Jamie Dimon to Be Deposed as JPMorgan Faces Reckoning for Epstein Ties

Jeffrey Epstein was many issues: a sexual predator, a good friend to the wealthy and highly effective and, for a few years, a profitable buyer of the nation’s largest financial institution.

Now the financial institution, JPMorgan Chase, faces a reckoning for its practically 15-year relationship with the disgraced financier, one that would price it a giant payout in two civil lawsuits that declare the financial institution ignored warnings that he was trafficking teenage women for intercourse as a result of it was making the most of its relationship with him.

New disclosures ensuing from the circumstances recommend that staff of the financial institution flagged Mr. Epstein’s exercise as suspicious on a variety of events, whereas different paperwork present Mr. Epstein’s familiarity with prime executives on the financial institution, and his easy accessibility to them, even after his 2008 responsible plea in Florida to soliciting prostitution from a teenage woman.

Filed late final 12 months in federal court docket in Manhattan, the lawsuits — one introduced by legal professionals representing Mr. Epstein’s victims and the opposite by the federal government of the U.S. Virgin Islands — are continuing on a quick observe, with dozens of depositions taken of victims, Virgin Islands officers and individuals who labored for the financial institution and Mr. Epstein.

The proceedings will tackle a brand new urgency on Friday, when Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chief government, is scheduled to be deposed on the financial institution’s headquarters in Manhattan.

Mr. Epstein died in an obvious suicide three years in the past whereas being held in federal custody on sex-trafficking expenses. JPMorgan dropped him as a consumer a decade in the past. Lots of the paperwork and displays filed within the litigation are below seal.

One doc ready by the financial institution, an exhibit in a court docket submitting final week, suggests staff of JPMorgan filed quite a few suspicious exercise stories, or SARs, about a few of Mr. Epstein’s transactions. The names of some 4 dozen staff who the financial institution mentioned have been “concerned in reporting SARs referring to Epstein Accounts between 2000 and 2019” are redacted.

Banks should file a SAR with federal regulators after they suspect {that a} transaction might contain cash laundering or fraud. The stories are stored confidential as a result of the transactions might show to be reputable, although they’ll present investigative results in the authorities.

A JPMorgan spokeswoman mentioned the financial institution had not identified of something that indicated Mr. Epstein was concerned in intercourse trafficking. In filings associated to the case, the financial institution has additionally disclosed that it requested federal prosecutors in Florida in 2011 if there was any energetic investigation of Mr. Epstein. The financial institution mentioned the prosecutors had not disclosed any investigation.

A separate cache of emails and partial calendar entries reviewed by The New York Occasions exhibits that prime executives on the financial institution had a degree of familiarity with Mr. Epstein.

“Nonetheless ready on your name,” Mr. Epstein wrote in October 2011 to Mary C. Erdoes, the present head of the financial institution’s large asset and wealth administration division.

Ms. Erdoes replied: “Significantly. It’s 1 a.m. your time. I might say get a life … however you might be on the Ritz and we aren’t.” Ms. Erdoes added that she had simply landed in California and would discuss to Mr. Epstein the subsequent day.

The emails, and calender entries for Mr. Epstein whereas he was staying at his Manhattan mansion, have been obtained by way of a public information request to the lawyer normal for the U.S. Virgin Islands. JPMorgan’s spokeswoman has mentioned contact between rich purchasers and financial institution executives isn’t unusual.

The emails supplied to The Occasions by the Virgin Islands additionally embody exchanges between Mr. Epstein and James E. Staley, the JPMorgan government with the closest ties to him.

A number of are of a private nature: In a single dialog from 2015, Mr. Staley requested Mr. Epstein if he would meet together with his daughter to debate her post-college plans. In a 2011 electronic mail change, there was a dialogue about arranging a dinner with Mr. Epstein and Mr. Staley’s household.

Different emails between Mr. Epstein, Ms. Erdoes and Mr. Staley concerned potential enterprise offers. A collection of exchanges targeted on Mr. Epstein’s effort to determine a charitable partnership between the financial institution, the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis and others. He additionally inquired about assembly with Mr. Dimon to debate the plan.

The financial institution’s spokeswoman mentioned Mr. Epstein had by no means met with Mr. Dimon. Mr. Epstein’s proposed charitable fund with the Gates Basis and JPMorgan by no means superior a lot past the speaking stage in 2011 when Mr. Gates first met Mr. Epstein.

