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Bank Reaches Settlement with Victims of Jeffrey Epstein

Jamie Dimon (Via Jamie Dimon/Twitter)

JPMorgan Chase has reached a settlement with victims of financier Jeffrey Epstein, according to a statement released by the bank on Monday. The settlement comes after a US class action lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court last November, seeking to hold JPMorgan financially liable for Epstein’s decades-long abuse of teenage girls and young women. Epstein was arrested in 2019 on federal charges of paying under-age girls hundreds of dollars in cash for massages and then molesting them at his homes in Florida and New York. He was found dead in jail on August 10 of that year, and a medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.

The lawsuit alleged that JPMorgan Chase provided Epstein with loans and allowed him to withdraw large sums of cash despite knowing about his sex trafficking practices. Epstein was a client of JPMorgan Chase from 1998 to August 2013, and the bank denied the allegations, suing one of its former executives, Jes Staley, claiming that he hid Epstein’s crimes to keep him as a client. The lawsuit claimed that JPMorgan continued to do business with Epstein despite being aware of his sex crimes, including a 2008 guilty plea in Florida. The bank also allowed Epstein to withdraw large sums of cash, even though it knew he was using the bank to facilitate his sex trafficking operations.

Jamie Dimon (Via Jamie Dimon/Twitter)

JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon has testified that he never heard of Epstein and his crimes until the financier was arrested in 2019. However, the bank has acknowledged that it was aware of Epstein’s criminal behavior and has said that it would never have continued to do business with him if it believed he was using the bank to help commit sex crimes. The settlement is subject to court approval, and terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Shares of JPMorgan rose slightly before market opening. A related lawsuit is still pending in the US Virgin Islands, and the bank’s claims against Staley are also ongoing.

The lawsuits were filed after New York state enacted a temporary law allowing adult victims of sexual abuse to sue others for the abuse they suffered, even if the abuse occurred long ago. The law allowed for a one-year window for lawsuits to be filed, and many victims of Epstein’s abuse took advantage of the opportunity to seek justice. The settlement is a step towards holding JPMorgan Chase accountable for its role in enabling Epstein’s sex trafficking operations, and it provides some measure of justice to the victims of Epstein’s abuse.

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