts to collectively pay victims more than $1 million between 2003 and 2013.
“These women were trafficked and abused during different intervals between at least 2003 and July 2019, when Epstein was arrested and jailed, and these women received payments, typically multiple payments, between 2003 and 2013 in excess of $1 million collectively,” the court documents stated.
Emails cited in the lawsuit suggest even JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was knowledgeable about Epstein’s involvement with the financial institution.
“JP Morgan’s banking relationship with Epstein was known at the highest levels of the bank,” the lawsuit says. “For instance, an August 2008 internal email states, ‘I would count Epstein’s assets as a probable outflow for ’08 ($120mm or so?) as I can’t imagine it will stay (pending Dimon review).'”
Jes Staley befriended Epstein while he was supposed to look for red flags, the lawsuit says
The newly unsealed portions of the lawsuit in particular detail interactions between Epstein and Jes Staley, a longtime executive at JP Morgan. He later stepped down as the CEO of Barclays bank after a probe into his relationship with Epstein.
Staley visited Epstein’s home in the US Virgin Islands and even corresponded with him while he was incarcerated after pleading guilty in 2007 to soliciting sex from a minor.
“Between 2008 and 2012, Staley exchanged approximately 1,200 emails with Epstein from his JP Morgan email account,” the lawsuit says. “These communications show a close personal relationship and ‘profound’ friendship between the two men and even suggest that Staley may have been involved in Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation.”
Epstein emailed Staley multiple pictures of women, which remain redacted from the lawsuit. The two also exchanged emails describing how they had “fun” together and reference Disney princess movies like “Snow White” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
The bank flagged Epstein as a “high-risk” client as early as 2006, following news reports about his arrest on charges that he solicited girls for sex.
Despite their closeness, JPMorgan permitted Staley to oversee Epstein’s accounts at the bank and even tasked the executive with discussing the human-trafficking allegations against him, the lawsuit says.
A January 2011 compliance review concluded there were “no material updates” after a 2011 review of Epstein’s account, based on what the lawsuit says was Staley vouching for Epstein.
“Jes Staley discussed the topic with Jeffrey Epstein who replied there was no truth to the allegations, no evidence and was not expecting any problems. We will continue to monitor the accounts and cash usage closely going forward,” the note stated, according to the lawsuit.
Unsealed portions of the lawsuit appear to show internal emails from JPMorgan employees to outline how the bank knew Epstein was a “high-risk client” but continued to provide banking services to the financier.
According to the suit, after new allegations of child trafficking emerged against Epstein, a member of JP Morgan’s “risk management division” asked in a 2010 email: “Are you still comfortable with this client who is now a registered sex offender.”
A spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Earlier this month, the bank asked the judge overseeing the case, in a federal court in Manhattan, to dismiss the lawsuit.
Lawyers for JPMorgan said the US Virgin Islands government had access to the same information about Epstein’s finances that they did at the time and that it was greedy after already arriving at a $100 million settlement with Epstein’s estate.
“Having sought and obtained more than $100 million from Jeffrey Epstein’s estate and businesses for damages caused by his sex-trafficking crimes, the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) now casts farther afield for deeper pockets,” lawyers for JPMorgan wrote.