During a hearing related to the U.S. Virgin Islands’ lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase
a lawyer representing the territory revealed on Thursday that the bank had informed U.S.
authorities of processing over $1 billion in transactions for Jeffrey Epstein over a span of 16 years.
The attorney representing the U.S. Virgin Islands
Mimi Liu, the attorney representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, stated that JPMorgan had flagged these transactions as suspicious to the U.S. Treasury Department following Epstein’s suicide in 2019. However, the details of these disclosures to the Treasury are not public
and a spokesperson for JPMorgan declined to provide comments on the matter.
Epstein had been a client of JPMorgan from 1998 to 2013
at which point the bank terminated its relationship with him. This decision came while Epstein was facing sex trafficking charges prior to his death.
The U.S. Virgin Islands is pursuing a lawsuit against JPMorgan for a minimum of $190 million
alleging that the bank overlooked warning signs of Epstein’s involvement in a sex trafficking operation due to his significant financial contributions.
JPMorgan has consistently denied any knowledge
JPMorgan has consistently denied any knowledge of Epstein’s illicit activities and has criticized the U.S. Virgin Islands for maintaining a close association with him.
Liu introduced the previously undisclosed $1 billion figure during the hearing as part of her argument that the bank found complicit in Epstein’s sex trafficking by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan before the case proceeds to trial. She contended that no reasonable juror could believe that JPMorgan was unaware of Epstein’s actions
asserting that the bank had been a “full-service bank for Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking.”
A lawyer for JPMorgan
In response, Felicia Ellsworth, a lawyer for JPMorgan
argued that it was inappropriate for the judge to make a determination about the bank’s knowledge prior to the trial
She pointed out that current and former bank employees had testified that they had no knowledge of Epstein’s sex trafficking activities.
Ellsworth also emphasized that JPMorgan had reported Epstein’s transactions to the Treasury Department at least six times dating back to as early as 2002. Additionally, she refuted the U.S. Virgin Islands’ claim that the bank obstructed investigations into Epstein, asserting that JPMorgan had inquired about federal authorities’ own probes into Epstein’s conduct.
A trial scheduled for October 23, with Judge Rakoff expected to decide by the end of September whether to address major legal disputes beforehand. In June, Rakoff had tentatively approved JPMorgan’s $290 million settlement with women who accused Epstein of abuse. Deutsche Bank, where Epstein was a client from 2013 to 2018, had previously reached a $75 million settlement with his accusers.