JP Morgan to pay over claims it enabled Epstein’s sex trafficking operations

26 September 2023, 17:44

Jeffrey Epstein
Jeffrey Epstein Victim Compensation. Picture: PA

Epstein killed himself in a federal jail in 2019.

JP Morgan Chase has agreed to pay 75 million dollars (£62 million) to the US Virgin Islands to settle claims that the bank enabled the sex trafficking acts committed by financier Jeffrey Epstein.

JP Morgan said that 55 million dollars of the settlement will go toward local charities that provide assistance to victims of domestic abuse and trafficking and other crimes, as well as to enhance the capabilities of local law enforcement.

Of that amount, 10 million dollars will be used to create a fund to provide mental health services for Epstein’s survivors, according the Virgin Islands Department of Justice.

Man dies in fall from building
The European headquarters of JP Morgan bank (Yui Mok/PA)

The Virgin Islands, where Epstein had an estate, sued JP Morgan last year, saying its investigation has revealed that the financial services giant enabled Epstein’s recruiters to pay victims and was “indispensable to the operation and concealment of the Epstein trafficking enterprise”.

It had been seeking penalties and disgorgement of at least 190 million dollars, in addition to other damages.

In effect, the Virgin Islands had argued that JP Morgan had been complicit in Epstein’s behaviour and did not raise any red flags to law enforcement or bank regulators about Epstein being a “high risk” customer and making repeated large cash withdrawals.

The settlement averts a trial that had been set to start next month.

The bank also said it reached an confidential legal settlement with James “Jes” Staley, the former top JP Morgan executive who managed the Epstein account before leaving the bank.

JP Morgan sued former Barclays boss Mr Staley earlier this year, alleging that he covered up or minimised Epstein’s wrongdoing in order to maintain the lucrative account.

JP Morgan had already agreed to pay 290 million dollars in June in a class-action lawsuit that involved victims of Epstein’s trafficking crimes.

Epstein killed himself in a federal jail in 2019.

By Press Association

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