JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank to face lawsuit alleging they supported Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking | US News

JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank must face lawsuits alleging they supported Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking, a U.S. judge said.

Manhattan District Judge Jed Rakoff rules that banks must face class action lawsuit brought by women, they say Epstein Sexually abused them and said he would explain his reasoning at a later stage.

The judge also ruled that JPMorgan must face a lawsuit in the U.S. Virgin Islands alleging the bank failed to send red flags about Epstein’s abuse on Little St. James, the private island he owns there.

The decision could see the bank suffer financial and reputational damage from keeping Epstein as a customer after the late financier registered as a sex offender.

Epstein committed suicide in a Manhattan prison cell in August 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. He pleaded guilty to a prostitution charge in Florida in 2008 and later registered as a sex offender.

“Bank complicity fueled Epstein’s abuse of power”

Brad Edwards, an attorney for the women, said damages involving more than 300 of Epstein’s victims could total billions of dollars in a trial scheduled for October.

“This is a landmark decision,” Mr Edwards said. “As far as I know, this is the first time a group of victims can pursue a sex trafficking case against two major financial institutions.

“The bank’s complicity was a necessary part of Epstein’s abuse of power, which provides a final layer of accountability.”

Little St. James Island, one of the properties of financier Jeffrey Epstein
Little St. James, one of Epstein’s properties

“First Line of Defense”

JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank said they had no legal obligation to protect women from Epstein and denied allegations that they knew of his abuse.

Epstein was a client of JPMorgan from 2000 to 2013 and of Deutsche Bank from 2013 to 2018.

Acting U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Carol Thomas-Jacobs said her office’s case will help ensure that banks act as “the first place in law to identify and report potential human trafficking.” line of defense”.

The U.S. Virgin Islands previously recovered more than £85.6 million ($105 million) from Epstein’s estate in a November settlement, while 138 Epstein accusers received more than £98.7 million from the compensation fund in 2021. British pounds ($121 million), the fund also consists of property.

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The decision comes as former JPMorgan private banking head Jess Staley is accused of exchanging sexually suggestive messages about young women with Epstein and committing sexual assault himself.

Mr Staley admitted to maintaining a friendly relationship with Epstein, but regretted the relationship – and denied having any knowledge of Epstein’s alleged crimes.

After leaving JPMorgan, he became CEO of Barclays, but will step down in November 2021 regulatory issues About his relationship with Epstein.

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