Jeffrey Epstein Accusers Sue Jamie Dimon’s JPMorgan Chase For Enabling And Profiting From Sex Trafficking
Ex-JPMorgan Exec Staley Had ‘Profound’ Friendship With Epstein, US Virgin Islands Claims. Jeffrey Epstein Accusers Sue Jamie Dimon’s JPMorgan Chase For Enabling And Profiting From Sex Trafficking
* USVI Filed Amended Complaint In Manhattan On Tuesday
The US Virgin Islands has expanded allegations that JPMorgan Chase & Co. and its former private wealth chief Jes Staley facilitated sex trafficking for Jeffrey Epstein.
The Virgin Islands, which sued the bank last month, filed an amended complaint in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday claiming that Staley had a “profound” friendship with Epstein and may have been involved in his sex-trafficking ring.
A lawyer for Staley, who isn’t named as a defendant in the suit, responded Wednesday to deny the allegations that the banker helped facilitate sex trafficking.
Staley was forced to step down as chief executive officer of Barclays Plc in 2021 amid a UK regulatory probe into how he characterized his past ties to Epstein, who was found dead in his US jail cell in 2019.
Epstein and Staley exchanged about 1,200 emails over the course of 10 years, according to the amended complaint. It offers details about the business relationship between the two, including a plan discussed in 2011 between Staley and Epstein to establish a “very HIGH profile” charitable fund.
Epstein, the amended complaint says, pitched the idea as an “exclusive club” with a minimum $100 million donation and that JPMorgan would act as the fiduciary.
JPMorgan “allowed Staley to remain a decision maker on Epstein’s accounts,” according to the amended complaint.
A spokesperson for New York-based JPMorgan declined to comment.
During his tenure as a JPMorgan customer between 1998 and 2013, the bank serviced about 55 accounts for Epstein containing “hundreds of millions of dollars,” the amended complaint states.
The accounts were used to pay Epstein’s victims — in one instance, $600,000 — and the recruiters who helped find them, the USVI alleges.
The transactions, including offshore transfers and foreign currency conversions, should have raised red flags, the USVI claims. The suit is seeking unspecified damages for what it says were violations of sex-trafficking, bank-secrecy and consumer laws.
The USVI suit makes similar claims to those contained in proposed class actions filed in November by Epstein victims against JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank AG.
The office of USVI Attorney General Denise George, who was removed from her post at the end of 2022 just days after the suit was filed, conducted an investigation into Epstein’s activities and presented the findings to JPMorgan in September.
According to the complaint, the USVI probe found that the bank “pulled the levers through which recruiters and victims were paid” and was indispensable to the operation of Epstein’s trafficking enterprise.
Epstein for decades cultivated the ultra-wealthy including lingerie titan Les Wexner and Apollo Global Management Inc. co-founder Leon Black, who paid him in excess of $150 million for providing financial advice.
Wexner has said he cut ties with Epstein in 2007 and later accused him of deception and misappropriating “vast sums of money from me and my family.”
Black made clear he had no knowledge of Epstein’s abuse of underage girls and a report by law firm Dechert commissioned by Apollo’s board, said he wasn’t involved in Epstein’s criminal activities.
Black, who’s worth $10.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, was forced to step down as chairman of Apollo.
Epstein was arrested and charged with sex-trafficking by Manhattan federal prosecutors in 2019 and his former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted of similar charges in December 2021.
During her trial, a JPMorgan banker testified that Epstein wired her $31 million, money prosecutors characterized as Maxwell’s payment for procuring young girls for the financier.
The case is USVI v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10904-UA, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
Jes Staley ‘Personally Observed’ Epstein’s Abuse, Woman Suing JPMorgan Claims
* Victim Made Allegations In Amended Lawsuit Against JPMorgan
* Staley Led Epstein Relationship For JPMorgan Private Wealth
A woman suing JPMorgan Chase & Co. for facilitating her sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein is claiming Jes Staley “personally observed” that abuse when he was the bank’s head of private wealth.
The woman, who is suing as Jane Doe 1 in a proposed class action against the largest US bank, made new allegations about Staley’s knowledge of Epstein’s abuse in an amended complaint filed late Friday in Manhattan federal court.
According to the complaint, Staley frequently visited Epstein’s properties, including his New York townhouse massage room, a “stash house” apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and his US Virgin Islands estate.
The then-JPMorgan executive allegedly met many of Epstein’s trafficking victims and “personally observed the sexual abuse of young women, including Jane Doe 1.”
JPMorgan on Tuesday declined to comment on the amended complaint.
Staley, who is not named as a defendant in the suit, has consistently denied knowledge of Epstein’s abuse. A lawyer for Staley declined to comment on Tuesday.
The new allegations seek to bolster the argument that JPMorgan was aware of Epstein’s conduct but nonetheless turned a blind eye. The bank has moved to dismiss the suit in part by arguing that it fails to show the bank knew about Epstein’s abuse.
“As a result of Staley’s direct and actual knowledge of Epstein’s sex-trafficking venture, JP Morgan had direct and actual knowledge of Epstein’s sex-trafficking venture,” the amended complaint alleges.
Staley left JPMorgan in 2013 and joined Barclays Plc as chief executive officer a few years later. He stepped down from that role in 2021 following a UK regulatory probe into his relationship with Epstein.
The amended complaint more specifically alleges that JPMorgan was aware that Epstein used his accounts at the bank to settle sexual abuse lawsuits and for expenses related to “apparent criminal activity.”
“To put it plainly, Epstein needed a bank that knew he was engaging in illegal activity and did not care, which Epstein had in JP Morgan,” the complaint states.
Staley bragged within JPMorgan about Epstein’s value to the bank, according to the complaint, and benefited from the relationship with “massages, private jet flights with victims and co-conspirators.”
Adult Survivors Act
The amended complaint also alleges top-level executives at JPMorgan, including Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, were aware of Epstein’s 2006 Florida arrest and “made the decision to monitor” news about him.
Some executives allegedly lobbied to have the bank cut ties with Epstein after allegations about his sex trafficking surfaced publicly but were overruled until 2013, when the bank finally ended its relationship with the financier.
Lawsuits against both JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank, which became Epstein’s main bank after 2013, were filed separately in November by Jane Doe 1, who is represented by David Boies.
The suits claim the banks knowingly benefited and received things of value for assisting and supporting Epstein’s sex-trafficking scheme.
Like JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank has also sought dismissal of the claims, denying knowledge of Epstein’s conduct. JPMorgan further argues the claims against it, which relate to events between 1998 and 2013, are barred by the statute of limitations.
The plaintiffs are suing under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which temporarily lifts the time limit for sexual assault claims, but both banks say the law does not apply to them.
Epstein was found dead in his US jail cell in 2019, after being charged with sex-trafficking. His connections to US and British elites led to career downfalls for a number of prominent Wall Street names.
The case is Jane Doe 1 v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10019, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
JPMorgan Calls Suit Over Epstein ‘Masterclass In Deflection’
* Bank Asks Manhattan Judge To Dismiss US Virgin Islands Lawsuit
* USVI Claims Bank Turned A Blind Eye To Epstein Sex-Trafficking
JPMorgan Chase & Co. asked a judge to throw out a US Virgin Islands lawsuit that claims the bank turned a blind eye to Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking, calling the allegation a “masterclass in deflection.”
“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,” the bank said in a court filing Wednesday.
USVI Attorney General Denise George in December sued the bank in Manhattan federal court saying it was part of an “ongoing effort” to hold accountable those who facilitated Epstein’s activities. Epstein brought many of his victims to his villa on Little St. James, the private island he owned.
According to the attorney general’s suit, JPMorgan concealed “wire and cash transactions that raised suspicion of a criminal enterprise whose currency was the sexual servitude” of women and girls in the Virgin Islands.
George also claims JPMorgan’s willingness to do business with Epstein unfairly enriched it at the expense of other banks.
In its request to have the lawsuit dismissed, JPMorgan said it ended its banking relationship with Epstein 10 years ago and the suit involves neither Epstein’s estate, nor his businesses, nor his victims.
USVI is trying to hold JPMorgan accountable for not “sleuthing” out Epstein’s crimes a decade ago, the bank said.
“Yet USVI had access at the time to the same information, allegations, and rumors about Epstein on which it alleges” JPMorgan should have acted, the bank said.
“USVI did nothing to stop Epstein during this period, notwithstanding the fact that he registered with the USVI as a Tier 1 sex offender,” the bank said. “To the contrary, during the same period, USVI granted Epstein and his businesses lucrative privileges and massive tax incentives.”
Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in 2019, after being arrested and charged with sex-trafficking by Manhattan federal prosecutors. His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted of similar charges in 2021.
The case is USVI v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10904-UA, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
JPMorgan Says Claims That Staley Observed Epstein Abuse Are Unsupported
* Banks Ask Court To Dismiss Amended Suits By Epstein Victims
* Suit Says Staley Knew Of Abuse, Meaning JPMorgan Did As Well
JPMorgan & Chase Co. pushed back on allegations that its former executive Jes Staley “personally observed” Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse, calling them “unsupported” and “conclusory.”
The bank on Tuesday night asked a federal judge to dismiss an amended lawsuit filed last month by Epstein victims who claim JPMorgan facilitated his sex-trafficking ring.
The revised suit added claims that Staley had direct knowledge of Epstein’s activities, contending that meant the bank knew as well.
JPMorgan said the unsupported allegation that Staley observed the lead plaintiff’s sexual battery by Epstein couldn’t be used to impute knowledge to the bank.
“Actual knowledge of Plaintiff’s battery cannot be established by the unsupported assertion that, at an unspecified time, Staley ‘observed [Plaintiff] in circumstances indicating sexual abuse and trafficking,’” the bank said in its filing.
Staley, who is not named as a defendant in the suit, has consistently denied knowledge of Epstein’s abuse. He left JPMorgan in 2013 and was later appointed chief executive officer at Barclays Plc. He stepped down in 2021 following a UK Financial Conduct Authority probe into his ties to Epstein.
The amended complaint alleges that Staley, who was JPMorgan’s head of private banking at the time, frequently visited Epstein’s properties, including his New York townhouse massage room, a “stash house” apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and a US Virgin Islands estate.
He met many of Epstein’s trafficking victims and witnessed the financier “sexually grabbing” some of them, the suit claims.
But JPMorgan said that, while “odious,” such grabbing didn’t establish the plaintiff was a sex-trafficking victim, much less that Staley knew that she was. The bank noted that the crime of sex-trafficking only applies to children or adults subject to force or coercion.
“Without that crucial detail, Plaintiff alleges nothing more than that a JPMC employee developed a bond with a wrongdoer customer,” the bank’s lawyers wrote.
Even with the new allegations about Staley, the suit’s “sparse allegations and meritless legal theories” mean it should be dismissed, JPMorgan said.
Proposed class actions against both JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank, which became Epstein’s main bank after 2013, were first filed separately in November by a plaintiff identified as Jane Doe 1.
The suits claim the banks knowingly benefited and received things of value for assisting and supporting Epstein’s sex-trafficking scheme.
Like JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank has also sought dismissal of the claims, denying knowledge of Epstein’s conduct.
In a filing late Tuesday, Deutsche Bank argued that Doe added “few new factual allegations” in the 60-plus pages she added to her original complaint and instead offered “conclusory” and “unsupported” claims that are legally inadequate for the case to proceed.
The Frankfurt-based bank also said it recently learned from Doe’s lawyer that she entered into a settlement with Epstein’s estate which included a “broad release” of claims against any entity that was ever engaged by or worked for the financier.
This means that Doe has waived her claims against Deutsche Bank, the company’s lawyers said in the filing.
The plaintiffs, represented by David Boies, are suing under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which temporarily lifts the time limit for sexual assault claims, but both banks say the law does not apply to them.
Epstein was found dead in his US jail cell in 2019, after being charged with sex-trafficking. His connections to US and British elites led to career downfalls for a number of prominent Wall Street names.
The case is Jane Doe 1 v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10019, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
Ex-JPMorgan Executive’s Jeffrey Epstein Emails Revealed In Lawsuit Against Bank
* Emails Cited In Usvi Suit Claiming JPMorgan Facilitated Abuse
* JPMorgan Has Said Any Knowledge By Staley Doesn’t Apply To It
Former JPMorgan Chase & Co executive Jes Staley engaged in a discussion of Disney princesses with Jeffrey Epstein in July 2010, according to several emails cited in a lawsuit filed against the bank by the US Virgin Islands.
“That was fun,” Staley allegedly wrote. “Say hi to Snow White.”
“[W]hat character would you like next?” Epstein allegedly responded.
“Beauty and the Beast.”
According to the USVI, the exchange was referring to young women and girls Epstein was procuring. The territory unsealed the language Wednesday as part of a court filing aimed at bolstering its argument that JPMorgan, as Staley’s employer at the time, is liable for facilitating Epstein’s sexual abuse.
The new allegations follow an amended complaint in a separate lawsuit against JPMorgan by Epstein victims claiming Staley “personally observed” his former client’s misconduct.
A lawyer for Staley declined to comment on Thursday. Staley, who is not a defendant in either lawsuit, has consistently denied knowledge of Epstein’s sexual abuse.
JPMorgan declined to comment on the USVI filing on Wednesday. The bank has moved to dismiss both suits, claiming that the allegations concerning Staley are unsupported and that any knowledge on his part can’t be imputed to the bank.
JPMorgan has also argued that it’s not clear that the allegations about Staley concern minors or women under coercion.
Staley, who left JPMorgan in 2013 and became chief executive officer of Barclays Plc two years later, was known to have exchanged upwards of 1,200 emails with Epstein over the years, but their contents have not been previously disclosed.
Staley stepped down as Barclays CEO in 2021 following a UK Financial Conduct Authority probe into his ties with Epstein.
According to the USVI, Epstein also occasionally emailed Staley photos of young women.
‘I Realize the Danger’
In another email cited in the suit, Staley appeared to write Epstein from the latter’s villa on Little St. James in November 2009.
At the time, Epstein was under home confinement in Palm Beach, Florida, following his release on charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution but was allowed to travel to New York to meet with his lawyers.
“Presently, I’m in the hot tub with a glass of white wine,” he wrote. “This is an amazing place. Next time, we’re here together. I owe you much. And I deeply appreciate our friendship. I have few so profound.”
According to a December 2009 email, Staley got his desired reunion.
“I realize the danger in sending this email,” Staley allegedly wrote. “But it was great to be able, today, to give you, in New York City, a long, heartfelt, hug.”
Epstein was a customer of the bank between 1998 and 2013 and held about 55 accounts, containing hundreds of millions of dollars, USVI says.
At least 20 individuals paid through JPMorgan accounts were “victims of trafficking and sexual assault in Little St James,” according to the lawsuit.
The case is USVI v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10904-UA, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
JPMorgan Staffer Expected Bank To Drop Epstein In ‘08, Suit Says
* USVI Cites Email Expecting Epstein Exit ‘Pending Dimon Review’
* Bank Says It Has ‘Not Seen Any Evidence Of Such A Review’
It was August 2008, the brink of a global financial crisis, and inside JPMorgan Chase & Co. an employee was expressing confidence the bank was about to kick out a wealthy client whose name was becoming infamous: Jeffrey Epstein.
“I would count Epstein’s assets as a probable outflow for ’08,” the staffer wrote in an internal email about Epstein’s roughly $120 million portfolio, several weeks after the customer pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution. “I can’t imagine it will stay (pending Dimon review).”
Epstein remained a JPMorgan client for five more years.
