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Verdicts & Settlements

JPMorgan Chase and U.S. Virgin Islands Reach Settlement in Epstein Trafficking Case

— September 27, 2023

JPMorgan Chase has not conceded any liability but will pay the U.S. Virgin Islands an estimated $75 million to resolve the lawsuit.

JPMorgan Chase has reached a settlement with the U.S. Virgin Islands, which had earlier sued the bank over its alleged connections to late billionaire and human trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

According to CNN, the settlement includes “significant commitments” by JPMorgan Chase to curtail human trafficking, as well as a one-time payment of $75 million to the Islands’ territorial government.

Of the $75 million, about $55 million will go toward local charities and victim assistance.

The remainder, writes NBC News, will be used to cover the Islands’ legal fees and other costs.

“We are pleased that the U.S.V.I. will use settlement proceeds to enhance the infrastructure and capabilities of their law enforcement to prevent and combat human trafficking and other crimes in their territories,” a JPMorgan Chase spokesperson said in a statement.

In its initial complaint, the Virgin Islands claimed that JPMorgan Chase benefited financially from Epstein’s sex trafficking operation and failed to either notice or properly investigate obvious red flags, including repeated payments to young and underage women.

A 2006 mugshot of Jeffrey Epstein, who was arrested at the time for soliciting a prostitute. Public domain.

“Over more than a decade, JPMorgan clearly knew it was not complying with federal regulations in regard to Epstein-related accounts as evidenced by its too-little too-late efforts after Epstein was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges and shortly after his death, when JPMorgan (JPM) belatedly complied with federal law,” the Virgin Islands said in its lawsuit.

While JPMorgan Chase did eventually order an internal review of Epstein’s criminal conduct, the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, denied knowing about any such reviews in a deposition.

“Had the Firm believed that [Epstein] was engaged in an ongoing sex trafficking operation, Epstein would not have been retained as a client,” a spokesperson said of Dimon’s deposition. “In hindsight, we regret he was ever a client.”

However, JPMorgan stressed in its settlement announcement that the agreement includes no admission of wrongdoing, fault, or liability. A spokesperson also said that the bank “deeply regrets any association” it had with Epstein.

Epstein, notes CNN, was arrested in 2019 on federal charges of trafficking dozens of underage girls.

Just over a month after his arrest, though, Epstein allegedly committed suicide in his jail cell.

U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Ariel Smith has since said that the territory is “proud to have stood alongside the survivors throughout this litigation, and this settlement reflects our continued commitment to them.”

“With this constructive resolution of this groundbreaking resolution, we look forward to helping our community move froward and to building a new relationship with JPMorgan,” Smith said.


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