JPMorgan lower ties with Mr. Epstein in 2013, although that was years after some members of the financial institution’s compliance division had raised alarms about doing enterprise with him. And it dropped him solely after Mr. Staley had left for one more job.

Mr. Staley and Ms. Erdoes, The Occasions beforehand reported, favored retaining Mr. Epstein as a consumer after his 2008 responsible plea, partly as a result of he helped deliver rich purchasers to JPMorgan’s private-banking division.

The connection between Mr. Epstein and Mr. Staley, who is named Jes, is a central query within the litigation. Legal professionals for the Virgin Islands have claimed that the 2 males shared sexually suggestive emails about younger girls and that generally Mr. Epstein despatched Mr. Staley “photographs of younger girls in seductive poses.”

The Virgin Islands has mentioned the financial institution ought to have been conscious of the emails. Mr. Staley left JPMorgan in 2013 and in 2015 turned the chief government of Barclays. He resigned that place in 2021 due to the fallout from an investigation by British regulators into how he had characterised his relationship with Mr. Epstein.

JPMorgan has mentioned it was not conscious of any inappropriate conduct involving Mr. Staley. However the financial institution has named him as a defendant in a third-party lawsuit, in order that whether it is decided that Mr. Staley engaged in improper exercise, he could be held liable for any damages it might need to pay. A federal choose this week rejected Mr. Staley’s try to be dismissed from the litigation.

Neither Mr. Staley nor his legal professionals responded to requests for remark, however in court docket papers, he has denied any wrongdoing and has mentioned he was unaware of any intercourse trafficking operation.

The legal professionals for Mr. Epstein’s victims scored a giant win in the same case final week, when Deutsche Financial institution, which succeeded JPMorgan as Mr. Epstein’s major banker, agreed to pay $75 million to settle a proposed class-action go well with filed in federal court docket final 12 months. The German financial institution beforehand paid a $150 million penalty to New York regulators.

The proposed settlement with Deutsche Financial institution might turn out to be a template for any cope with JP Morgan. JPMorgan had managed 40 accounts for Mr. Epstein and dealt with most of his wire transfers, which included funds to girls believed to be victims, folks briefed on the matter mentioned.

“JPM was his true associate,” mentioned Bradley Edwards, who, together with David Boies, is a part of the authorized crew representing the victims of Mr. Epstein within the lawsuit. “There isn’t any actual comparability between the 2 circumstances.”

So far, Mr. Epstein’s property — as soon as valued at $600 million — has paid out over $150 million in settlements to greater than 125 victims. These victims could possibly be eligible to get a few of the cash from the proposed cope with Deutsche Financial institution.

The Virgin Islands lawsuit towards JPMorgan arose from info the territory had gathered throughout litigation with Mr. Epstein’s property. The Virgin Islands had sued to recoup tens of thousands and thousands in tax advantages it had awarded to Mr. Epstein’s companies that have been based mostly in St. Thomas, reaching a $105 million settlement in November.

The Virgin Islands’ personal dealings with Mr. Epstein even have raised controversy through the years. Not solely did it award profitable tax breaks to his companies however in 2012, the federal government eased journey restrictions for Mr. Epstein after a request from his legal professionals, in keeping with paperwork that The Occasions obtained by way of a public information request.

Due to his standing as a intercourse offender, Mr. Epstein was required to inform authorities of any journey plans, however that advance discover was lower to someday from roughly three weeks by the Virgin Islands’ lawyer normal on the time, the paperwork present.

JPMorgan has seized on a few of these criticisms of the Virgin Islands authorities to argue the territory is in no place to sue for damages. The financial institution, in a court docket submitting on Tuesday, mentioned officers within the U.S. territory had a protracted historical past of cozying as much as Mr. Epstein and appeared “the opposite manner when he walked by way of U.S.V.I. airports accompanied by women and younger girls.”

The financial institution additionally famous Mr. Epstein made frequent marketing campaign donations to native politicians, and it has sought details about Cecile de Jongh, the spouse of a former governor of the Virgin Islands, who was a longtime workplace supervisor for Mr. Epstein’s corporations. It is usually set to depose Albert Bryan Jr., the present governor, who was the chairman of the company that awarded Mr. Epstein’s companies the large tax breaks.

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