The missive, referring to Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, is the latest twist in ongoing lawsuits to hold the largest US bank liable for handling Epstein’s money for years before and after his initial indictment in 2006, and in doing so, allegedly facilitating his sex trafficking of young women.
Unclear from the court documents is why the employee, who isn’t identified, thought the bank’s CEO and chairman would get involved in deciding whether to keep on handling Epstein’s money. Trish Wexler, a JPMorgan spokesperson, said the firm has “not seen any evidence of such a review.”
The plaintiff – the US Virgin Islands – wrote in a filing unsealed Wednesday that the email shows the firm’s relationship with Epstein “was reviewed and approved at the highest levels.”
The bank is fighting the USVI lawsuit, which it called a “masterclass in deflection,” and another filed by Epstein’s victims, asking judges to dismiss both cases.
The email’s emergence this week underscores anew how JPMorgan’s dealings with Epstein, who died by apparent suicide in 2019, continue to haunt the New York-based bank roughly a decade after it ultimately severed ties.
Epstein entered into a controversial plea deal in mid-2008, under which he was still able to work from a Florida office during the day while serving a 13-month sentence. JPMorgan kept him on as a customer after that conviction.
Epstein’s relationship with former JPMorgan executive Jes Staley is central to the lawsuits. Staley led JPMorgan’s private bank and then its asset management operations, during which time he is alleged to have continued to personally handle the bank’s relationship with Epstein. Staley left the bank in January 2013. Six months later, JPMorgan dropped Epstein as a client.
Following Epstein’s arrest in 2019 on sex trafficking charges, the firm has been facing questions about why it kept providing financial services after his initial guilty plea and what information the company and its executives were privy to over the years.
Staley became CEO of Barclays Plc in 2015. He stepped down from that post in 2021 following a UK Financial Conduct Authority probe into his ties with Epstein. Staley is still contesting the FCA’s findings.
JPMorgan has said allegations involving Staley are unsupported and that any knowledge on his part can’t be imputed to the bank. The banker isn’t a defendant in either lawsuit and has consistently denied knowledge of Epstein’s sexual abuse.
A lawyer for Staley declined to comment.
Staley’s Ties To Epstein Spark Mea Culpa From Bowdoin President
Bowdoin College President Clayton Rose told students, faculty and staff that he was “clearly wrong” to call Jes Staley someone who “represents all that is great about Bowdoin and the culture and values here” during an interview in 2019.
Staley, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s former private wealth chief and a member of Bowdoin’s class of 1979, was recently accused in a lawsuit against the bank of having “personally observed” sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein, with whom he allegedly had a “profound” friendship.
Epstein, a financier who was convicted in 2008 of soliciting a minor for prostitution, was charged with sex trafficking in 2019 and died in jail of an apparent suicide.
“Epstein’s conduct was monstrous, and the revelation about the extent of Jes’s relationship with him is deeply disturbing,” Rose wrote in a letter released Wednesday.
JPMorgan said in a court filing Wednesday that emails between Staley and Epstein “provide no basis to infer that Staley detected Epstein’s sex-trafficking.”
Staley, who is not named as a defendant in the litigation against JPMorgan, has consistently denied knowledge of Epstein’s actions. His lawyer didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Staley left JPMorgan in 2013 and became chief executive officer of Barclays Plc two years later. He was named to the Bowdoin board in 2007, and resigned on Nov. 1, 2021, the same day he stepped down from Barclays after a regulatory investigation was opened into his relationship with Epstein. Barclays declined to comment.
“Whatever we learn about the truth of the specific and deeply troubling allegations made in the court filing, from what we now understand about the depth of his relationship with Epstein, I was clearly wrong,” he said about his comment in 2019.
A call and email to Rose’s office and a Bowdoin spokesperson weren’t immediately returned.
Dimon Records Sought In Suits Over JPMorgan’s Epstein Ties
* USVI Says Dimon Documents Through 2019 Relevant To Its Claims
* Epstein Victim In Separate Suit Seeks Ceo’s Pre-2006 Documents
Plaintiffs in two lawsuits accusing JPMorgan Chase & Co. of facilitating Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking are asking for court orders requiring Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon to turn over additional documents.
In separate filings Thursday in Manhattan federal court, the US Virgin Islands and an Epstein victim said JPMorgan was refusing to turn over Dimon documents from certain time periods. Both suits claim the CEO was involved in the bank’s decision to keep Epstein after his sex abuse came to light.
A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment on the filings.
The USVI said the bank was objecting to turning over documents from after 2014. The territory wants Dimon’s documents until August 2019. Though not referenced in the filing, Epstein was found dead in his jail cell that month while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
Epstein was a client of the bank between 1998 and 2013, but the USVI said some of JPMorgan’s allegedly unlawful conduct continued past the end of its relationship with Epstein. The part of USVI’s Thursday filing describing the alleged post-2013 conduct was redacted.
The victim, who has filed a proposed class action as Jane Doe 1, said JPMorgan had refused to turn over Dimon documents from before 2006. According to her filing, the bank argues that doing so would be unduly burdensome. JPMorgan is allegedly taking the same stance with former general counsel Stephen Cutler and another person named Vanessa Budhu.
“JPMC cannot seriously contend that only documents after 2006 are relevant to Doe’s claims when the genesis of its relationship with Epstein began at least eight years prior,” lawyers for Doe said in their Thursday filing. “Indeed, as the complaint makes clear, between (at least) 2000 and 2005, Epstein provided clients to JP Morgan and, in exchange, JP Morgan allowed Epstein to do as he pleased with his JP Morgan accounts.”
The cases are both before US District Judge Jed Rakoff, and JPMorgan has asked him to dismiss both of them on the grounds that there is no evidence that the bank knew Epstein was involved in sex-trafficking.
Both suits focus on the relationship between Epstein and former JPMorgan private banking head Jes Staley, alleging the latter was aware of his client’s illegal activities. The bank has contended that allegations that Staley “personally observed” sexual abuse or exchanged emails with Epstein don’t show that he had knowledge of crimes that can be imputed to JPMorgan.
Epstein victims who sued JPMorgan claim the bank chose to profit from Epstein’s sex-trafficking venture rather than follow the law, collecting millions of dollars from handling his accounts.
The cases are USVI v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10904-UA, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan) and Jane Doe 1 v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10019, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan)
JPMorgan Sues Former Executive Jes Staley Over Jeffrey Epstein Ties
Bank reveals Staley is accused of sexual assault in unnamed woman’s lawsuit.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. sued former executive Jes Staley over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, identifying Mr. Staley as the “powerful financial executive” accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit against the bank.
Late last year, an unnamed woman alleged that JPMorgan aided Epstein’s sex trafficking by allowing him to remain a client and helping him send money to the late financier’s victims.
The woman, in her lawsuit against the bank, said an Epstein friend sexually assaulted her using aggressive force but said she was afraid to identify him publicly. JPMorgan Wednesday said that friend was Mr. Staley.
JPMorgan’s lawsuit against Mr. Staley adds him to the woman’s lawsuit and another Epstein-related case filed by the U.S. Virgin Islands. The legal maneuver allows the bank to argue Mr. Staley should have to pay damages if the bank is held responsible.
A lawyer for Mr. Staley declined to comment.
Mr. Staley has maintained he was friendly with Epstein but never knew about his alleged crimes.
“I thought I knew him well and I didn’t,” Mr. Staley said in early 2020. “For sure, with hindsight, with what we all know now, I deeply regret having had any relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.”
JPMorgan’s move to try to shift the focus to Mr. Staley represents a break with a former executive who had risen to the top of the bank and was once considered a possible successor to Chief Executive Jamie Dimon.
Mr. Staley developed a relationship with Epstein when he was running JPMorgan’s asset-management unit, which includes its business that caters to rich clients.
After leaving JPMorgan in 2013, Mr. Staley became chief executive of British banking giant Barclays PLC. He resigned in November 2021 amid a U.K. regulatory investigation into whether the bank had been truthful about his relationship with Epstein, who was charged with sex trafficking before his apparent suicide in 2019.
The lawsuits have detailed Mr. Staley’s communications with Epstein as evidence that JPMorgan should have known about their relationship. Emails between the two men showed a close bond, according to court papers, and included what the U.S. Virgin Islands have said were photos of young women in seductive poses.
Mr. Staley had “affirmatively misrepresented the true facts of his and Epstein’s personal interactions,” the bank said in court papers, and “repeatedly provided misleading information” about Epstein’s character and conduct.
“The plaintiffs have made troubling allegations concerning the conduct of our former employee Jes Staley, and if true he should be held responsible for his actions,” a JPMorgan spokeswoman said Wednesday. “If these allegations against Staley are true, he violated this duty by putting his own personal interests ahead of the company’s.”
Brad Edwards, one of the lawyers representing the woman in the civil suit against JPMorgan, said the filing “is a damning admission of wrongdoing by JPMorgan.”
Mr. Dimon should be forced to answer questions about how he supervised Mr. Staley, Mr. Edwards said. JPMorgan has resisted a request for Mr. Dimon to be deposed in the case.
A judge Thursday ruled the bank must turn over documents from Mr. Dimon through 2019, a wider time frame than the bank had wanted to deliver. There hasn’t been a ruling about whether he will be deposed.
The bank has sought to have the lawsuits dismissed, saying it didn’t know about Epstein’s alleged crimes and can’t be held liable.
The U.S. Virgin Islands suit alleges that Mr. Staley vouched for Epstein as a JPMorgan client when internal compliance officers raised questions.
The bank’s compliance team repeatedly asked for reassurances after Epstein was first indicted on sex-crime charges in 2006, when he pleaded guilty to those charges in 2008, and in later years when news reports about similar behavior continued to surface, according to the court documents.
JPMorgan has said it cut off Epstein’s accounts in 2013, shortly after Mr. Staley left the bank. Epstein died in jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.
JPMorgan’s Jes Staley Suit Seen Ss Prelude to Settlement Over Epstein Claims
* Bank Faces Famed Lawyer David Boies In Suit Over Epstein Ties
* JPMorgan’s Motions To Dismiss Arguments Scheduled For Monday
David Boies rose to fame by taking on Microsoft Corp. in a massive 1990s antitrust case. The case eventually settled, but not before the lawyer eviscerated Bill Gates in deposition testimony that was later shown at trial.
Jamie Dimon would no doubt like to avoid a similar fate.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s recent lawsuit against former executive Jes Staley sets up a likely settlement by the bank of claims that it facilitated Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking, several legal experts said.
The bank filed its March 8 complaint after weeks of unsavory revelations about Staley’s relationship with Epstein put forth in two suits against JPMorgan, one of which was filed by Boies on behalf of Epstein victims.
The bank denies the accusations in both cases and maintains that its claims against Staley don’t affect its position that the suits are without merit. JPMorgan is set to argue its motion to dismiss the cases before US District Judge Jed Rakoff on Monday.
Hours before the hearing, Rakoff authorized the deposition on Wednesday of Mary Erdoes, JPMorgan’s private banking chief. The bank’s lawyers have been fighting efforts to have Dimon face similar questioning, arguing the CEO was not involved in discussions about Epstein’s accounts.
JPMorgan declined to comment for this story. A lawyer for Staley, who previously held Erdoes’s position at the bank, also declined to comment. Staley has previously denied involvement in Epstein’s sex-trafficking.
Carliss Chatman, a former litigator who is now a law professor at Washington and Lee University, said a settlement would be an opportunity for the bank to acknowledge Epstein victims’ pain but then shift the blame to Staley.
“What they would be saying is ‘Yes, we acknowledge this guy harmed you and agree he is a bad actor we negligently hired,’” she said.
‘Crisis Litigation 101’
Chatman and several other legal experts said JPMorgan’s move against Staley is as much about public relations as bolstering its legal position. The bank’s arguments are actually fairly strong, they said, but JPMorgan will not want to withstand the steady drumbeat of headlines that going to trial would guarantee.
“Big companies always tend to settle for PR reasons,” said Chatman. “This just looks bad, it really does. The PR move — ‘I blame someone else and settle’ — it is kind of crisis litigation 101.”
Tanya Pierce, a professor at Texas A&M University law school, agreed. “I don’t think this will go to trial with JPMorgan as a defendant,” she said. “I think the PR damage is too great.”
As such, it’s “good strategy” for the bank to go after Staley ahead of trying to negotiate a settlement, Pierce said.
“Settlement strategy revolves in large part around the threat of what could happen in litigation, if a case were to actually be tried in front of a jury,” said Pierce. “So bringing Staley into the lawsuit focuses attention on him and on his actions and away from JPM and its actions.”
If JPMorgan does settle, it wouldn’t be the first deal obtained by Boies and law partner Sigrid McCawley for Epstein victims. Prince Andrew last year settled for undisclosed terms a lawsuit filed by the lawyer on behalf of Virginia Giuffre, who claimed the British royal was one of several powerful men to whom Epstein “lent” her for abuse.
The settlement came a month after Andrew lost his motion to dismiss the case in Manhattan federal court, which resulted in Buckingham Palace stripping King Charles’s younger brother of his honorific titles and royal patronages.
Giuffre made similar allegations against Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz, who represented Epstein during a Florida investigation into abuse allegations and helped negotiate a lenient non-prosecution agreement.
But Dershowitz hit back with a countersuit alleging extortion. The parties last year reached a deal in which no money changed hands and Giuffre said she “may have made a mistake” in identifying Dershowitz.
In a recent interview, Dershowitz declined to discuss the settlement but made clear he still harbored hard feelings toward Boies.
“He goes after people — I am the exception — who can’t fight back,” Dershowitz said, “and that’s how you get settlements.”
Boies, who declined to be interviewed, has also been criticized for using hardball tactics against accusers of his former client Harvey Weinstein and a journalist investigating Theranos Inc., where he was a board member. The lawyer’s aggressive style has both fans and detractors.
No Legal Slam Dunk
“He likes taking on big fights and to be in the middle of the action,” Daniel Rubinfeld, a New York University law professor who has worked on the Microsoft case with Boies, said. “To me he is what’s good about the plaintiff’s bar.”
JPMorgan is Boies’s biggest target yet in his yearslong crusade on behalf of Epstein victims. Boies and McCawley have represented Epstein’s victims pro bono in previous cases. A spokesperson for Boies didn’t respond to a request for comment on whether the suit against JPMorgan was also being handled pro bono.
From a legal standpoint, the claims against JPMorgan are by no means a slam dunk.
“Obviously now everyone knows a lot about Epstein and what he has been up to,” said former federal prosecutor Nadia Shihata, who prosecuted one of the cases against R Kelly. “But the question will be ‘What did JPMorgan know at the time and does that rise to the level of knowledge or should-have-known?’”
If US District Judge Jed Rakoff dismisses the suits after Monday’s arguments, it may be because he wasn’t convinced plaintiffs showed that what Staley knew, JPMorgan knew as well.
The bank has said that allegations that Staley “personally observed” Epstein’s sex-trafficking and that the two exchanged “inappropriate” emails in which they appear to refer to young women using the names of Disney princesses reflect activity that were outside the scope of Staley’s employment.
JPMorgan clearly aimed to put more distance between it and Staley in its suit last week, describing him as an employee whose “acts of disloyalty occurred repeatedly, lasted for years, and persisted despite numerous opportunities to correct them.”
Not everyone thinks JPMorgan’s gambit to separate itself from a longtime employee will work though. Lawyer Kim Adams, who has litigated many human-trafficking cases, said she thought the suit against Staley could ultimately backfire on the bank.
