Feb 23, 2023 11:58
JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) stated on Wednesday that it should not be held culpable for a former executive's relationship with Jeffrey Epstein in a lawsuit accusing the largest U.S. bank of aiding its former client's sex trafficking operation.
JPMorgan stated in a court filing in Manhattan that emails between former executive Jes Staley and Epstein did not support the U.S. Virgin Islands' claim that Staley could "detect Epstein's sex trafficking."
In addition, the bank stated that there was no evidence that Staley's personal travel to the islands or alleged inappropriate emails were part of his employment, and that even if Staley had helped "direct" Epstein's sex trafficking, "his conduct would have been far beyond his authority as a JPMC employee."
JPMorgan stated in its motion to dismiss the "misdirected and deficient" lawsuit that there was no plausible explanation for how it could have known about Epstein's malfeasance and profited from it during the years 2000 to 2013.
Attorneys for the United States Virgin Islands did not respond promptly to requests for comment. Staley is not an accused.
In August of 2019, Epstein committed suicide in a Manhattan prison cell while awaiting prosecution on sex trafficking charges.
JPMorgan's dismissal motion was filed one week after a court filing alleged that Staley and Epstein had exchanged approximately 1,200 sexually explicit emails between 2008 and 2012.
In 2008, Epstein pled guilty to a Florida state prostitution charge.
Staley, the former head of private finance at JPMorgan, has admitted to having a friendship with Epstein, but he has disputed knowledge of his alleged crimes.
Staley became CEO of Barclays (LON:BARC) Plc after leaving JPMorgan, but resigned in November 2021 amid a dispute with British financial regulators investigating his connections to Epstein.
In December 2022, the U.S. Virgin Islands filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan for unspecified damages, alleging that the bank should have been aware of Epstein's misconduct on a private island he owned there.
JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB), where Epstein was a client from 2013 to 2018, are also being sued by Epstein's victims. Both institutions are pursuing dismissals.
Case number 22-10904 is Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.