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JPMorgan Chase To Pay $290m To Settle With Epstein’s Victims

The law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, which represented plaintiffs in both the Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan cases, hailed the agreement as a step towards justice.


A court gavel.
A court gavel

 

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $290 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by victims of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking scheme, the accusers’ lawyer said Monday.

The original complaint against JPMorgan accused the big US bank of providing financial services that enabled Epstein’s abuse while ignoring red flags in order to profit off of a wealthy client.

JPMorgan has said Epstein himself is to blame for the atrocities, while arguing that it cut him off when the bank became aware of wrongdoing.

The two sides disclosed the settlement early Monday, saying the agreement “is in the best interests of all parties, especially the survivors who were the victims of Epstein’s terrible abuse.”

Plaintiffs attorney David Boies later disclosed the $290 million figure through a spokeswoman.

The agreement, which is subject to court approval, comes on the heels of a parallel Deutsche Bank settlement announced in May in which the European institution agreed to pay $75 million to settle litigation brought by the victim.

The suits have forced Wall Street banks to reckon with their role in the scandal involving the disgraced Epstein, who died in prison in 2019.

News of the latest agreement came on the same day that US District Judge Jed Rakoff granted class-action certification to the claims, which were brought by plaintiff Jane Doe 1 “individually and on behalf of others similarly situated.”

In a 30-page ruling Monday, Rakoff concluded that Jane Doe 1’s fellow victims were numerous enough to qualify as a class and that the case otherwise met the requirements.

“The core of this case — plaintiffs allegation that JPMorgan supported Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking venture while it knew or should have known that venture was in operation — involves a common set of law and fact,” Rakoff wrote.

 ‘We Regret it’ 

The law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, which represented plaintiffs in both the Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan cases, hailed the agreement as a step towards justice.

“The settlements that have been reached are both life-changing and historic for the survivors,” said attorney Sigrid McCawley, a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner.

“Money, which for far too long flowed with impunity between Jeffrey Epstein’s global sex trafficking enterprise and Wall Street’s leading banks, is decisively being used for good. The settlements signal that financial institutions have an important role to play in spotting and shutting down sex trafficking.”

JPMorgan Chase reiterated that it regretted its association with Epstein.

“We all now understand that Epstein’s behavior was monstrous,” said a bank spokeswoman.

“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.”

JPMorgan began its banking services with Epstein as early as 1998, but did not cut him off until 2013.

Plaintiffs had alleged that JPMorgan either knew or should have known from 2006 that it was supporting a sexual predator, but that the bank kept the billionaire Epstein as a client well beyond that period.

The case has included a deposition from JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, with questions focusing on when top officials became aware of Epstein’s conduct and why he wasn’t cut off earlier.

JPMorgan has blamed former executive Jes Staley for maintaining the relationship with Epstein. Litigation between the bank and Staley is ongoing, along with cases between JPMorgan and the US Virgin Islands, according to Monday’s joint statement.

On Friday, attorneys for the victims asked the court to order a second round of testimony from Dimon, alleging that the bank had “strategically withheld” documents prior to Dimon’s May 26, 2023 deposition that impeded their questioning.

Epstein was convicted in Florida in 2008 of paying young girls for massages, but served just 13 months in jail under a secret plea deal.

Later awaiting trial on charges of trafficking underage girls for sex, he killed himself in a New York jail cell in August 2019 at age 66.

AFP