“From a survivor perspective, it’s a shirk of responsibility for their own actions,” said Adams. “They are trying to diversify the guilt here and the responsibility. The survivors may well look at this as a way of them acknowledging what happened and adding credibility to plaintiff’s case.”
Chatman said JPMorgan may succeed in having some parts of the suits dismissed but that the judge was likely to leave for a jury the question of whether or not JPMorgan was responsible for Staley’s actions.
Judges are “loathe to dismiss” claims about employer responsibility, she said.
She said JPMorgan has a strong defense, though, that it doesn’t have any responsibility to non-customers harmed by a person using his own money that just happened to be deposited at the bank.
“I get why they are naming the banks, but I think it’s hard case,” Chatman said. The plaintiffs argue Epstein used his accounts to fund his sex trafficking venture, including to pay victims hush money and finance the private jet that transported them.
Whatever the merits of its arguments though, JPMorgan almost certainly wants to avoid making them to a jury also faced with “grievously hurt” young women, said Adam Zimmerman, a Loyola Law School professor.
“Assuming it goes to a jury, it has all the atmospherics of a bad corporate behavior case combined with Jeffrey Epstein,” Zimmerman said. “It’s not something you can imagine a typical Fortune 500 company wanting to have to deal with.”
Jamie Dimon To Face Questioning In Lawsuit Over JPMorgan’s Epstein Ties
Bank has resisted U.S. Virgin Islands’ efforts concerning a deposition.
Jamie Dimon will be questioned in a civil lawsuit over JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, people familiar with the matter said.
The U.S. Virgin Islands sued JPMorgan late last year, saying the bank facilitated Esptein’s alleged sex trafficking and abuse by allowing him to remain a client and helping him send money to the late financier’s victims.
Lawyers for the U.S. Virgin Islands had asked a judge to order Mr. Dimon, the bank’s chief executive, to answer questions under oath. JPMorgan resisted, saying he played no role in the bank’s dealings with Epstein.
The two sides struck a deal for Mr. Dimon to be deposed, the people said.
The planned deposition was reported earlier by the Financial Times.
Epstein banked with JPMorgan for a number of years until it cut ties with the convicted sex offender in 2013. Epstein died in jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.
A judge earlier this month ordered the bank to turn over documents from Mr. Dimon through 2019, a wider time frame than the bank wanted to deliver.
The plaintiffs have deposed several JPMorgan employees so far in the case and another filed by an unnamed woman who accused Epstein of sexual abuse. The cases are running together in Manhattan federal court.
JPMorgan has denied that the bank aided Epstein and has sought to blame any relationship on former executive Jes Staley.
Mr. Staley has maintained he was friendly with Epstein but never knew about his alleged crimes.
Google Co-Founder, Other Billionaires Are Issued Subpoenas In Lawsuit Over JPMorgan’s Ties To Jeffrey Epstein
Sergey Brin, Thomas Pritzker, Mortimer Zuckerman and Michael Ovitz are asked for information in U.S. Virgin Islands’ civil suit against bank.
The U.S. Virgin Islands issued subpoenas this week to Sergey Brin, Thomas Pritzker, Mortimer Zuckerman and Michael Ovitz to gather information for its civil lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co. over the bank’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, according to people familiar with the matter.
The subpoenas from the U.S. territory’s attorney general seek any communications and documents related to the bank and Epstein, the people said.
The four men are some of the wealthiest people in the U.S., and it couldn’t be determined why they were being asked for the communications and documents. In civil cases, lawyers can use subpoenas during the discovery process to get information from people who aren’t a party to a lawsuit but could provide evidence related to the case.
The U.S. Virgin Islands sued JPMorgan late last year in a Manhattan federal court, saying the bank facilitated Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking and abuse by allowing the late financier to remain a client and helping him send money to his victims.
The civil lawsuit alleges that JPMorgan received referrals of high-value business opportunities from Epstein and turned a blind eye to his activities. The bank has said it didn’t know about Epstein’s alleged crimes and can’t be held liable.
Mr. Brin is a co-founder of Google and a board member of parent Alphabet Inc. Mr. Pritzker is executive chairman of Hyatt Hotels Corp. Mr. Zuckerman is a real-estate billionaire and owner of U.S. News & World Report. Mr. Ovitz is a venture capitalist and former talent agent for Hollywood stars.
The four men couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for U.S. News & World Report declined to comment. Spokespeople for Google and Hyatt didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chairman and chief executive, is expected to be questioned as part of the case after the two sides reached an agreement for him to be deposed, the Journal reported earlier this week.
Epstein, who had a residence in the U.S. Virgin Islands, banked with JPMorgan for a number of years until it cut ties with the convicted sex offender in 2013. Epstein died in jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.
Lawyers have questioned several JPMorgan employees so far in this case and another filed by an unnamed woman who accused Epstein of sexual abuse. The cases are running together in Manhattan federal court.
JPMorgan has sought to have the lawsuits dismissed. The bank has denied that it aided Epstein and has sought to blame any relationship on former executive Jes Staley, whom the bank has sued. Mr. Staley has maintained he was friendly with Epstein but never knew about his alleged crimes.
JPMorgan Bankers Joked About Epstein’s Reputation, USVI Says
* Executive Mary Erdoes Deposition Redacted In New Court Filing
* USVI Accuses JPMorgan Of Delaying Charges Against Epstein
JPMorgan Chase & Co. executives joked about Jeffrey Epstein’s “interest in young girls,” the US Virgin Islands said in a court filing in its lawsuit accusing the bank of aiding his sex-trafficking.
The US territory made the claim on Monday while asking a federal judge for permission to amend the lawsuit.
USVI claims that the bank allowed Epstein to avoid scrutiny and obstructed law enforcement from uncovering his crimes earlier while he was a client from 1998 to 2013.
In the filing, USVI referenced a recent deposition from JPMorgan’s Asset and Wealth Management chief executive Mary Erdoes but it was heavily redacted.
Lawyers for the territory claim “Epstein’s behavior was so widely known at JPMorgan that senior executives joked about Epstein’s interest in young girls.”
USVI then cites a 2008 email Erdoes received as an example, however the content of the email is blacked out. The territory also pointed to internal emails at JPMorgan about Epstein being under investigation or sued for sexual abuse and communication from a senior compliance official in 2010.
Young women and an alleged recruiter for Epstein’s trafficking venture were also paid from the late sex offender’s JPMorgan accounts, according to the court filing.
Epstein made cash withdrawals to further his sex trafficking while the bank allegedly failed to follow anti-money laundering requirements.
“JPMorgan knowingly did not follow these requirements because it knew that doing so would have prevented Epstein’s secret cash transactions that were necessary to his sex-trafficking operation from escaping knowledge of federal investigative and prosecuting agencies,” lawyers for USVI wrote.
Federal prosecutors charged Epstein with sex trafficking in 2019. He was found dead in his prison cell in Manhattan. Authorities ruled it a suicide.
US District Judge Jed Rakoff last month dismissed a majority of USVI’s claims against JPMorgan but allowed one claim to remain — that the bank knowingly benefited from Epstein’s behavior.
The US territory, which filed the suit against the bank late last year, is asking for permission to file an additional claim under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
A victim of Epstein, Jane Doe, was the first to file a lawsuit against JPMorgan in November, claiming it facilitated Eptein’s trafficking operation.
JPMorgan contends that it merely provided routine banking services to Epstein, while Doe argued that he was afforded special treatment because he brought in wealthy clients.
The banks have long claimed that they didn’t know about Epstein’s crimes. Former JPMorgan executive Jes Staley has emerged as a central figure in the lawsuits, with Doe claiming that he “personally observed” sex-trafficking victims. Both USVI and Doe allege in their suits that any knowledge Staley had should be imputed to JPMorgan as his employer.
The cases are Jane Doe 1 v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10019; Jane Doe 1 v. Deutsche Bank, 22-cv-10018, and USVI v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10904-UA, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
JPMorgan Subpoenas Staley’s Former Hedge Fund in Epstein Dispute
* Bank Seeks Communications From When Staley Was At Bluemountain
* Staley Joined Fund In 2013 But Left To Become CEO At Barclays
JPMorgan Chase & Co. subpoenaed information from the hedge fund where Jes Staley was once managing partner as part of its lawsuit over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, according to people familiar with the matter.
Lawyers for the bank recently sent a subpoena to Assured Investment Management, the people said. Assured is the successor to BlueMountain Capital, which Staley, 66, joined in 2013 after more than 30 years at JPMorgan, where he rose to become head of private banking.
According to one of the people, the subpoena requests any communications Staley had with Epstein during his time at BlueMountain. A spokeswoman for JPMorgan declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Assured didn’t respond to requests for comment. Staley’s lawyer also didn’t respond to requests for comment.
JPMorgan is facing two lawsuits claiming it benefited from Epstein’s sex-trafficking. The bank, which has denied knowing about Epstein’s conduct, in turn sued Staley in March.
It claims his contacts with Epstein, who was a bank client between 1997 and 2013. violated JPMorgan’s policies and argues that he should be responsible for any damages stemming from the two suits.
The bank is also attempting to claw back tens of millions of dollars in compensation it paid to Staley.
His time at BlueMountain, which was co-founded by Andrew Feldstein and Stephen Siderow, has not previously received much attention amid the revelations about his relationship with Epstein.
Staley was only at the fund a short time before he became chief executive officer at Barclays Plc in 2015. BlueMountain was acquired and rebranded by Assured Guaranty Ltd in 2019.
Staley stepped down as Barclays CEO in late 2021, after a Financial Conduct Authority inquiry raised questions about exactly how transparent Staley had been with the UK bank about his ties to Epstein.
Staley has long claimed his relationship with Epstein tapered off after he left JPMorgan and completely ceased when he joined Barclays.
In April 2015, while he was still at BlueMountain, Staley and his wife briefly visited Epstein’s private island, Little St James, in the US Virgin Islands, Bloomberg has previously reported.
The two suits against JPMorgan, one by an Epstein victim and the other by the USVI, both claim Staley knew about his client’s sex-trafficking and argue that his knowledge should be imputed to his then-employer.
A considerable amount of material about Staley’s relationship with Epstein has been disclosed in the litigation, including the contents of some of the 1,200 emails the two men exchanged over the years.
Federal prosecutors charged Epstein with sex trafficking in July 2019, but he was found dead in his jail cell a month later.
The cases are USVI v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10904-UA, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan) and Jane Doe 1 v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10019, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan)
JPMorgan Internally Flagged Epstein’s Large Withdrawals Years Before His 2008 Conviction, Lawsuit Alleges
In 2006, court papers say, bank staffers noted financier was withdrawing $750,000 a year in cash.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. employees internally flagged Jeffrey Epstein’s large cash withdrawals two years before he was convicted of soliciting a minor for prostitution, according to new court papers filed Wednesday.
A JPMorgan risk-management team in 2006 noted that Epstein “routinely” made cash withdrawals of $40,000 to $80,000 several times a month, the U.S. Virgin Islands said in an amended lawsuit against the bank.
At the time, Epstein was pulling more than $750,000 a year in cash from the bank, according to the lawsuit.
Epstein was first charged with a sex crime in 2006. He pleaded guilty to solicitation of prostitution with a minor in 2008 and spent about 13 months in prison.
JPMorgan continued providing services to Epstein until 2013, when it says it closed his accounts. Epstein died in jail of an apparent suicide in 2019 while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.
The U.S. Virgin Islands sued JPMorgan late last year in a Manhattan federal court, saying the bank facilitated Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking.
The suit alleges the financier used the bank to pay his victims with cash and wire transfers, transactions that should have been concerning to the bank.
Another lawsuit filed by an unnamed woman who accused Epstein of sexual abuse also accuses the bank of failing to monitor his transactions. The cases are running together in Manhattan federal court.
Banks are required to file suspicious-activity reports on sizable cash withdrawals and transactions that could indicate crimes such as money laundering. JPMorgan, the U.S. Virgin Islands says, had information that could have flagged Epstein’s alleged crimes to law enforcement sooner.
Lawyers have questioned several JPMorgan employees so far in this case, including Mary Erdoes, its head of asset and wealth management. Her deposition hasn’t been released publicly, but Wednesday’s court filing sheds light on its contents.
Ms. Erdoes said in a deposition that JPMorgan executives knew as far back as 2006 that Epstein was accused of paying cash to have underage girls and young women brought to his home, according to the filing.
The filing alleges that Epstein’s behavior was so widely known at the bank that his interest in girls was the subject of jokes. In 2008, the filing says, Ms. Erdoes received an email asking whether Epstein was at an event with pop star Miley Cyrus, a minor at the time.
Ms. Erdoes and a JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment. The bank previously has said Ms. Erdoes wouldn’t overrule the bank’s compliance officials to protect a customer and “has only one recollection of formally meeting with [Epstein], which was the day she fired him as a client.”
The bank has denied that it aided Epstein and has sought to shift the focus to former executive Jes Staley. In a lawsuit against Mr. Staley last month, JPMorgan said the former executive “affirmatively misrepresented the true facts of his and Epstein’s personal interactions.”
Mr. Staley has said he never knew about Epstein’s alleged crimes. His lawyer has declined to comment about the allegations in the JPMorgan lawsuit.
In 2010, JPMorgan compliance officials decided that Epstein “should go,” according to the Wednesday filing, and raised questions about Epstein’s behavior.
A senior compliance official in 2011 voiced concerns about extending Epstein a loan in relation to a modeling agency that had been accused of bringing underage girls into the U.S.
According to court papers, the official noted that Epstein was no longer managing retail billionaire Leslie Wexner’s money and questioned whether he had any clients at all.
“I would like to know if in fact he is managing anyone’s money at this point or is it all his money,” the official wrote.
The compliance officer also said that Epstein had sponsored accounts and credit cards for two 18-year-olds in 2004, one of whom was named regularly in media reports about Epstein’s “escapades,” according to the filing. That woman had received $450,000 from Epstein, the complaint said.
Epstein deposited hundreds of thousands of dollars into the accounts of one known victim and another unnamed “recruiter” after he pleaded guilty in 2008, the U.S. Virgin Islands claimed in its amended lawsuit.
The compliance department flagged other payments Epstein made to women, the suit says. One official referred to Epstein as a “Sugar Daddy!”
The bank, according to court papers, was told the cash was being used for fuel and landing fees for Epstein’s private planes. Yet withdrawals continued while Epstein was in prison, the filing said.
JPMorgan’s Ties To Jeffrey Epstein Were Deeper Than the Bank Has Acknowledged
The bank has said it shut the convicted sex offender’s accounts in 2013, but its bankers were still meeting with him years later, people familiar with the matter said.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. had ties to Jeffrey Epstein that ran deeper than the bank has acknowledged and extended years beyond when it decided to close the convicted sex offender’s accounts, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mary Erdoes, a top lieutenant to Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, made two trips to Epstein’s townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, in 2011 and 2013, when Epstein still was a client of the bank, said the people familiar with the matter.
She exchanged dozens of emails with him and discussed sharing with him fees related to a charitable fund the bank was considering launching, the people said.
John Duffy, who ran JPMorgan’s U.S. private bank for the ultrarich, went to Epstein’s townhouse for a meeting in April 2013, the people said.
One month later, the private bank renewed an authorization allowing Epstein to borrow money against his accounts despite repeated warnings from compliance staffers about his unusual banking practices.
Justin Nelson, one of Epstein’s bankers at JPMorgan, had about a half-dozen meetings at Epstein’s townhouse between 2014 and 2017, the people said. He also traveled to Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico in 2016, the people said.
