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1 Sep, 2023 17:43

JPMorgan processed $1 billion for Epstein – lawsuit

The bank is being sued by the US Virgin Islands over its apparently cozy relationship with the notorious pedophile
JPMorgan processed $1 billion for Epstein – lawsuit

JPMorgan handled more than $1 billion of Jeffery Epstein’s money over a period of 16 years, while management at the bank ignored calls to sever ties with the convicted sex offender, lawyers for the US Virgin Islands claimed on Thursday.

The transactions took place between 1998 and 2013, attorney Mimi Liu said in a hearing in Manhattan, according to Reuters. 

The US Virgin Islands, where the late Epstein’s private island of Little Saint James is located, brought its lawsuit against JPMorgan last year. According to the suit, the bank’s top executives had often joked about the financier and his fondness for young girls. That was despite compliance staff repeatedly attempting to have Epstein’s account classed as “high risk,” and urging management to cut ties with the pedophile, who was convicted of procuring a child for prostitution in 2008.

The Virgin Islands argued that the government could have been tipped off to Epstein’s crimes earlier if JPMorgan had properly reported suspicious transactions on his account. Thdese included a payment of $600,000 to transport a 14-year-old girl to the US from Europe, whom executives described as his “assistant or young lady he brought over from Prague (or some place like that).” 

Thursday’s hearing marked the first time that the amount of money JPMorgan handled for Epstein was made public. "JPMorgan was a full service bank for Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking," Liu argued in court.

The Virgin Islands is seeking a minimum of $190 million from the bank.

JPMorgan denies sheltering Epstein. Lawyers for the bank have argued that several employees reported suspicious transactions from Epstein’s account to the US Treasury Department as far back as 2002, and asked federal authorities to investigate his conduct. Furthermore, JPMorgan’s legal team has accused the Virgin Islands of turning a blind eye to the alleged sex crimes that took place on Little Saint James.

Earlier this summer, JPMorgan claimed that it had severed its ties with Epstein in 2013. However, Liu accused the bank of processing more than $1.1 million in payments from Epstein to “girls or women” after that date.

Epstein was arrested in 2019 and charged with the trafficking of dozens of underage girls, but was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell before he could be brought to trial. His death was ruled a suicide, although this official explanation was met with skepticism by some due to his ties to wealthy and powerful figures, including former US President Bill Clinton, current CIA Director William Burns, and Britain’s Prince Andrew.

JPMorgan settled a separate Epstein-related lawsuit in June, paying $290 million to a group of women who said they were sexually abused by the billionaire while he was a client of the bank.