JPMorgan Chase will pay $75 million to settle a U.S. Virgin Islands lawsuit alleging the Wall Street giant was involved in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking of young women.
A JPMorgan spokesman said the bank did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement, which provides $55 million to charities and anti-human trafficking organizations in the Virgin Islands.
The remaining $20 million will cover the island territory’s legal costs during the nearly year-long legal battle in federal court in New York.
The bank also settled its lawsuit with former CEO Jes Staley, a former executive who was accused in court of covering up Epstein’s abuse to keep him as a customer.
The terms of the settlement with Mr. Staley are confidential.
Epstein was a client at JPMorgan between 1998 and 2013, although reports of his sexual offenses became widely known internally in 2006.
In 2008 he was found guilty of procuring underage prostitutes and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
According to court documents, JPMorgan would need another two years to report Epstein as a sex offender.
Epstein died by suicide in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking crimes.
In a statement, a JPMorgan spokesman said: “Although the settlement does not include any admissions of liability, the company deeply regrets any association with this man and would never have continued to do business with him if it believed he was taking advantage of the bank in any way.” to commit his heinous crimes.”
The agreement recognizes the bank’s “past and ongoing efforts to combat human trafficking through its anti-money laundering program,” the spokesperson added.
Epstein withdrew up to $750,000 in cash from JPMorgan accounts each year to pay his network of patrons and the vulnerable girls and young women he smuggled to his two remote islands in the U.S. Virgin Islands, lawyers said of the territory alleged in the lawsuit.
JPMorgan alleged in court that the USVI enabled Epstein’s crimes by giving him tax breaks and that it overlooked his crimes in exchange for cash payments to local officials. Epstein owned two islands in the territory, Little Saint James and Great Saint James.
The USVI previously said it was seeking at least $190 million to settle the lawsuit. The trial was scheduled to begin on October 23rd in New York.
In a statement, Virgin Islands Attorney General Ariel Smith said the settlement marks the first time a bank has paid a human trafficking enforcement action.
“This settlement is a historic victory for survivors and for federal enforcement, and it should sound the alarm on Wall Street about banks’ legal responsibility to detect and prevent human trafficking.”
In June, JPMorgan agreed to pay $290 million to settle a lawsuit involving victims of the late sex offender.
The USVI also reached a $105 million settlement with Epstein’s estate, while billionaire Leon Black paid the territory $62.5 million to resolve claims related to the territory’s investigation into his sex trafficking ring.
In May, Deutsche Bank paid $75 million to settle a lawsuit filed by victims of Epstein’s sexual abuse. He was a customer of the bank between 2013 and 2018.