JPMorgan has said it closed Epstein’s accounts in 2013. Ms. Erdoes has previously said through a JPMorgan spokesman that the only time she remembered meeting Epstein was the day she fired him as a client of JPMorgan’s private bank. Ms. Erdoes declined to comment for this article.
Epstein was convicted of soliciting a minor for prostitution in 2008 and forced to register as a sex offender. He was arrested in 2019, accused of orchestrating a scheme to traffic and sexually abuse girls.
The bank has denied knowing about Epstein’s crimes and has sued one of its former executives, Jes Staley, accusing him of misleading the bank about Epstein’s character and conduct. Mr. Staley’s lawyers have said the allegations against him are baseless.
The new details show that JPMorgan was treating Epstein like a star client after his first conviction and despite repeated warnings from its own employees. And after JPMorgan closed Epstein’s accounts, bankers kept meeting with him for years.
A JPMorgan spokesman said the level of interaction with Epstein wasn’t atypical for a client of a private bank. Any meeting held with Epstein after 2013, the spokesman said, was regarding other JPMorgan bank clients whom Epstein represented.
Mr. Nelson declined to comment, the spokesman said. Mr. Duffy, who no longer works at the bank, didn’t respond to requests for comment.
A pair of lawsuits filed against JPMorgan late last year in federal court in Manhattan have drawn fresh attention to the bank’s ties to Epstein, who died in 2019 in New York jail of what the city’s medical examiner said was a suicide.
At the time, he was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. The lawsuits, brought by a woman who has accused Epstein of sexual abuse and by the U.S. Virgin Islands—home to Epstein’s private island getaway—alleged that the bank moved the money that was used to pay off his purported victims.
JPMorgan said it isn’t liable for Epstein’s crimes. Through a spokeswoman, lawyers for the Virgin Islands and the Epstein accuser said the public filings in the lawsuits speak for themselves.
In response to the two lawsuits, JPMorgan has handed over documents detailing interactions between Epstein and more than 20 employees and executives, past and present.
Many of them have given sworn testimony in depositions, and Mr. Dimon, the CEO, is expected to do the same next month.
Epstein became a JPMorgan client in about 1998, according to documents filed in connection with the lawsuits. Over the years, the bank would come to manage some 55 Epstein-related accounts containing hundreds of millions of dollars, the documents show.
Epstein formed a close bond with Mr. Staley, who ran the private bank that caters to the firm’s wealthiest clients. Epstein connected JPMorgan to Glenn Dubin, co-founder of Highbridge Capital Management, one of the fastest-growing hedge-fund firms of the 2000s.
JPMorgan bought a controlling stake in Highbridge in 2004 for more than $1 billion. Epstein earned a finder’s fee of about $15 million, The Wall Street Journal has reported.
The next year, the Palm Beach, Fla., police department launched an investigation after several teenage girls said Epstein paid them for massages and sexually assaulted them. He was indicted in 2006 for sex crimes.
That year, JPMorgan executives and compliance staffers began writing emails and memos sharing press reports about Epstein and discussing what to do with his accounts, classifying them as “high risk,” according to the Virgin Islands lawsuit.
JPMorgan executives were aware that Epstein had been accused of using cash to pay for girls to come to his house, Ms. Erdoes said in a previously reported deposition for the lawsuits.
A compliance team pointed out that Epstein routinely made large cash withdrawals, up to $80,000 at a time and more than $750,000 a year, according to the lawsuit.
Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 in Florida state court to procuring and soliciting a minor for prostitution. He was sentenced to 18 months and required to register as a sex offender. He ultimately served about 13 months in a work-release program.
Epstein advised JPMorgan’s Mr. Staley in 2008 as he negotiated his compensation at the bank, according to the lawsuit. In 2009, Mr. Staley visited Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion and Little St. James, his private island, the Virgin Islands lawsuit said.
The Virgin Islands lawsuit said communication between the two men “suggest that Staley may have been involved in Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation.”
The suit alleges Epstein wired money to a woman around the time that Mr. Staley stayed at Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., mansion and then again to the same woman when Mr. Staley told Epstein he would be in London.
Mr. Staley has said he was in the dark about Epstein’s alleged crimes and regrets their long-running friendship.
In September 2009, Mr. Staley was promoted to a new job running JPMorgan’s sprawling corporate and investment bank. Ms. Erdoes took over running its asset and wealth-management unit.
Mr. Staley visited Little St. James that November. “Presently, I’m in the hot tub with a glass of white wine,” Mr. Staley emailed Epstein, according to the lawsuit.
“This is an amazing place. Truly amazing. Next time, we’re here together. I owe you much. And I deeply appreciate our friendship. I have few so profound.”
JPMorgan’s compliance department was pressuring the bank to drop Epstein. “See below new allegations of an investigation related to child trafficking—are you still comfortable with this client who is now a registered sex offender,” one compliance officer wrote in a 2010 email, according to a recent filing in the Virgin Islands suit.
JPMorgan stuck with Epstein and granted him the ability that year to borrow against his $50 million account.
In January 2011, the bank’s anti-money-laundering compliance director contacted general counsel Stephen Cutler to get him to re-approve the relationship, according to the recent filing. Mr. Cutler didn’t respond to a request for comment.
A review of the relationship fell to Mr. Staley. Epstein told him “there was no truth to the allegations, no evidence,” compliance officials reported in 2011, the Virgin Islands lawsuit said.
“We will continue to monitor the accounts and cash usage closely going forward.”
Mr. Staley traveled to Little St. James again in January 2011, the people said.
In March of that year, Mr. Cutler asked a member of his team to seek information about Epstein from prosecutors, but the U.S. attorney in Miami didn’t disclose whether it was conducting a criminal investigation, according to the people familiar with the matter.
The bank’s anti-money-laundering division recommended closing Epstein’s accounts, the Virgin Islands lawsuit said.
Top bank executives continued meeting with Epstein. Epstein had pitched to JPMorgan a multibillion-dollar donor-advised philanthropy fund, where he would help bring in wealthy clients that could put in a minimum $100 million, according to the people familiar with the matter.
For months, Ms. Erdoes, Mr. Staley and Epstein discussed working together on the fund. Epstein’s potential compensation was a sticking point, according to emails reviewed by the Journal.
“Everyone is marching together to create something very powerful and we will solve the comp issues,” Ms. Erdoes wrote to Epstein in October 2011.
The fund never got off the ground.
Ms. Erdoes visited Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse in 2011 and 2013, said the people familiar with the matter. The 2011 meeting was about settling a lawsuit Epstein had filed against Bear Stearns, which JPMorgan had acquired, over losses from the investment bank’s collapse, the JPMorgan spokesman said.
Ms. Erdoes played a role in negotiating that settlement with Epstein for JPMorgan, according to the emails reviewed by the Journal. The bank offered Epstein $9.2 million to resolve the lawsuit, the emails show.
Mr. Nelson, who is currently a managing director at JPMorgan working with hedge-fund founders and big investors, visited Epstein at his New York townhouse several times, accompanied by other JPMorgan executives and bankers, the people said.
None of those visits have previously been reported.
Mr. Staley left the bank in early 2013, and JPMorgan decided to close Epstein’s accounts a few months later. Mr. Staley later became the CEO of Barclays PLC, but left the British bank in late 2021 after U.K. regulators said he provided an incomplete accounting of his relationship with Epstein.
JPMorgan employees continued meeting with Epstein after his accounts were closed about other clients and to discuss introductions he could make to potential clients, according to people familiar with the meetings.
Epstein had ties to ultrarich JPMorgan clients such as Leon Black, the co-founder of private-equity firm Apollo Global Management. Over the years, Mr. Black paid Epstein a total of $148 million for trust- and estate-tax advice, an independent review found.
Mr. Nelson went to Epstein’s townhouse seven times between 2014 to 2017, and visited Epstein’s ranch south of Santa Fe in January 2016, according to the people familiar with the matter.
Managing director Paul Barrett scheduled at least five meetings with Epstein from 2014 to 2017 before he left JPMorgan, according to documents reviewed by the Journal.
Epstein’s 2019 death ended the criminal trial against him.
The lawsuits against JPMorgan are scheduled to go to trial in October.
Epstein’s Private Calendar Reveals Prominent Names, Including CIA Chief, Goldman’s Top Lawyer
Schedules and emails detail meetings in the years after he was a convicted sex offender; visitors cite his wealth and connections.
The nation’s spy chief, a longtime college president and top women in finance. The circle of people who associated with Jeffrey Epstein years after he was a convicted sex offender is wider than previously reported, according to a trove of documents that include his schedules.
William Burns, director of the Central Intelligence Agency since 2021, had three meetings scheduled with Epstein in 2014, when he was deputy secretary of state, the documents show. They first met in Washington and then Mr. Burns visited Epstein’s townhouse in Manhattan.
Kathryn Ruemmler, a White House counsel under President Barack Obama, had dozens of meetings with Epstein in the years after her White House service and before she became a top lawyer at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in 2020.
He also planned for her to join a 2015 trip to Paris and a 2017 visit to Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean.
Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College, invited Epstein, who brought a group of young female guests, to the campus.
Noam Chomsky, a professor, author and political activist, was scheduled to fly with Epstein to have dinner at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse in 2015.
None of their names appear in Epstein’s now-public “black book” of contacts or in the public flight logs of passengers who traveled on his private jet.
The documents show that Epstein arranged multiple meetings with each of them after he had served jail time in 2008 for a sex crime involving a teenage girl and was registered as a sex offender.
The documents, which include thousands of pages of emails and schedules from 2013 to 2017, haven’t been previously reported.
The documents don’t reveal the purpose of most of the meetings. The Wall Street Journal couldn’t verify whether every scheduled meeting took place.
Most of those people told the Journal they visited Epstein for reasons related to his wealth and connections. Several said they thought he had served his time and had rehabilitated himself.
Mr. Botstein said he was trying to get Epstein to donate to his school. Mr. Chomsky said he and Epstein discussed political and academic topics.
Mr. Burns met with Epstein about a decade ago as he was preparing to leave government service, said CIA spokeswoman Tammy Kupperman Thorp.
“The director did not know anything about him, other than that he was introduced as an expert in the financial services sector and offered general advice on transition to the private sector,” she said. “They had no relationship.”
Ms. Ruemmler had a professional relationship with Epstein in connection with her role at law firm Latham & Watkins LLP and didn’t travel with him, a Goldman Sachs spokesman said.
Epstein introduced her to potential legal clients, such as Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, the spokesman said. “I regret ever knowing Jeffrey Epstein,” Ms. Ruemmler said.
A spokeswoman for Latham & Watkins said Epstein wasn’t a client of the firm.
In 2006, Epstein was publicly accused of sexually abusing girls in Florida who were as young as 14 years old.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and police investigated, and Epstein reached a deal with prosecutors in 2008. He avoided federal charges and pleaded guilty to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution.
He registered as a sex offender and served about 13 months in a work-release program.
Epstein’s case generated waves of media coverage at the time, with publications in the U.S. and abroad reporting on accusations from underage girls and young women.
In 2006, several politicians returned donations from Epstein. Some associates moved to distance themselves from him.
His biggest known client, retail billionaire Leslie Wexner, later said he cut ties in 2007. His bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., later said it closed his accounts in 2013, though some bankers continued to meet with him for years after.
In 2015, Virginia Giuffre publicly accused Epstein of sexually abusing and trafficking her when she was a teen and forcing her to have sex with influential people, including Prince Andrew. Prince Andrew has denied the allegations and last year settled a sex-abuse lawsuit by Ms. Giuffre.
Despite the negative press, Epstein’s days were filled from morning to night with meetings with prominent people, the documents show.
There were dinners at New York restaurants, meetings at luxury hotels and gatherings in the offices of prominent law firms. Many appointments were held at Epstein’s townhouse in Manhattan.
Prosecutors alleged in 2019 that the townhouse is where Epstein sexually abused female victims for years, many underage, and that he paid some of them to recruit their friends to engage in sexual activity.
After the Miami Herald reported that dozens of women said they were abused, prosecutors charged Epstein in 2019 with a sex trafficking conspiracy. He died that year in a New York jail while awaiting trial in what the city’s medical examiner said was a suicide.
Mr. Burns, 67 years old, a career diplomat and former ambassador to Russia, had meetings with Epstein in 2014 when Mr. Burns was deputy secretary of state.
A lunch was planned that August at the office of law firm Steptoe & Johnson in Washington. Epstein scheduled two evening appointments that September with Mr. Burns at his townhouse, the documents show.
After one of the scheduled meetings, Epstein planned for his driver to take Mr. Burns to the airport.
Mr. Burns recalls being introduced in Washington by a mutual friend, and meeting Epstein once briefly in New York, said Ms. Thorp. “The director does not recall any further contact, including receiving a ride to the airport,” she said.
The following month, October 2014, Mr. Burns stepped down from his role at the State Department to serve as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a think tank.
He ran the Carnegie Endowment until he was nominated in early 2021 by President Biden to serve as CIA director.
The documents show that Epstein appeared to know some of his guests well. He asked for avocado sushi rolls to be on hand when meeting with Ms. Ruemmler, according to the documents.
He visited apartments she was considering buying. In October 2014, Epstein knew her travel plans and told an assistant to look into her flight. “See if there is a first class seat,” he wrote, “if so upgrade her.”
In 2014, Epstein called Ms. Ruemmler within weeks of her leaving the Obama White House. Epstein planned a lunch in August 2014 at his townhouse, followed by a series of meetings to introduce her to a wider circle of his acquaintances.
Ms. Ruemmler first met Epstein after he called her to ask if she would be interested in representing Mr. Gates and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Goldman Sachs spokesman said.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Gates said Epstein never worked for Mr. Gates, misrepresented their relationship, and that Mr. Gates regrets ever meeting with him.
Epstein and his staff discussed whether Ms. Ruemmler, now 52, would be uncomfortable with the presence of young women who worked as assistants and staffers at the townhouse, the documents show.
Women emailed Epstein on two occasions to ask if they should avoid the home while Ms. Ruemmler was there. Epstein told one of the women he didn’t want her around, and another that it wasn’t a problem, the documents show.
Ms. Ruemmler didn’t see anything that would lead her to be concerned at the townhouse and didn’t express any concern, the Goldman spokesman said.
Several people who visited Epstein during this time period said they noticed young women at his townhouse. One of the visitors, Helen Fisher, an anthropologist who studies romantic love and attachment, had lunch with Epstein in January 2016 to discuss her work.
Dr. Fisher said that after the lunch, Epstein invited her to speak with his staff. “And then, in filed, I would say, six young women,” she said. “All of them good looking. All of them young.”
Dr. Fisher said Epstein never funded her work, they weren’t friends and they didn’t stay in touch. “I didn’t have anything to do with Jeffrey Epstein,” she said. “But I remembered it because of his spectacular house and because of the six young women.”
Over the next few years, Ms. Ruemmler, then a partner specializing in white-collar defense at Latham & Watkins, had more than three dozen appointments with Epstein, including for lunches and dinners.
“In the normal course, Epstein also invited her to meetings and social gatherings, introduced her to other business contacts and made referrals,” the Goldman spokesman said. “It was the same kinds of contacts and engagements she had with other contacts and clients.”
In 2015, she was scheduled to fly with Epstein to Paris and in 2017 he planned to stop in St. Lucia to take her to his island home in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the day, according to the documents.
Ms. Ruemmler never visited his island and “never accepted an invitation or an opportunity to fly with Jeffrey Epstein anywhere,” the Goldman spokesman said.
