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Home News JPMorgan Settles with Jeffrey Epstein Victims for $290 Million

JPMorgan Settles with Jeffrey Epstein Victims for $290 Million

JPMorgan Settles with Jeffrey Epstein Victims for $290 Million

( – Jeffrey Epstein victims and JPMorgan reach a $290 million settlement.

A class action lawsuit brought by Jeffrey Epstein’s victims was settled for around $290 million by JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N), ending a significant portion of the legal dispute over the bank’s dealings with the disgraced financier.

The settlement announced on Monday comes after months of embarrassing revelations that JPMorgan ignored internal cautions and disregarded warning signs regarding Epstein because he had been a profitable client.

Epstein was a client of JPMorgan from 1998 to 2013, and he continued to be one even after being charged with prostitution-related offenses in 2006 and later entering a guilty plea.

With the agreement on Monday, perhaps more than 100 victims—including a former ballerina known only as Jane Doe 1—claimed Epstein had assaulted them as young girls.

While awaiting a sex trafficking trial, Epstein committed suicide in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 at 66.

Carliss Chatman, a Virginia’s Washington and Lee University School of Law professor said that the bank might not want this to be in the news.

“Linking Chase to human trafficking is bad for business at a time when Americans are doubting the banking system.”

According to Davia Temin, CEO of crisis management company Temin and Co., reaching a compromise rather than continuing to battle sends “the right message across Wall Street.”

Judge Jed Rakoff of the United States District Court in Manhattan must approve the civil action settlement.

JPMorgan said, “Any relationship with (Epstein) was a mistake, and we regret it. If we had thought that he was using our bank to aid in the commission of horrible crimes in any way, we would never have continued to do business with him.”

The agreement reached on Monday comes three and a half weeks after Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), a customer of Epstein from 2013 to 2018, agreed to pay $75 million to conclude a related case brought by Epstein victims.

A lawyer and law lecturer Adam Zimmerman recently accepted a post at the University of Southern California, claiming that the Deutsche Bank payment “likely created momentum.” JPMorgan is now free to start closing the chapter and changing the narrative thanks to a deal with Epstein’s victims.

David Boies, an attorney for Epstein’s victims, verified the $290 million settlement sum.

According to someone familiar with the situation who spoke anonymously, JPMorgan did not admit wrongdoing in reaching a settlement.

“The settlements signal that financial institutions have an important role to play in spotting and shutting down sex trafficking,” Sigrid McCawley, a lawyer for victims in both lawsuits, said in a statement.

JPMorgan still faces a lawsuit by the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned two neighboring islands and was suspected of abusing victims in his mansion.

It also sues former executive Jes Staley for shepherding Epstein’s relationship with the bank and concealing what he knew about his former friend.

JPMorgan demands that Staley pay its legal costs in both cases and give up eight years of salary.

Last month, Rakoff said JPMorgan could be liable to Epstein’s victims if they could show Staley had firsthand knowledge that Epstein ran a sex-trafficking venture.

Staley left JPMorgan in 2013 and was later Barclays’ (BARC.L) chief executive for six years.

He testified under oath on Saturday, two weeks after JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, in his own deposition, denied discussing Epstein’s accounts.

The U.S. Virgin Islands said it “will continue to proceed with its enforcement action to ensure full accountability for JPMorgan’s violations of law.”

The territory’s case is the largest remaining over Epstein, following civil lawsuits against his estate and the conviction of former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell for aiding his abuses. Maxwell has 20 years behind bars and is appealing her conviction.

Lawyers for Staley did not respond to requests for comment.

Staley has said he regretted befriending Epstein but denied knowing about his sex trafficking. It wasn’t clear whether his June 10 deposition affected Monday’s settlement.

“Chase’s defense has been that Staley was a lone wolf and this wasn’t Chase’s culture, but more evidence had been coming out that may make it harder for Chase to point the finger at him,” Chatman said.

Another key JPMorgan executive who has been a focus of the litigation is Mary Erdoes, its asset and wealth management chief.

Epstein’s victims have portrayed her in court filings as a critical defender of keeping Epstein as a client, including after former general counsel Stephen Cutler told her and Staley in 2011 the bank should terminate the relationship.

Dimon said in his deposition that Cutler had the authority to override Erdoes and Staley and fire Epstein. Cutler was not immediately available for comment on Monday.

“While we regret any association with Jeffrey Epstein, we would never have continued to business with him if we believed he was using our bank to commit heinous crimes,” a JPMorgan spokesperson said when asked about Erdoes’ involvement.

“In fact, Mary Erdoes and others exited him as a client six years before he was charged with human trafficking.”

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