Feb 1, 2023
JPMorgan Calls Suit Over Epstein ‘Masterclass in Deflection’
(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. asked a judge to throw out a US Virgin Islands lawsuit that claims the bank turned a blind eye to Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking, calling the allegation a “masterclass in deflection.”
“Having sought and obtained more than $100 million from Jeffrey Epstein’s estate and businesses for damages caused by his sex-trafficking crimes, the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) now casts farther afield for deeper pockets,” the bank said in a court filing Wednesday.
USVI Attorney General Denise George in December sued the bank in Manhattan federal court saying it was part of an “ongoing effort” to hold accountable those who facilitated Epstein’s activities. Epstein brought many of his victims to his villa on Little St. James, the private island he owned.
According to the attorney general’s suit, JPMorgan concealed “wire and cash transactions that raised suspicion of a criminal enterprise whose currency was the sexual servitude” of women and girls in the Virgin Islands. George also claims JPMorgan’s willingness to do business with Epstein unfairly enriched it at the expense of other banks.
In its request to have the lawsuit dismissed, JPMorgan said it ended its banking relationship with Epstein 10 years ago and the suit involves neither Epstein’s estate, nor his businesses, nor his victims.
USVI is trying to hold JPMorgan accountable for not “sleuthing” out Epstein’s crimes a decade ago, the bank said.
“Yet USVI had access at the time to the same information, allegations, and rumors about Epstein on which it alleges” JPMorgan should have acted, the bank said.
Read More: Jes Staley ‘Personally Observed’ Epstein Abuse, Victim Says
“USVI did nothing to stop Epstein during this period, notwithstanding the fact that he registered with the USVI as a Tier 1 sex offender,” the bank said. “To the contrary, during the same period, USVI granted Epstein and his businesses lucrative privileges and massive tax incentives.”
Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in 2019, after being arrested and charged with sex-trafficking by Manhattan federal prosecutors. His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted of similar charges in 2021.
The case is USVI v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-10904-UA, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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