In addition to her current role as general counsel at Goldman Sachs, Ms. Ruemmler is co-chair of its reputational risk committee, which monitors business and client decisions for potential damage to the bank’s image.
Epstein also connected Ms. Ruemmler with Ariane de Rothschild, who is now chief executive of the Swiss private bank Edmond de Rothschild Group.
The bank hired Ms. Ruemmler’s law firm, Latham & Watkins, after the introduction to help with U.S. regulatory matters, according to the bank and the Goldman spokesman.
Mrs. de Rothschild, who married into the famous banking family, had more than a dozen meetings with Epstein. He sought her help with staffing and furnishings as well as discussed business deals with her, according to the documents.
In September 2013, Epstein asked Mrs. de Rothschild in an email for help finding a new assistant, “female…multilingual, organized.”
“I’ll ask around,” Mrs. de Rothschild emailed back.
She bought nearly $1 million worth of auction items on Epstein’s behalf in 2014 and 2015, the documents show.
Mrs. de Rothschild was named chairwoman of the bank in January 2015. That October, she and Epstein negotiated a $25 million contract for Epstein’s Southern Trust Co. to provide “risk analysis and the application and use of certain algorithms” for the bank, according to a proposal reviewed by the Journal.
In 2019, after Epstein was arrested, the bank said that Mrs. de Rothschild never met with Epstein and it had no business links with him.
The bank acknowledged to the Journal that its earlier statement wasn’t accurate. It said Mrs. de Rothschild met with Epstein as part of her normal duties at the bank between 2013 and 2019, and Epstein introduced the bank to U.S. finance leaders, recommended law firms and provided tax and risk consulting.
“In parallel to that, Epstein solicited her personally on a couple occasions for advice and services on estate management,” the bank said.
Mrs. de Rothschild had no knowledge of any legal proceedings against Epstein and “was similarly unaware of any questions regarding his personal conduct,” the bank said.
After later learning of his behavior, the bank said, “she feels for and supports the victims.”
One of Epstein’s scheduled meetings with Mrs. de Rothschild, in January 2014, included another of his regular guests: Joshua Cooper Ramo, then co-chief executive of Henry Kissinger’s corporate consulting firm.
Epstein scheduled more than a dozen meetings from 2013 to 2017 with Mr. Ramo, who at the time served on the boards of Starbucks Corp. and FedEx Corp., the documents show. Epstein had special snacks on hand because he believed Mr. Ramo was vegetarian, the documents indicate.
Many of Mr. Ramo’s appointments with Epstein were in the evenings, typically after 5 p.m., at the townhouse.
Mr. Ramo also was invited to a breakfast at the townhouse in September 2013 with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, another regular guest, the documents show.
Mr. Ramo, who still sits on the board of FedEx and recently stepped down from the Starbucks board, didn’t respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for Mr. Kissinger said he wasn’t aware that Mr. Ramo was meeting with Epstein.
Mr. Barak also met Epstein in 2015 with Mr. Chomsky, now 94, a linguistics professor and political activist who has been critical of capitalism and U.S. foreign policy.
Mr. Chomsky said Epstein arranged the meeting with Mr. Barak for them to discuss “Israel’s policies with regard to Palestinian issues and the international arena.”
Mr. Barak said he often met with Epstein on trips to New York and was introduced to people such as Mr. Ramo and Mr. Chomsky to discuss geopolitics or other topics.
“He often brought other interesting persons, from art or culture, law or science, finance, diplomacy or philanthropy,” Mr. Barak said.
Epstein arranged several meetings in 2015 and 2016 with Mr. Chomsky, while he was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
When asked about his relationship with Epstein, Mr. Chomsky replied in an email: “First response is that it is none of your business. Or anyone’s. Second is that I knew him and we met occasionally.”
In March 2015, Epstein scheduled a gathering with Mr. Chomsky and Harvard University professor Martin Nowak and other academics, according to the documents. Mr. Chomsky said they had several meetings at Mr. Nowak’s research institute to discuss neuroscience and other topics.
Two months later, Epstein planned to fly with Mr. Chomsky and his wife to have dinner with them and movie director Woody Allen and his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, the documents show.
“If there was a flight, which I doubt, it would have been from Boston to New York, 30 minutes,” Mr. Chomsky said. “I’m unaware of the principle that requires that I inform you about an evening spent with a great artist.”
Epstein donated at least $850,000 to MIT between 2002 and 2017, and more than $9.1 million to Harvard from 1998 to 2008, the schools have said.
In 2021, Harvard said it was sanctioning Mr. Nowak for violating university policies in his dealings with Epstein, and was shutting a research center he ran that Epstein had funded.
MIT said it was inappropriate to accept Epstein’s gifts, and that it later donated $850,000 to nonprofits supporting survivors of sexual abuse.
In a 2020 interview with the “dunc tank” podcast, Mr. Chomsky said that people he considered worse than Epstein had donated to MIT. He didn’t mention any of his meetings with Epstein.
Mr. Chomsky told the Journal that at the time of his meetings “what was known about Jeffrey Epstein was that he had been convicted of a crime and had served his sentence. According to U.S. laws and norms, that yields a clean slate.”
MIT said lawyers investigating its ties to Epstein didn’t find that Mr. Chomsky met with Epstein on its campus or received funding from him. Harvard declined to comment beyond the report it published on its Epstein ties in 2020.
Mr. Nowak has said he regretted his role in fostering a connection between Epstein and Harvard. He didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Mr. Botstein, 76, president of Bard College since 1975, had about two dozen meetings scheduled with Epstein over about four years, which were mostly visits to the townhouse.
“I was an unsuccessful fundraiser and actually the object of a little bit of sadism on his part in dangling philanthropic support,” said Mr. Botstein. “That was my relationship with him.”
Mr. Botstein said he first visited Epstein’s townhouse in 2012 to thank him for unsolicited donations to Bard’s high schools, then he returned over several years in an attempt to get more donations.
In 2015, Epstein donated 66 laptops, the documents show.
“We looked him up, and he was a convicted felon for a sex crime,” he said. Bard has a large program providing education to prisoners, he said. “We believe in rehabilitation.”
Mr. Botstein, also the longtime music director for the American Symphony Orchestra, invited Epstein to an opera at Bard in 2013, then a concert at the college in 2016, the documents indicate.
Epstein planned each time to bring some of his young female assistants and arrive by helicopter.
Mr. Botstein said he was expecting Epstein to support classical music causes and that the school took precautions when he visited. “Because of his previous record, we had security ready,” he said. “He did not have any free access to anybody.”
At Epstein’s home, Mr. Botstein was led to a dining room where they discussed classical music and other causes, he said. “He presented himself as a billionaire, a really, really rich person,” he said.
“I found him odd and arrogant. And what I finally came to believe, which is why we stopped contact with him, is that he was simply stringing us along.”
Despite all his meetings, Mr. Botstein said, Epstein never made another donation to Bard. “It was a blessing in disguise,” he said, “that we never got any [more] money.”
US Virgin Islands Seeks To Bar JPMorgan’s ‘Unclean Hands’ Defense In Epstein Case
* Bank Has Argued The Territory Failed To Act Against Epstein
* USVI Said A Government Entity Can’t Be Sued Over Such Failure
The US Virgin Islands is asking a judge to block JPMorgan Chase & Co. from arguing that the territory has “unclean hands” in suing the bank for allegedly benefiting from Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes because it also failed to act against him.
The USVI said in Monday filing in Manhattan federal court that JPMorgan was seeking “to shift fault to the government for alleged failure to prevent Epstein’s and JPMorgan’s own trafficking-related activity.”
According to the territory, a state entity can’t be held liable for failing to protect a specific individual rather than the general public.
JPMorgan, which declined to comment on the filing, is facing two suits over its ties to Epstein, who was a client at the bank from 1998 to 2013. One is a proposed class action by an unidentified Epstein victim while the second was brought by the USVI, where the late financier had a private island retreat to which he brought some of his victims.
In its February motion to dismiss the USVI suit, JPMorgan called the territory’s claims a “masterclass in deflection,” saying it failed to act against Epstein despite having the same information about allegations against him as the bank.
“To the contrary, during the same period, USVI granted Epstein and his businesses lucrative privileges and massive tax incentives,” JPMorgan argued.
The USVI on Monday argued that it did not have the same knowledge as the bank.
“JPMorgan had real-time information on Epstein’s activity that the government did not and had specific legal duties to report this information to law enforcement authorities, which it intentionally decided not to do,” the USVI said.
The bank has long claimed that it didn’t know about Epstein’s crimes and has sued former executive Jes Staley for allegedly vouching for him. Both suits against JPMorgan allege Staley knew of Epstein’s conduct and argue that his knowledge should be imputed to the bank as his employer.
Staley has moved to dismiss JPMorgan’s claims, arguing he had no power over the bank’s decision to keep Epstein as a client.
Jeffrey Epstein Keeps Haunting Wall Street Long After His Death
* Records Show How Executives Across Industry Maintained Ties
* They Sought To Benefit From His Wealth, Rolodex And Influence
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partners swapped incredulous messages, traded theories and fielded queries from puzzled clients after the revelation two weeks ago of its top lawyer’s ties with Jeffrey Epstein.
But when the bank’s general counsel, Kathy Ruemmler, was hired in 2020, she had told its leadership about her past dealings with the disgraced financier, explaining that he offered the use of his network to help drum up business while she was in private practice.
Now, Ruemmler, 52, and Goldman are on an unenviable list of Wall Street names as the industry once again contends with past associations with Epstein.
Troves of Epstein records from recent legal battles and documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal show a wide cast of executives and even some firms were willing to work with the money man long after his 2008 conviction for soliciting prostitution from a minor.
They stomached close associations with the well-connected financier despite his criminal record and other serious allegations to benefit from his wealth, Rolodex and influence until his arrest and jailhouse death in 2019.
The result is that executives at companies including Goldman, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Barclays Plc are seeing those connections spill into public view — and in many cases expressing remorse.
After the disclosures, Ruemmler told the Journal “I regret ever knowing Jeffrey Epstein.”
Ruemmler knew Epstein professionally, “and she proactively told Goldman Sachs about that and other business contacts and clients during the hiring process,” a spokesman for the bank said.
“Many of Ms. Ruemmler’s contacts with Mr. Epstein related to a potential representation involving the Gates Foundation, a representation of the Edmond de Rothschild bank which became a long-term client, and other business opportunities.”
That’s now part of the newest phase of the Epstein fallout. Some of his jet-setting with prominent figures came to light around the time of his 2019 arrest. But increasingly, attention is falling on people who tried in quieter ways to do business with or through him.
A pair of lawsuits against JPMorgan — one on behalf of Epstein’s victims and another from the US Virgin Islands, where he lived — have been exploring why the bank and its executives continued handling the sex offender’s money for years after his initial conviction.
Plaintiffs argue the company effectively enabled some of his alleged sex-trafficking, which the firm vigorously disputes.
In March, JPMorgan sued Jes Staley, its former head of asset management, accusing him of keeping it in the dark about the extent of his relationship with Epstein and shielding the financier from being rejected as a customer.
The bank has sought to claw back Staley’s pay and said he should bear any liability for its dealings with Epstein. Staley, in turn, accused the bank of using him as a “public relations shield” and asked a court to dismiss the case.
The litigation has forced JPMorgan executives, including wealth management chief Mary Erdoes, to answer questions about why the firm held on to Epstein’s business for about five years after his first conviction. Erdoes isn’t named as a defendant.
“I am so sad that we had any relation to that man whatsoever,” JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said last week. He said the bank would have done things “differently” if it had known the full scope of Epstein’s actions and behavior.
At Citigroup, Paul Barrett, a senior private banker, exited the company after it was reported that he scheduled five meetings with Epstein between 2014 and 2017 when he was at JPMorgan.
“Until recently, Citi was unaware of Paul Barrett’s association with Jeffrey Epstein, which predated his employment at our firm,” a spokesperson for Citigroup said in a statement. “Mr. Barrett is no longer employed by Citi.”
And at Bank of America a wealth adviser was recently deposed about his relationship with Epstein when he was at JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank AG. A Bank of America spokesperson declined to comment on his behalf.
Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College, repeatedly pursued Epstein to raise money for his college. He wouldn’t do that again, he said.
“You cannot pick and choose, because among the very rich is a higher percentage of unpleasant and not very attractive people. Capitalism is a rough system,” he said in a statement, repeating remarks made earlier this month. He now describes Epstein as a monster and truly evil man.
Yet some of the most heavily documented meetings in the Wall Street Journal’s Epstein files are tied to Goldman’s Ruemmler.
The former Justice Department prosecutor and Obama White House counsel built her ties with Epstein after heading into private practice in 2014. She went on to become the chair of the white-collar defense and investigations practice at Latham & Watkins.
She told Goldman executives that Epstein had respected her advice, and that she provided him informal guidance without taking him on as a client, one of the people said, asking not to be named discussing the confidential talks.
The Journal reported April 30 that Epstein’s calendar shows Ruemmler had more than three dozen meetings scheduled with him in the years before his death, including plans to visit apartments she was looking to purchase.
She was also present at his arraignment in 2019 when he was charged with multiple sex crimes, sitting close to his legal camp even though she was not representing him, two of the people said.
The Goldman spokesman declined to comment about her presence at the arraignment or the apartment hunting.
Goldman’s general counsel office has been an institution inside the firm, jousting with governments as the bank pursued lucrative opportunities around the world that could invite extra attention.
Greg Palm served as its top in-house lawyer for nearly three decades until 2019, spanning an era of spectacular growth.
As the bank finally sought a successor, Ruemmler was in the running and even had the backing of top executives. But then-CEO Lloyd Blankfein picked Sullivan & Cromwell’s Karen Seymour.
By 2020, under CEO David Solomon’s leadership, Goldman brought Ruemmler into the fold. A year later, the firm elevated her to general counsel as Seymour returned to Sullivan & Cromwell.
Ruemmler soon emerged as one of the highest-paid in-house corporate lawyers in the industry, with Goldman awarding her $17.5 million for her work in 2021, her first full year.
This March, the board praised her in materials for its annual shareholder meeting, saying she has “exhibited exceptional judgment and provided sound counsel.”
JPMorgan Says Former US Virgin Islands First Lady Got Visas For Epstein Victims
* Cecile De Jongh Was ‘Epstein’s Primary Conduit’ For Influence
* USVI Says JPMorgan Trying To Deflect From Its Responsibility
JPMorgan Chase & Co. accused the former first lady of the US Virgin Islands of aiding Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking in a number of ways, including helping to arrange visas, jobs and travel for some of his victims and assisting him in skirting the territory’s sex-offender monitoring law.
According to the bank, Cecile de Jongh, the wife of former USVI Governor John de Jongh, was Epstein’s “primary conduit for spreading money and influence throughout the USVI government.”
She managed Epstein’s USVI companies, receiving $200,000 in compensation in 2007 alone, and he also paid tuition for her children, JPMorgan contends. She in turn “explicitly advised Epstein on how to buy control of the USVI political class,” the bank said.
The bank made the allegations in a Thursday court filing that was a less-redacted version of one it filed earlier in the week. The filing was made in opposition to USVI’s motion to block JPMorgan from arguing an “unclean hands” defense to the territory’s lawsuit accusing the bank of knowingly benefiting from Epstein’s sex trafficking.
A spokeswoman for the USVI attorney general’s Office said the latest filing was an obvious attempt to shift blame away from JPMorgan, “which had a legal responsibility to report the evidence in its possession of Epstein’s human trafficking.”
