JPMorgan to pay $75m to settle Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking lawsuit with US Virgin Islands

JPMorgan Chase will pay $75m to settle a lawsuit with the US Virgin Islands that alleged the Wall St giant was complicit in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking of young women.

A JPMorgan spokesperson said the bank did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement, which will provide $55m to Virgin Island charities and anti-trafficking organisations.

The remaining $20m will cover the island territory’s legal expenses during the near year-long litigation in a federal court in New York.

The bank also settled its litigation with former executive Jes Staley, a former executive who was accused in court of hiding Epstein’s abuse in order to retain him as a client.

The terms of the settlement with Mr Staley are confidential.

Epstein was a client at JPMorgan between 1998 and 2013, despite reports of his sexual offending becoming widely known internally in 2006.

In 2008, he was convicted of procuring underage prostitues and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

It would take JPMorgan another two years to flag Epstein as a sex offender, according to court documents.

Epstein died by suicide in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking crimes.

In a statement, a JPMorgan spokesperson said: “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.”

Epstein withdrew as much as $750,000 a year in cash from JPMorgan accounts to pay off his network of enablers and the vulnerable girls and young women he trafficked to his two secluded islands in the US Virgin Islands, attorneys for the territory alleged in the lawsuit.

The USVI had previously said it was seeking at least $190m to settle the suit. A trial had been scheduled to begin in New York on 23 October.

In a statement, Virgin Islands Attorney General Ariel Smith said the settlement was the first time a bank had paid an enforcement action for involvement in human trafficking.

“As part of the settlement, JPMorgan has agreed to implement and maintain meaningful anti-trafficking measures, which will help prevent human trafficking in the future,” Ms Smith said in a statement.

“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.”

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