JPMorgan Chase Settles with Victims of Epstein, Agrees to Pay $290 Million

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In a landmark move, JPMorgan Chase has reached a settlement of $290 million in a class action lawsuit brought by victims of Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking scheme, as announced by the plaintiffs' attorney on Monday.

The lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase accused the major US bank of facilitating Epstein's abuse by providing financial services while turning a blind eye to red flags in order to profit from their wealthy client.

While JPMorgan argued that Epstein himself was solely responsible for his actions and claimed to have severed ties with him upon discovering his wrongdoing, the settlement signifies the bank's acknowledgment of its involvement in the scandal.

The agreement, subject to court approval, follows a similar settlement in May involving Deutsche Bank, which agreed to pay $75 million to resolve litigation brought by one of Epstein's victims.

These legal actions have forced Wall Street banks to confront their roles in the Epstein scandal, particularly regarding the disgraced financier's heinous activities. Epstein, who was incarcerated in 2019, died in prison while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking.

The news of the settlement coincided with US District Judge Jed Rakoff's decision to grant class-action certification to the claims made by plaintiff Jane Doe 1 and others similarly situated. In his ruling, Rakoff concluded that there were sufficient grounds to classify the victims as a class and proceed with the case.

JPMorgan's association with Epstein has been a source of regret for the bank, as stated by a spokesperson: "We all now understand that Epstein's behavior was monstrous. Any association with him was a mistake and we regret it. 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."

The bank's relationship with Epstein dates back to 1998, but it wasn't until 2013 that they severed ties with him. Plaintiffs alleged that JPMorgan either knew or should have known of Epstein's predatory behavior as early as 2006 but continued to maintain him as a client for an extended period.

The case has involved a deposition from JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, with inquiries focused on the bank's awareness of Epstein's actions and the reasons for not terminating the relationship earlier. JPMorgan has attributed the maintenance of the relationship to former executive Jes Staley, and ongoing litigation between the bank and Staley is underway, along with cases involving the US Virgin Islands, according to a joint statement released on Monday.

Recently, victims' attorneys requested a second round of testimony from Dimon, alleging that the bank had deliberately withheld documents that hindered their questioning during the previous deposition on May 26, 2023.

Epstein's criminal history includes a 2008 conviction in Florida for soliciting minors for massages, resulting in a mere 13-month jail sentence through a controversial plea agreement. He was subsequently charged with trafficking underage girls for sex before his death by suicide in a New York jail cell in August 2019, at the age of 66.


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