Epstein info still redacted; JPMorgan pays $75 million in latest settlement

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News September 26, 2023

JPMorgan Chase on Tuesday said it has agreed to pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit by the U.S. Virgin Islands alleging that the American bank facilitated and benefited from sex trafficking of young women by its longtime customer Jeffrey Epstein.

The settlement comes one month before the sides were set to go to trial in Manhattan. A trial threatened to release information that remains redacted.

Previous reports have stated that a list of names of some 1,000 individuals with ties to Epstein is in the redacted documents.

The Virgin Islands said the deal “includes several substantial commitments by JPMorgan Chase to identify, report, and cut off support for potential human trafficking, including establishing and implementing comprehensive policies and procedures.”

“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, JPMorgan committed to inform law enforcement and close 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.

JPMorgan has already agreed to pay $290 million to end a separate class-action lawsuit on behalf of Epstein accusers.

Deutsche Bank, which took on Epstein as a client after JPMorgan, agreed to pay $75 million to Epstein accusers to settle a similar suit earlier this year.

“The settlement comes one month before the sides were set to go to trial in Manhattan. After nearly a year of fighting, the case has already tarnished the bank and government officials. The bank didn’t admit wrongdoing in the agreement,” the Wall Street Journal noted.

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.

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 victim. The bank was seeking to recoup millions of dollars in compensation from Staley to cover its own legal payments related to Epstein.

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.

Epstein died in a federal jail in New York in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. Medical examiners ruled it a suicide.

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