De Jongh did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to JPMorgan’s lawyers, de Jongh helped obtain student visas for three young women connected to Epstein, arranging their enrollment at the University of the Virgin Islands. “Perhaps cognizant of the risk in having a registered sex offender sign the letter,” the first lady offered to have someone else to sign letters for the women showing their ability to pay tuition, the bank said.
Epstein donated heavily to USVI politicians and the government itself, according to the filing. That included $30,000 to the campaign of Representative Stacey Plaskett, the USVI’s non-voting delegate to Congress, a $25,000 gift to current Governor Albert Bryan’s inaugural committee and donations to a school library.
De Jongh also suggested that Epstein put USVI Senator Celestino White on “some sort of monthly retainer” to get loyalty and access, the filing states.
De Jongh additionally acted as a conduit between Epstein and the USVI Port Authority, which managed the airport Epstein used.
‘Will It Work for You?’
“Based on his government connections, when traveling through the USVI’s airport accompanied by young women as a registered sex offender, Epstein could count on his ‘great relationship’ with the officials there to avoid scrutiny or detection,” the filing states.
In 2010, Epstein emailed de Jongh to complain about a “difficult” customs officer at the airport. Two years later, he asked her about the possibility of sending all 78 customs officers turkeys for Thanksgiving.
In 2011, De Jongh and Epstein also communicated about the wording of a bill before the USVI legislature to increase monitoring of sex offenders.
Epstein was registered as a sex offender following his 2008 conviction in Florida for soliciting a minor for prostitution.
“This is the suggested language; will it work for you?” de Jongh allegedly asked Epstein in an email about the draft. When the bill subsequently passed, she apologized to him for “how things panned out,” JPMorgan claims.
“However, all is not lost and we will figure something out by coming up with a game plan to get around these obstacles,” she wrote, according to the bank. JPMorgan alleges that de Jongh then “crafted a plan to facilitate Epstein’s easy travel to and from the USVI” by working with specific politicians and officials in the territory.
Jes Staley To Be Deposed In JPMorgan Epstein Cases On June 10
Former JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive Jes Staley is scheduled to be deposed starting June 10 in litigation over the bank’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein, according to people familiar with the matter.
JPMorgan is facing two lawsuits, one by an unidentified Epstein victim and another by the US Virgin Islands, accusing the bank of knowingly benefiting from Epstein’s sex-trafficking.
Staley is not a defendant in either of those suits, but both plaintiffs accuse him of knowing about Epstein’s conduct while employed at JPMorgan as private banking head.
Staley is being sued by JPMorgan though, which claims he misled the bank by vouching for Epstein when bank executives were deciding whether to retain him as a client.
Staley, who later became Barclays Plc chief executive officer but stepped down in 2021 over his relationship with Epstein, has denied the bank’s allegations.
Lawyers for the Epstein victim, USVI and JPMorgan will all participate in questioning Staley, who has been asked to set aside two days for testimony. His deposition was originally scheduled for March but was postponed.
Staley’s former boss at JPMorgan, Jamie Dimon, sat for a deposition on May 26. A transcript of his testimony was released on Wednesday.
The cases are Jane Doe 1 v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10019 and USVI v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10904-UA, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
Dimon Testified JPMorgan Epstein Ties Decided By Erdoes, Cutler
* Transcript Of Dimon’s May 26 Deposition Was Released Wednesday
* Dimon Denied Meeting Epstein Or Knowing Who He Was Until 2019
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon testified that then-private banking head Mary Erdoes and then-general counsel Stephen Cutler could have decided to drop Jeffrey Epstein as a bank client after accounts of his sex-trafficking emerged.
Dimon described the decision-making process in his May 26 deposition in two lawsuits that accuse the bank of knowingly benefiting from Epstein’s crimes. The CEO said Cutler, as JPMorgan’s top in-house lawyer, would have been the “ultimate decider” in retaining Epstein as a client.
A transcript of Dimon’s deposition was released Wednesday with agreement of JPMorgan and the plaintiffs.
A spokeswoman for JPMorgan said in a statement that, had the bank believed Epstein was engaged in a sex trafficking operation, he “would not have been retained as a client.” Epstein was a client of JPMorgan between 1998 and 2013.
Throughout the deposition, Dimon steadfastly denied ever meeting Epstein or taking part in any decisions about his accounts at the bank.
The CEO said he didn’t even know who Epstein was until 2019, when the financier was arrested, charged with sex-trafficking and subsequently found dead in his jail cell.
“I don’t recall knowing anything about Jeffrey Epstein until the stories broke sometime in 2019,” he said. “And I was surprised that I didn’t even — had never even heard of the guy, pretty much, and how involved he was with so many people.”
David Boies, an attorney for Doe who questioned Dimon during the deposition, on Thursday expressed skepticism about the CEO’s comment.
“If, as he claims, Mr Dimon was the only person in New York who never heard of Epstein before July 2019, that is an indictment, not a defense,” Boies said in a statement.
Dimon testified that his executives didn’t notify him when Epstein was indicted for soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida in 2006.
He also said neither Erdoes, Staley nor Cutler discussed Epstein with him in 2008 and 2010 when further press reports surfaced about investigations into his sexual misconduct.
‘The Right Thing’
Dimon was asked about two emails Cutler sent in July 2011 to senior JPMorgan executives, including Erdoes and Staley. In the first email, Cutler stated that Epstein was “not an honorable person in any way” and that “he should not be a client.”
In the second, which was sent only to Erdoes, the general counsel said the bank “should put it and him behind us” and that Epstein wasn’t “a person we should do business with, period.”
The CEO said that he wasn’t aware of either email at the time. Asked if Erdoes and Jes Staley had made the decision to retain Epstein as a client, Dimon said Cutler was authorized to veto them as general counsel.
“I have the utmost respect for Steve Cutler,” Dimon said. “He’s one of the finest individuals and lawyers I know. He had the ability to override it. If he allowed them to make that judgment, it’s because he didn’t step in and say, ‘you have to go.’ But he could have done that.”
Dimon also said in the deposition that he had “trust and respect” in both Erdoes and Cutler. “I think they were both trying to do the right thing,” he said.
Cutler, who is now at law firm Simpson Thacher and Bartlett, didn’t respond to a request for comment. The former general counsel was also deposed last week.
Emails and documents filed in court showed Cutler, Erdoes and former JPMorgan executive Jes Staley met several times between 2008 and 2011 to address the risks Epstein posed.
Boies said Dimon’s testimony showed that JPMorgan’s top executives knew “for years” that Epstein was a sex offender and withdrew hundreds of millions of dollars in cash to fund what he was doing.
In a separate statement, Brad Edwards, another lawyer for Doe, said JPMorgan bankers were pointing the finger at each other, “claiming this hot potato was someone else’s fault.”
Erdoes was deposed in March, and Staley is set to be deposed in June, according to people familiar with the matter.
Dimon’s deposition, which took place at JPMorgan’s New York City office, was part of two lawsuits, one filed by a Jane Doe Epstein victim and the other by the US Virgin Islands.
JPMorgan had initially fought efforts to have Dimon questioned, arguing he had no involvement in decisions about Epstein’s accounts.
The bank cut ties with Epstein in 2013 after Staley, who looked after Epstein as a client, left JPMorgan and joined hedge fund Blue Mountain Capital. Staley became CEO of Barclays Plc in 2015 but stepped down in 2021 over his relationship with Epstein. Erdoes personally went to Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse to fire him, Dimon recalled.
JPMorgan has filed its own lawsuit against Staley, accusing the former executive of misleadingly vouching for Epstein and seeking to hold him responsible for any liability the bank incurs from the Epstein suits.
A lawyer for Staley, who has denied JPMorgan’s allegations, also participated in Dimon’s deposition.
More than 1,200 emails exchanged between Epstein and Staley while he was at JPMorgan, and filed in the lawsuits, detailed the depth of their friendship.
Staley spent time on Epstein’s private island in the USVI, according to the emails, and the pair discussed Disney princesses, an apparent reference to women.
Dimon was asked several times about communications between Staley and Epstein, some of which referenced him. In one instance, he was questioned about a February 2010 message to Epstein by an assistant who asked what kind of food should be provided for evening appointments with “Jes and Jamie,” as well as third person whose name was redacted.
“I have never had an appointment with Jeff Epstein,” Dimon responded. “I’ve never met Jeff Epstein. I never knew Jeff Epstein.
I never went to Jeff Epstein’s house. I never had a meal with Jeff Epstein. I have no idea what they’re referring to here.”
‘Never Would Have Happened’
Dimon was also asked several times about his relationship with Staley. The CEO largely said he didn’t recall times when he’d praised the former executive. But he seemed to have a better memory of his reasons for asking Staley to leave JPMorgan in 2013.
One reason, Dimon said, was that Staley “was not doing a good job running the investment bank.” But the CEO said Staley was also asked to leave in part because of unauthorized comments he made to the press about the “London Whale” trading losses that roiled the bank in 2012.
Dimon testified that Staley actually told him that he was hoping to get the CEO pushed out over the London Whale and take the top job himself.
“Which, of course, just so you know, never would have happened,” Dimon said, adding that “the board never would have put him in that job.”
The cases are Jane Doe 1 v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10019 and USVI v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10904-UA, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
Jamie Dimon Says He Never Discussed Jeffrey Epstein’s Accounts At JPMorgan; Jes Staley Says Dimon Did
Former JPMorgan executive Jes Staley said he and Dimon discussed whether to keep Epstein as a client; JPMorgan says that is false.
A former top JPMorgan Chase executive said in legal documents that for years he communicated with Chief Executive Jamie Dimon about the bank’s business with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein—setting the stage for a conflict with his former boss, who maintains he had no such conversations.
Jes Staley’s statements, made in documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal that haven’t been made public, are his first remarks to emerge about conversations between him and Dimon regarding Epstein. The bank on Tuesday said Staley’s statements are false.
The documents are part of the discovery process for a legal fight over JPMorgan’s connections to Epstein.
In the documents, Staley said that Dimon communicated with him when Epstein was arrested in 2006 and in 2008 when Epstein pleaded guilty. Staley also said that Dimon communicated with him various times about whether to maintain Epstein as a client through 2012.
Epstein was accused of sexually abusing girls in 2006 and pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution. He subsequently spent time in a Florida jail and registered as a sex offender.
Dimon was deposed Friday in the legal fight. The CEO said that he had no recollection of reading news stories about Epstein or discussing Epstein’s accounts.
He said other executives, including the bank’s general counsel, should have reviewed Epstein’s activity and had the authority to end the bank’s relationship with Epstein, according to a transcript of his deposition that was unsealed Wednesday.
“I don’t recall knowing anything about Jeffrey Epstein until the stories broke sometime in 2019,” Dimon said. “And I was surprised that I didn’t even—had never even heard of the guy, pretty much, and how involved he was with so many people.”
Dimon doesn’t believe such conversations with Staley ever happened, a JPMorgan spokeswoman added.
“There is no evidence that any such communications ever occurred—nothing in the voluminous number of documents reviewed and nothing in the nearly dozen depositions taken, including that of our own CEO,” said the spokeswoman.
“The one person who claims this to be true is currently accused of horrific acts and dishonesty.”
A lawyer for Staley, who left JPMorgan in 2013, declined to comment.
The statements arose as part of a pair of lawsuits against the bank in a federal court in Manhattan. The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands and an unnamed woman, who said she was abused by Epstein, sued JPMorgan last year, claiming that the bank facilitated Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking.
The bank has sought to pin the bulk of the relationship on Staley and sued him claiming he misled executives about Epstein.
The bank in its lawsuit identified Staley as the “powerful financial executive” accused of sexual assault by the woman who is suing JPMorgan.
Staley’s lawyers have said the allegations against him are baseless.
Epstein was arrested in 2019 on federal sex-trafficking charges. He died in jail later that year while awaiting trial.
JPMorgan has said that the lawsuits have no merit and that it didn’t know about Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking before he was arrested in 2019. Staley has denied he knew about Epstein’s alleged trafficking and said he regrets his friendship with Epstein.
Epstein became a JPMorgan client around 1998, and, over the years, the bank came to manage dozens of Epstein-related accounts containing hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the lawsuits.
Epstein formed a close bond with Staley, who ran the private bank that catered to the firm’s wealthiest clients and later oversaw its investment bank, according to the lawsuits.
In August 2008, a few weeks after Epstein’s guilty plea, a JPMorgan employee sent an email that suggested Dimon would review the Epstein relationship, according to the U.S. Virgin Islands lawsuit.
The 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).”
The bank has said that there is no record of such a review and that Dimon doesn’t recall one.
Epstein had one meeting scheduled with both Dimon and Staley, on March 2, 2010, according to documents viewed by the Journal. The JPMorgan spokeswoman said that the meeting wasn’t on Dimon’s calendar and that Dimon didn’t attend.
In his deposition, Dimon said that it was General Counsel Stephen Cutler’s job to approve or terminate Epstein as a client and that other JPMorgan executives, including Mary Erdoes, could have also terminated the bank’s relationship with Epstein.
Lawyers asked Dimon about an email from 2011 in which Cutler wrote that the bank should not do business with Epstein. “This is not an honorable person in any way. He should not be a client,” Cutler wrote.
When asked why Epstein remained a client, Dimon said, “I have the utmost respect for Steve Cutler. He’s one of the finest individuals and lawyers I know.
He had the ability to override it. If he allowed them to make that judgment, it’s because he didn’t step in and say, you have to go. But he could have done that.”
Dimon also said he thought Cutler and Erdoes were “trying to do the right thing,” and that he trusts both.
Cutler, whose office was next to Dimon’s for several years and left JPMorgan in 2018, declined to comment through a lawyer. Erdoes declined to comment through a spokeswoman.
“Conveniently, each banker points a finger at the other, claiming this hot potato was someone else’s fault,” said Brad Edwards, a lawyer representing the woman suing JPMorgan. “Regardless how unbelievable the finger-pointing or purported lack of knowledge is, responsibility rests with the bank.”
Epstein remained a client of JPMorgan after his guilty plea, and top executives continued to meet with Epstein as JPMorgan’s compliance department pressured the bank to drop Epstein, the Journal has reported.
JPMorgan has said it cut off Epstein’s accounts in 2013, shortly after Staley left the bank.
Staley was at one point a close ally of Dimon. At that time, he was viewed as a leading candidate to one day succeed Dimon at the helm of JPMorgan.
After Staley left JPMorgan, he later took over London giant Barclays. Staley resigned from Barclays in 2021 amid a regulatory investigation into whether he had fully disclosed his ties to Epstein.
In his deposition, Dimon was asked why he asked Staley to leave the bank: “I thought he was not doing a good job running the investment bank,” he answered.
Dimon said he felt remorse for the women who have accused Epstein of abuse. “I think what happened to these women is atrocious, and I’m horrified at the amount of human trafficking that takes place,” he said.
Dimon said that he doesn’t believe the bank was responsible but that he was willing to apologize to the women for whatever role the bank could have played to help report Epstein sooner. “I would apologize to them for that, yes,” he said.
Odey In Talks With Banks After New Sexual Assault Allegations Roil Fund Manager
* Morgan Stanley Cutting Ties As JPMorgan, Goldman Review Links
* UK’s FCA Is Said To Be Investigating Odey Asset Management
Odey Asset Management, whose founding partner is facing new allegations of sexual assault, is in discussions with some of the world’s largest investment banks after they started distancing themselves from hedge fund manager Crispin Odey.
