JPMorgan settles claims it enabled Epstein’s sex trafficking for $117m

JPMorgan settles claims it enabled Epstein’s sex trafficking for $117m

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JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $US75 million ($117 million) to the US Virgin Islands to settle claims the bank enabled the sex trafficking acts of financier Jeffrey Epstein.

JPMorgan said Tuesday that $US55 million ($85.8 million) of the settlement will go toward local charities and assistance for victims. Another $US20 million ($31.2 million) will go toward legal fees.

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”.

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In effect, the Virgin Islands had argued that JPMorgan had been complicit in Epstein’s behaviour 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 a 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 minimised Epstein’s wrongdoing in order to maintain the lucrative account.

JPMorgan had already agreed to pay $US290 million ($452.3 million) in June in a class-action lawsuit that involved victims of Epstein’s trafficking crimes.

Epstein died by suicide in a federal jail in 2019.

More to come.

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