JPMorgan kept ties to Epstein until months before his death, court filing says

JPMorgan Chase handled business related to disgraced sex trafficker and financier Jeffrey Epstein until mere months before his death by suicide in 2019, the U.S. Virgin Islands government claimed in a court filing Monday.

The U.S. territory has been pursuing a lawsuit against JPMorgan, arguing that the bank was complicit in funding Epstein’s long history of abuse and child sex trafficking. In calling for a partial summary judgment, Monday’s memo from the plaintiffs argues that the bank retained a business relationship of sorts with Epstein for years after 2013, the year JPMorgan removed him as a client and closed his accounts. The exact nature of that relationship isn’t entirely clear from the documents, which are partially redacted.

JPMorgan operated as Epstein’s banker for 15 years, starting in 1998 and ending in 2013. After he was “exited” as a client in 2013, Deutsche took over his accounts.

But in the latest documents unsealed in the case, officials from the U.S. Virgin Islands said Epstein, had claimed that JPMorgan continued to take referrals from him “right up until his arrest in 2019.”

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According to court documents, the banker directly responsible for handling Epstein’s accounts was given permission to continue the relationship with Epstein after 2013 as “a potential source of referrals.” The banker went on to meet with Epstein at least eight times.

The U.S. Virgin Islands states that JPMorgan was still taking referrals from Epstein in 2019, up until just a few months before his arrest on federal sex trafficking charges, although the exact nature of those referrals to the bank was redacted in public court documents.

Monday’s court filing argues that JPMorgan kept him as a client because of his history of bringing lucrative business to the company’s private wealth division. In 2003, he was that unit’s “top revenue generator,” bringing in more than twice as much as the next biggest client, according to court documents. Epstein introduced the bank to numerous high-dollar clients, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin, the U.S. Virgin Islands said in its filing.

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JPMorgan’s work with Epstein was more extensive than just handling his personal holdings, the court filing says, as the bank also opened accounts for victims and co-conspirators and managed the flow of money between them.

In past public statements, JPMorgan has rejected the allegations and expressed regret for its past work with Epstein. The bank has also countered with accusations of its own, accusing the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands of facilitating Epstein’s crimes.

“We all now understand that Epstein’s behavior was monstrous, and his victims deserve justice — but these suits are misplaced as we did not help him commit his heinous crimes,” JPMorgan spokeswoman Patricia Wexler told The Washington Post in May.

The litigation by the U.S. Virgin Islands is different from lawsuits brought by Epstein’s victims against JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank, which settled for $290 million and $75 million, respectively.

Plaintiffs contend that JPMorgan executives were repeatedly made aware of Epstein’s alleged criminal activity, and were alerted to suspicious activity on his account, but declined to act.

“JPMorgan knowingly handled virtually every financial transaction Epstein needed to operate his sex-trafficking venture … and kept virtually all of it, and thus its own outsized role, under wraps until Epstein was dead and gone,” attorneys for the U.S. Virgin Islands wrote.

According to the document filed Monday, JPMorgan held bank accounts not just for Epstein, but also for all of the girls and women who were alleged in 2006 to be recruiters, accomplices or victims of his abuse.

Court documents show that from 2006 through 2013, Epstein used his account at JPMorgan to send hundreds of thousands of dollars to alleged co-conspirators, whose names were redacted in public court filings.

The bank also sent several of the payments by foreign wires, to girls or women in Eastern Europe, and handled payments to women for school tuition and rent expenses, according to court documents.

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