In a letter to investors seen by Bloomberg News, the London-based firm’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Martin said it’s in “active discussions with all service providers and we are confident that our service providers will continue to work with us to ensure that the interests of investors are protected.”
Hours after the publication of the fresh allegations, Morgan Stanley began the process of terminating its prime-brokerage relationship with Odey, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. were also reviewing their relationships in light of the claims, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private.
Martin said the firm’s lawyers are looking into the claims and the senior management “do not recognize” the picture painted in a Financial Times investigation published on Thursday. The report detailed Odey’s treatment of women over a 25-year period that included multiple allegations of sexual harassment or assault.
“OAM treats, now and in the past, all such allegations extremely seriously,” the firm said in the letter.
The UK’s financial watchdog — the Financial Conduct Authority — is in the midst of a two-year investigation into the asset manager, a person familiar with the matter said. That may be widened to encompass the latest allegations.
“We take allegations of non-financial misconduct seriously and expect firms to have adequate governance procedures in place that ensures allegations of misconduct are properly investigated,” a FCA spokesperson said in a statement, while declining to comment specifically on Odey.
A spokesman for Odey declined to comment on the letter. Representatives for the firm, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Goldman declined to comment on the latest status of their relationship. Prime brokers offer a range of services to their hedge fund clients, including leverage and trade execution.
A representative for UBS Group AG, which is also listed as a prime broker for Odey’s flagship hedge fund in a recent investor document, declined to comment.
The allegations roiling Odey are the latest in a series the asset manager has faced in recent years. In 2021, he was acquitted of assault charges in British courts, but new accusations against him surfaced soon after, with two women coming forward to Bloomberg News. Later, more appeared in a Tortoise Media Podcast.
A law firm representing Odey said he “strenuously disputed” the allegations, according to the FT, which earlier reported Morgan Stanley’s move to distance itself.
“Trust is key for clients, and firms can maintain that by being transparent about their standards and internal culture,” said Bev Shah, founder of City Hive, an advocacy group in London that promotes diversity in the investment management industry. “It looks like they were not paying attention, and if that is the case, what else have they been missing?”
Odey is known for courting controversy from his support of Brexit to his conspicuous lifestyle, and from his short bets against the pound to his spectacular losses and bounce backs.
“Crispin Odey, whom I’ve known in a professional capacity, has had a long reputation of being eccentric and eclectic,” said Jacob Schmidt, CEO of Schmidt Research Partners. “Accusations rarely come unjustified.
Hence, I’m not surprised that MS cut ties and others are reviewing as the reputational risks are massive.”
Last year, Odey celebrated his best ever year of gains with his hedge fund surging 152%, powered mainly by his highly leveraged short wagers on long-dated UK government bonds as inflation and political turmoil roiled the British economy. His fund was down 4% through April this year, according to an investor document.
Yet, years of previous losses and turmoil at his firm has seen most of his investors gone. His hedge fund, which once had $1.8 billion in assets at its peak in 2015, was down to €289 million ($311 million) at the end of April. Firm-wide assets have dwindled to about $3 billion from $13 billion it managed at its height.
When Odey was fighting the assault charge in 2020, the firm rebranded several of its funds to remove his name and housed them under a new entity called Brook Asset Management.
The bulk of the firm’s funds are now run by other portfolio managers that include James Hanbury and Oliver Kelton.
Dimon Sought for Fresh Deposition in JPMorgan Epstein Suit
* Lawyers Say They Need To Question CEO About New Documents
* Dimon In May Denied Meeting Epstein Or Even Knowing Who He Was
Lawyers for a Jeffrey Epstein victim suing JPMorgan Chase & Co. over its ties to the disgraced financier are asking the judge to recall Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon as well as top executive Mary Erdoes for fresh depositions.
In a letter filed in federal court in Manhattan on Friday, the Jane Doe victim’s lawyer Sigrid McCawley said JPMorgan produced an important document in discovery after Dimon was deposed on May 26, so they weren’t able to question him about it.
“Needless to say, the late-produced document is one of the most relevant and responsive documents produced to date, and JPMC strategically withheld it from Plaintiff until she could no longer make meaningful use of it in examining JPMC’s employees,” McCawley wrote.
Doe’s suit alleges JPMorgan knowingly benefited from Epstein’s sex-trafficking. At his deposition, Dimon steadfastly denied playing any role in the decision to retain Epstein as a bank client between 1998 and 2013.
The CEO said he never met with Epstein or even knew who we was until news reports about his 2019 arrest on federal sex-trafficking charges.
In a statement Friday, a JPMorgan spokesperson said “no amount of time on the record will change the fact that Jamie never met the man, never worked with the man, and wishes in hindsight the man had never been a client of the firm.”
McCawley said in her letter that key documents produced after the deposition relate to a review of internal communications about Epstein after his arrest and subsequent jail-cell death.
Details of the documents are redacted in the letter, though it appears to involve emails between former JPMorgan executive Jes Staley and Epstein.
McCawley writes that the documents demonstrated the bank could have learned the full extent of Epstein and Staley’s personal relationship prior to his death and the ensuing media coverage.
Doe’s lawyers want to question Dimon about the 2019 review and what it revealed about Epstein and Staley’s relationship. Staley is not a defendant in either Doe’s suit or a separate one by the US Virgin Islands, but both plaintiffs allege that Staley knew of Epstein’s sex-trafficking and argued that his knowledge should be imputed to the bank.
JPMorgan is suing Staley to hold him responsible for any liability it faces, claiming he misled the bank into keeping Epstein as a client. Staley, who is being deposed in the litigation this weekend, has denied both JPMorgan and the plaintiffs’ allegations.
The plaintiff’s legal team are also seeking to further question Erdoes, JPMorgan’s Asset and Wealth Management CEO, who was deposed in March.
Since Erdoes’s deposition on March 15, the bank has turned over almost 500 documents to the plaintiff’s lawyers, the letter states. Among the material is a 2012 email exchange between Erdoes and another “high-ranking JPMC employee”.
The contents of the email are redacted but provides context to understand the various emails between Epstein and her, the letter outlines.
“Jane Doe is entitled to additional time to question Erdoes concerning her relationship with Epstein,” McCawley wrote.
In his deposition, Dimon said Erdoes and former JPMorgan General Counsel Stephen Cutler would have had the authority to terminate Epstein as a client.
The case is Jane Doe 1 v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10019, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
Jes Staley Faces Day One of Deposition In JPMorgan Epstein Suits
Former JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive Jes Staley has faced his first day of testimony about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein as part of lawsuits alleging the bank enabled the late financier’s sex-trafficking.
Staley arrived at the New York offices of law firm Boies Schiller Flexner on Saturday morning with his attorney Brendan Sullivan for a deposition, which concluded later that afternoon.
The 66-year-old has kept a low profile since his relationship with Epstein came under intense scrutiny, forcing him to step down as the chief executive office of Barclays Plc in 2021.
He is scheduled to face a second day of deposition Sunday after being embroiled in allegations he knew and potentially participated in Epstein’s sex trafficking.
Staley, who became the Barclays chief two years after leaving JPMorgan in 2013, has previously denied any knowledge of Epstein’s sex crimes.
Staley was deposed by lawyers for Jane Doe, an unnamed woman suing JPMorgan for financially benefiting from Epstein’s conduct, and the US Virgin Islands, which filed a similar lawsuit against the bank. The former private banking head managed Epstein’s accounts before JPMorgan cut ties with the financier in 2013.
In a bid to pin the liability on Staley, JPMorgan filed its own suit against the former employee earlier this year, accusing him of misleadingly vouching for Epstein when executives were debating whether to retain him as a client.
Boies Schiller and Flexner is one of two firms representing Jane Doe and other Epstein victims.
JPMorgan To Pay $290 Million to Settle Jeffrey Epstein Accusers’ Suit
Settlement, if approved by court, would be one of largest ever for civil sex-trafficking case.
JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $290 million to settle a lawsuit over its ties to Jeffrey Epstein, said lawyers for Epstein accusers, shortly after top executives were questioned about the bank’s years of dealings with the convicted sex offender.
The lawsuit on behalf of women who accused Epstein of abuse helped expose details about the bank’s relationship with Epstein for years after his conviction, forced Chief Executive Jamie Dimon to answer questions under oath, and led the bank to turn around and sue a former top leader, Jes Staley.
Dimon said in his deposition last month that he had never discussed Epstein or his accounts. Staley was deposed over the weekend.
The lawsuit was brought by an unnamed accuser who claimed the bank ignored red flags about Epstein until 2013 because he was bringing wealthy clients to the bank. JPMorgan has denied any wrongdoing.
The bank still faces a related lawsuit from the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein had a residence.
The settlement, which must be approved by the court, would be one of the largest ever for a civil sex-trafficking case, the lawyers said. The bank didn’t admit liability as part of the settlement.
“The parties believe this settlement is in the best interests of all parties, especially the survivors who were the victims of Epstein’s terrible abuse,” JPMorgan and lawyers for the women said in a press release.
A judge on Monday granted class-action status to the suit and the settlement is expected to compensate dozens of Epstein accusers. Deutsche Bank, which handled Epstein’s accounts after JPMorgan, previously agreed to pay $75 million to resolve a similar suit brought by Epstein victims.
JPMorgan said that it was a mistake to have any association with Epstein and that it regrets its association with him. “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,” a bank spokeswoman said.
Brad Edwards, a lawyer representing Epstein accusers, said, “A settlement of this size finally acknowledges the magnitude of the suffering of Epstein’s victims, the degree to which our system is broken, and the extent of Epstein’s influence to corrupt our system.”
The suit against JPMorgan was filed last Thanksgiving by a woman listed anonymously as Jane Doe, when New York state opened a yearlong window during which people who say they were sexually assaulted could file lawsuits, no matter when the conduct occurred.
The U.S. Virgin Islands also sued JPMorgan late last year, saying the bank facilitated Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking and abuse by allowing the late financier to remain a client and helping him send money to his victims. That suit is pending.
“The U.S. Virgin Islands will continue to proceed with its enforcement action to ensure full accountability for JPMorgan’s violations of law,” said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Virgin Islands attorney general.
The Doe plaintiff said she was sexually abused by Epstein from 2006 to 2013 and trafficked to his friends. She alleged that Epstein paid her and other victims with cash withdrawn from JPMorgan.
She accused America’s biggest bank of profiting from Epstein’s activities and assisting in his alleged sex trafficking by enabling him to make payments to women for sex acts.
Epstein became a client of JPMorgan around 1998, and over the years the bank came to manage dozens of Epstein-related accounts containing hundreds of millions of dollars. Epstein turned to Deutsche Bank after JPMorgan closed his accounts in 2013.
Both banks worked with Epstein for years after he was publicly accused of abusing girls and pleaded guilty in a Florida state court in 2008 to soliciting prostitution from a minor.
Epstein died in a federal jail in New York in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges, in what medical examiners ruled was a suicide.
The Wall Street Journal reported in April that JPMorgan had ties to Epstein that ran deeper than the bank had acknowledged and extended years beyond when it decided to close his accounts.
Court documents and emails in the lawsuits against JPMorgan also showed that the bank continued its relationship with Epstein despite warnings from its own compliance staffers.
On Monday, the Virgin Islands filed new court documents that included emails over several years showing JPMorgan executives discussing Epstein’s cash withdrawals long before his accounts were closed.
In 2007, an email to one of JPMorgan’s lawyers connected payments made from a JPMorgan account to a woman with ties to Epstein. The email discussed news reports at the time where the woman said that Epstein bragged she was his “Yugoslavian sex slave.”
In 2012, one year before JPMorgan removed Epstein as a client, two top executives, Mary Erdoes and John Duffy, emailed about Epstein’s continued cash-withdrawal activity.
In her deposition earlier this year, Erdoes, who runs JPMorgan’s asset and wealth-management unit, said the bank “promptly exited the account” in 2013 after realizing there were huge cash withdrawals.
A JPMorgan spokesman declined to comment on behalf of Erdoes and Duffy.
Banks are required to monitor accounts and clients for suspicious activity and cash movements, and report to authorities any concerns.
Last month, Deutsche Bank settled a lawsuit by Epstein accusers represented by the lawyers from the same firms, Edwards Pottinger and Boies Schiller Flexner, that sued JPMorgan.
At the time, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank said the bank has invested in bolstering controls and correcting past issues.
“The historic recoveries from the banks who provided financial services to Jeffrey Epstein, speak for themselves,” said David Boies, a lawyer for Epstein accusers. “It has taken a long time, too long, but today is a great day for Jeffrey Epstein survivors, and a great day for justice.”
The JPMorgan settlement comes after Staley, who had a close relationship with Epstein and left the bank in 2013, answered questions in a deposition over the weekend.
Staley had earlier said in legal documents that Dimon had communicated with him about whether to keep Epstein as a client, contradicting Dimon’s deposition, the Journal has reported.
Dimon said in his deposition last month that he had never discussed Epstein or his accounts. He also said that he was willing to apologize to Epstein’s victims for whatever role the bank could have played to help report Epstein sooner to authorities.
Earlier this year, the bank sued Staley over his ties to Epstein and has sought to blame him for the relationship with the late financier. Staley has said that he regrets his friendship with Epstein, and his lawyers have said that the claims against him are baseless. JPMorgan’s claims against Staley are pending.
Mary Erdoes, JPMorgan’s Billionaire Whisperer, Faces Flak Over Epstein Emails
* Mary Erdoes Under Scrutiny With Bank Battling Epstein Lawsuits
* JPMorgan Set To Settle One Suit, Prepared To Pay $290 Million
Mary Callahan Erdoes has watched one star executive after another climb to the highest rungs at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and then leave, either seizing other opportunities, retiring or getting shoved out.
But the bank’s asset- and wealth-management boss has remained a part of Jamie Dimon’s inner orbit — and JPMorgan’s powerful operating committee — longer than anyone else aside from the CEO himself. In April, the board praised her as it made her the firm’s highest-paid top executive after Dimon and the bank’s president Daniel Pinto.
Now the bank’s ultimate survivor is facing a challenge like none before.
Erdoes has been contending with a drip-drip of unearthed emails from JPMorgan’s dealings with Jeffrey Epstein, a man whose name alone is synonymous with a sordid group of ultra-connected and ultra-rich people.
Old missives poured out of a pair of highly contentious lawsuits that accused JPMorgan — via Erdoes’ division — of facilitating Epstein’s sex crimes for years after his initial arrest in 2006 and conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution.
While no case named Erdoes as a defendant, discovery materials contained her messages with the now-deceased financier bantering about global weather, arranging a meet between the Gates Foundation and the bank, and even showing Epstein himself acknowledged his criminal record.
“I am well aware of my current unfortunate rainbow,” Epstein wrote to Erdoes and her predecessor and former mentor, Jes Staley, in an August 2011 email, some three years after pleading guilty to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution. “I am also aware that JPM has a colorful array of clients.”
After months of the lawsuits hanging over the biggest US bank and its top executives, JPMorgan on Monday signaled it’s looking to end the public back-and-forth. It reached an “agreement in principle” to settle one of the lawsuits, which alleged it knowingly benefited from Epstein’s sex-trafficking.
The bank is prepared to pay $290 million to resolve the lawsuit, though makes no admission of liability in connection with the settlement, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The deal with the victim, identified only as Jane Doe, doesn’t fully end JPMorgan’s battle. It still faces a similar lawsuit from the US Virgin Islands and is litigating its own cases against Staley.
Inside JPMorgan, the Epstein debacle isn’t the only setback Erdoes, 55, has encountered in recent years.
