JPMorgan Chase said Tuesday it will settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Virgin Islands alleging the bank enabled Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking crimes for $75 million.
The settlement will give $55 million to Virgin Islands charities and the territory’s anti-trafficking efforts, CNBC reports.
$20 million will cover “attorneys’ fees incurred by the Virgin Islands as part of the litigation in federal court in New York.”
BREAKING: JPMorgan Chase to pay $75 mn to settle Epstein-linked sex trafficking suithttps://t.co/ZOxcHGL5ZC
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) September 26, 2023
JPMorgan Chase did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement.
Is it surprising the bank only had to dish out money to make the lawsuit disappear?
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.”
The territory said that $10 million of the money received would be used to create a fund to provide mental health services for Epstein’s victims.
JPMorgan also said Tuesday that it had reached a settlement with Jes Staley, a former executive at the bank who had been friends with Epstein, to resolve claims by JPMorgan that he was responsible for any civil damages and costs associated with Epstein-related litigation.
The terms of the agreement with Staley are confidential.
JPMorgan said that it “deeply regrets” its association with Epstein, who was a client from 1998 until 2013.
Virgin Islands Attorney General Ariel Smith said the agreement settles what was the first enforcement action against a bank for facilitating and profiting from human trafficking.
JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $75 million to the U.S. Virgin Islands to settle claims that the bank enabled the sex trafficking acts of financier Jeffrey Epstein. Most of the settlement will go toward local charities and assistance for victims. https://t.co/w6nxl9ZDfW
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 26, 2023
The Associated Press added:
The Virgin Islands, where Epstein had an estate, sued JPMorgan 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.”
In effect, the Virgin Islands had argued that JPMorgan had been complicit in Epstein’s behavior 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 bank also said it reached an confidential legal settlement with James “Jes” Staley, the former top JPMorgan executive who managed the Epstein account before leaving the the bank. JPMorgan sued Staley earlier this year, alleging that he covered up or minimized Epstein’s wrongdoing in order to maintain the lucrative account.
JPMorgan had already agreed to pay $290 million in June in a class-action lawsuit that involved victims of Epstein’s trafficking crimes.