In 2019, JPMorgan launched a high-profile wealth-management growth initiative in a different unit. In doing so, the firm carved out its traditional brokerage business from Erdoes’ world and passed it to a colleague.
And last year, JPMorgan’s board publicly cut Erdoes’ 2021 bonus for using unapproved channels such as popular messaging apps to communicate with clients.
Across Wall Street, onlookers are debating what, if any, impact the ongoing scrutiny will have on the JPMorgan stalwart.
This account is based on interviews with more than two dozen current and former JPMorgan executives, who asked not to be named discussing internal matters.
“While we regret any association with Jeffrey Epstein, we would never have continued to do business with him if we believed he was using our bank to commit heinous crimes,” JPMorgan spokesperson Darin Oduyoye said in a statement. “Mary Erdoes and others exited him as a client six years before he was charged with human trafficking.”
“Mary has always held herself and her colleagues to the highest standards of integrity and trust,” he said. “Her competence and character are top-notch, and she is consistently recognized as one of the top executives in financial services.”
The firm declined to make Erdoes available for an interview.
The latest flare up for Erdoes came after Dimon, America’s king of banking, was deposed on May 26, peppered with questions about his interactions with Erdoes and whether she made the call to maintain the Epstein relationship. Her name is mentioned at least 59 times in the transcript.
Then just last week, lawyers for an Epstein victim suing JPMorgan asked the judge to recall both Dimon and Erdoes for fresh depositions, citing an important document produced in discovery after the CEO’s testimony.
“Jane Doe is entitled to additional time to question Erdoes concerning her relationship with Epstein,” Sigrid McCawley, the Jane Doe victim’s lawyer, wrote in a letter filed in federal court in Manhattan on Friday.
JPMorgan’s then-general counsel Stephen Cutler had said in his own deposition that she and Staley had decided to keep Epstein as a client. Dimon, grilled at the bank’s New York offices, called Cutler the “ultimate decider” who could have overruled Staley and Erdoes.
“You had a good relationship with Mary Erdoes?” asked David Boies, managing partner of Boies Schiller Flexner.
“Yes,” Dimon said. “And I still do.”
JPMorgan, vigorously fighting the plaintiff’s claims, has said it was Erdoes who ultimately kicked Epstein out. The bank has sued Staley, who himself was deposed this weekend, saying he was responsible for keeping the sex offender as a client for so long.
Epstein and Staley allegedly palled around. One of the suits claims Staley met many of Epstein’s trafficking victims and saw Epstein “sexually grabbing” some.
At first, the bank defended Staley, who went on to become CEO at Barclays Plc. But in a sudden shift, JPMorgan filed its own suit in March as a third-party complaint seeking to blame Staley for its dealings with Epstein.
The firm accused Staley of concealing an “inappropriate relationship” with Epstein for years and demanded the executive hand back eight years of compensation and bear the cost of any payouts in the two lawsuits.
Staley called JPMorgan’s allegations “baseless” and “slanderous” in a motion to separate the suit against him from those against his former firm. The banker has consistently denied knowledge of Epstein’s abuse.
His lawyer did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
Since Epstein’s death in a New York jail cell in 2019, the bank had said Erdoes only recalls formally meeting him on one occasion, when she fired him as a client at his New York townhouse in 2013.
But recent discovery materials show another in-person meeting there in 2011, related to a lawsuit Epstein had filed against JPMorgan that Erdoes has privately said she forgot about, according to people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on her visits to Epstein’s townhouse.
The public scrutiny is rare for Erdoes, who joined JPMorgan nearly three decades ago shortly after graduating from Harvard Business School.
The daughter of a Chicago investment banker, she at first led fixed-income investing for endowments, foundations and wealthy individuals. Erdoes rose through the private bank — which Staley oversaw beginning in 1999 — to become its chief in 2005.
“The private bank was a pretty demoralized place,” Staley said in a 2013 interview, describing the unit when he took over. When he would walk the unit’s six floors late at night, “amid the sea of empty desks, this one young woman was always there,” he said, referring to Erdoes.
When Staley was tapped to lead the investment bank in 2009, he recommended Erdoes to replace him overseeing all of asset management. She got the job and joined JPMorgan’s top leadership body, advancing to the upper echelon of Wall Street at a time when there were few women atop the industry.
By 2014, she was considered a potential successor to Dimon. Erdoes also became an ambassador to the firm’s most important clients, and continues in that role: last month, she represented Dimon at a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
There have also been some stumbles.
Among the relationships cultivated by Erdoes’ unit: Adam Neumann, founder of WeWork Inc. The unraveling of its initial public offering in 2019 and Neumann’s fall from grace were massive headaches for JPMorgan. (Apple Inc.’s WeWork miniseries includes an actor portraying Dimon telling Neumann to consider him his personal banker — a conversation a JPMorgan spokesperson said never happened.)
That same year, Dimon created a new division to fix a weak link in JPMorgan’s empire — catering to the merely wealthy, who don’t quite qualify as ultra-rich. The priority effort was launched in a different business line.
The new wealth-management unit, the firm said, would fall under Kristin Lemkau, reporting up through the consumer and community bank and its then-leader, Gordon Smith, who was also JPMorgan’s co-president.
Dimon has long had a special affinity for the retail brokerage, inherited when the bank took over Bear Stearns, because his father and grandfather were both brokers. The former worked at JPMorgan from 2009 until a few months before his death in 2016.
“We do really well in the ultra-high net worth space where we typically have 4% market share, but if we’re thinking of that mass affluent, affluent space, our share is less than half of that,” Smith said at a conference in 2021.
“It’s an area that Jamie really asked us to start focusing on more aggressively and we’re already seeing some pretty good momentum.”
When JPMorgan acquired First Republic during this year’s banking crisis, adding its roster of affluent clients, the firm specified that the failed lender’s private wealth management platform would become part of the unit Lemkau oversees.
Erdoes has also scored some major wins over her 14 years running the asset- and wealth-management arm, which notched record revenue in each of the last five years.
Assets under management have more than doubled under her watch, albeit at a slower rate than BlackRock Inc., its biggest competitor. Her unit has taken over five companies since 2020 as part of a firmwide acquisition spree.
And, in a nod to what made Erdoes a star in the first place, JPMorgan’s cachet among the world’s richest remains unparalleled, even as competitors have ramped up their efforts in wealth management.
Erdoes’s efforts to win over key clients begin before they walk in the door. She carefully considers each step of the process, down to how they enter JPMorgan’s offices, which are decorated with pieces from the firm’s top-tier art collection.
A champion of “work-life integration,” Erdoes also hosts an exclusive annual holiday party for top JPMorgan executives and clients at her Tribeca home. This past December, celebrity guests included Alex Rodriguez, according to people familiar with the matter.
Attendees have spanned finance, crypto and entertainment, with billionaire Bob Kraft among those to have have been spotted in past years, one of the people said.
To Top It Off: She’s famously quick with follow-up emails.
It’s emails, though, that are the foundation of her current troubles.
Epstein portrayed himself as a close adviser to billionaire Bill Gates in emails to Erdoes and Staley, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg. Erdoes became involved in mid-2011 about an idea to bring the Gates Foundation to JPMorgan and launch a donor-advised fund.
“I am more than happy to meet with anyone you think moves this along,” including “cutler, jamie, etc.,” Epstein wrote to Staley and Erdoes in August. “As mary said it need to be PROPER.” (There’s no indication such meetings ever occurred, and Dimon said in his deposition that he never met or knew Epstein.)
In early September, Epstein pointed out issues with JPMorgan’s pitch to the foundation.
As always, Erdoes responded with a quick — if terse — reply.
“I have this,” she wrote.
Months before JPMorgan kicked Epstein out in 2013, the bank was hit with a pair of sanctions ordering it to fix its anti-money-laundering compliance.
A firmwide effort to address the concerns included weekly risk meetings in Erdoes’ unit — with an eye toward cracking down on the firm’s roster of clients.
Around the same time JPMorgan dropped Epstein, it also booted some less obvious targets. One was a wealthy lawyer who was arrested decades earlier — for selling marijuana in college.
US Bank Regulators Ignore JPMorgan’s Epstein-related $1 Billion “Suspicious Activity Reports”
* NY Bank Disclosed Suspicious Activity In 2019 After His Death
* US Virgin Islands Is Suing The Bank For Enabling Trafficking
JPMorgan Chase & Co. identified to the federal government more than $1 billion in suspicious transactions linked to Jeffrey Epstein after the financier’s death, the US Virgin Islands has alleged in its lawsuit against the bank.
The financial activity was detailed in a filing to the US Department of Treasury in 2019, a lawyer for the USVI said in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday.
The USVI says the enormous sum that propped up Epstein’s sex trafficking bolsters key allegations in its suit that JPMorgan knowingly benefited from Epstein’s wrongdoing and ignored red flags.
It is the first time in the case that the sheer volume of Epstein’s financial activity at JPMorgan over a 16-year period has been disclosed.
“JPMorgan was a full-service bank for Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking,” said Mimi Liu, an attorney for the USVI.
The Treasury filing was made after Epstein died in a Manhattan jail cell, a month following his arrest on sex trafficking charges in mid-2019. Epstein was a client of JPMorgan from the late 1990s to 2013, when the bank cut ties with him.
Epstein owned a private island in the USVI and trafficked some of his victims there. The case has exposed the breadth of his network, including the many high-profile clients he referred to JPMorgan and his political contributions to the campaigns of USVI politicians.
JPMorgan denies the suggestion it let Epstein fly under the radar and has said it reported to a federal regulator about 150 cash transactions related to Epstein between 2002 and 2013.
Even then, lawyers for the bank argued on Thursday, the USVI didn’t have legal standing to make a claim that the bank obstructed a trafficking investigation because it wasn’t a victim.
The territory also didn’t point to any evidence that a federal investigation was actually obstructed, JPMorgan’s lawyers said.
In urging the judge to decide some claims in USVI’s favor without a trial, Liu said JPMorgan’s Treasury filing identified more than $1 billion in suspicious transactions dating back to 2003.
“The only reason that JPMorgan after 16 years reported the $1 billion in suspicious transactions was because he was arrested and then he was dead,” Liu said.
JPMorgan has pushed back on claims it knew or ought to have known what Epstein was doing, pointing to recent depositions taken from former and current employees that denied any knowledge of the trafficking.
“There is hotly disputed testimony and evidence,” JPMorgan attorney Felicia Ellsworth said.
The territory is seeking at least $190 million from JPMorgan, which has accused the USVI of deflecting from its own inaction in bringing Epstein to justice.
US District Judge Jed Rakoff is yet to make a decision on requests filed by both sides that he resolve claims without a trial, known as summary judgment. The case is scheduled to go to trial in October.
JPMorgan Paying $75 Million to Settle Suit Over Jeffrey Epstein Ties
Deal with U.S. Virgin Islands brings tally of Epstein-related settlements to more than $600 million.
JPMorgan Chase closed a dark chapter involving one of Wall Street’s most infamous clients by paying $75 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the bank aided Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking.
The payment is the latest in a string of legal settlements by big banks, billionaires and the late Epstein’s estate that have exposed how deeply the convicted sex offender was embedded in the highest levels of finance and how he ensnared powerful businesspeople and world leaders.
More than $600 million, including proceeds from the sales of Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands and his New York City mansion, has now been earmarked for the dozens of women who have accused the disgraced financier of abuse. Epstein died in jail in 2019 awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.
“This litigation proves that survivors have a voice, and corporate America is finally ready to listen,” said Brittany Henderson, a lawyer representing Epstein accusers. Her firm brought class-action lawsuits against JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank
that were settled earlier this year.
A series of articles in The Wall Street Journal this year, based on thousands of Epstein emails and daily schedules, have revealed executives, politicians and academics who associated with Epstein for years after he was a convicted sex offender and how he cultivated his relationships to amass influence and wealth. It also showed the kinds of threats he made to those in his circle.
In the deal unveiled Tuesday, JPMorgan agreed to make payments to the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, which had brought a civil lawsuit against the bank. After nearly a year of fighting, the case has already tarnished the bank and the island’s government officials.
The settlement came one month before the sides were set to go to trial in Manhattan. The bank didn’t admit wrongdoing in the agreement.
JPMorgan has now agreed to $365 million in total settlements for keeping Epstein as a client until 2013. Epstein had dozens of accounts at JPMorgan’s private bank and communicated often with top bank executives, connecting them to his wealthy contacts.
Deutsche Bank, which took on Epstein as a client after JPMorgan, agreed to pay $75 million to settle a suit by Epstein accusers earlier this year.
JPMorgan and the Virgin Islands argued the other side failed to identify Epstein’s crimes and turned a blind eye after his 2008 conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution.
Bank executives, including Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, and officials from the U.S. Virgin Islands were dragged into depositions, and there were reams of emails and disclosures that proved embarrassing for both sides.
Court documents showed Epstein exchanged photos of young women with Jes Staley, a top JPMorgan executive, and compliance officials for years tried to get Epstein dropped.
Epstein also lent $200,000 to the former Virgin Islands Gov. John de Jongh, employed his wife, Cecile de Jongh, for nearly two decades, and paid $625,000 to cover years of private-school tuition for their children, the documents showed.
After Epstein’s 2019 arrest, JPMorgan had argued that he was just a regular client. The court cases exposed how deep his reach was within the bank, introducing prominent clients and pitching executives on big deals.
Emails and calendars revealed more about his relationships with Staley and Mary Erdoes, who is currently the head of asset and wealth management, and that the bank had continued meeting with him after firing him as a client.
“We banked Jeffrey Epstein and I’m so sorry that we did,” Dimon told CNBC this summer. “Had we known then what we know today, we obviously wouldn’t have.”
In a deposition, Erdoes had said she wasn’t aware of Epstein’s ongoing crimes.
The bank reached a separate settlement Tuesday with Staley after the bank sued him over his personal relationship with Epstein, which helped protect Epstein from compliance concerns for years. The bank didn’t disclose those terms.
The bank had sued Staley alleging he covered up for Epstein and identifying Staley as the “powerful financial executive” accused of sexual assault by an Epstein accuser.
JPMorgan bank was seeking to recoup millions of dollars in compensation from Staley to cover its own legal payments related to Epstein.
Staley’s lawyers have denied the assault accusation and any knowledge of Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking. Staley had also said the bank can’t blame him for the relationship alone. A lawyer for Staley declined to comment on Tuesday.
The U.S. Virgin Islands has now brought in more than $240 million from Epstein-related legal fights, including settlements from Epstein’s estate and private-equity founder Leon Black, who was an Epstein client.
Black has said he paid Epstein for tax and estate advice. He denied any wrongdoing but said in a statement that he regretted paying Epstein and settled potential claims over “unintended consequences of those payments.”
In its settlement, JPMorgan will pay $10 million to support victims’ mental health, $20 million to charities in the Virgin Islands that work on human trafficking and $25 million to help the government and law enforcement fight human trafficking. An additional $20 million will go to legal fees. The bank generated $128.7 billion in revenue last year.
“While the settlement does not involve admissions of liability, the firm deeply regrets any association with this man, and would never have continued doing business with him if it believed he was using the bank in any way to commit his heinous crimes,” the bank said in a statement.
Under the agreement, the bank committed to combat human trafficking, including informing law enforcement and closing customers’ accounts if it has credible information of trafficking, said Ariel Smith, the attorney general of the Virgin Islands.
“This settlement is an historic victory for survivors and for state enforcement, and it should sound the alarm on Wall Street about banks’ responsibilities under the law to detect and prevent human trafficking,” Smith said in a statement.