JPMorgan Chase can investigate statements that may have been made to Manhattan prosecutors by a woman suing the bank over its decision to retain Jeffrey Epstein as a client, a New York judge ruled Friday. narrated.
The US lender first summoned the Manhattan district attorney’s office earlier this month, requesting any statements made by the Epstein accuser to its sex crimes unit in August.
The accuser, who uses the pseudonym Jane Doe, has alleged that JPMorgan should be held liable for her sexual abuse at the hands of Epstein and for damages suffered by Jess Staley, a former senior executive at the bank. Staley has strongly denied these allegations, calling them “outrageous”.
The bank sued Staley in March, arguing that it should be forced to bear the cost of any payments in connection with cases brought against JP Morgan by the Epstein accuser and the US Virgin Islands, where the late It was home to sex offenders.
In addition to seeking documents related to Jane Doe, JP Morgan asked the Manhattan DA for records of statements made by any “personal identifiers”. [Staley] As an alleged witness or alleged perpetrator of any sexual assault, sexual abuse or other sex-related crimes.
Jed Rakoff, the judge overseeing the cases in Manhattan federal court, said JPMorgan could access the records in question, which he later clarified only concerned the information sought regarding the Jane Doe statements.
The order came as JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon was answering questions under oath about his knowledge of Epstein’s crimes.
The sworn testimony, which America’s largest lender tried to prevent from happening, marked a significant escalation in two high-profile cases over JPMorgan’s 15-year relationship with Epstein that has embarrassed some current and former executives. and highlighted an ineffective internal compliance procedures of the bank.
Dimon’s name had already cropped up in controversial litigation, with lawsuits against JPMorgan filed late last year. He was referred to in an internal email expressing concern about Epstein, which included the words “pending Dimon review”.
Mary Erdos, a top JPMorgan executive, told lawyers in a sworn affidavit in March that Dimon was solely in charge of overseeing Staley, who had been at the bank for decades and managed the relationship with Epstein for a period, According to people familiar with the matter. JPMorgan’s lawsuit against Staley alleges he misled the bank about Epstein’s wrongdoings.
In a statement, JPMorgan said its boss had never met Epstein, “spoke with him, [or] emailed with her, and was not involved in any decisions regarding her account”. The bank continued: “Plaintiffs know this based on decades of searching and millions of emails. , , Yet they continue in search of publicity.
Yet the cases remain one of the few spots on the executive’s copy book for a long time. He recently announced spending nearly $16 billion in JPMorgan, leading Wall Street’s lobbying efforts for a deal on the US debt ceiling to avoid default, and one of the failed lenders in a government-led auction Caught the First Republic. ,
The litigation has generally raised more questions about the firmness of control of the bank during his tenure.
“It’s really not good news if Dimon didn’t know,” said a person familiar with the bank’s organizational structure. “If no one reached out to him in almost a decade of continuing to work in the bank [Epstein] When they knew about his conduct and when it was in public, it was probably even worse news.”
JP Morgan called Epstein’s plan a “monster” and expressed regret for having him as a client. “In attitude, any relation with [Epstein] It was a mistake , , But we didn’t help him commit his heinous crime.”
Last week, Deutsche Bank settled separate claims related to Epstein for $75 million, which will be shared among dozens of women.
The stakes may soon be even higher for JPMorgan. Dimon was being ousted Friday after a federal judge in New York heard arguments from representatives of Epstein accusers, who argue that potentially hundreds of women should be entitled to compensation from the bank on which they profited from human trafficking. Accused of lifting
Jane Doe’s attorney, Sigrid McCauley, told the court that “there was clear evidence in the record that the bank knew about Epstein’s conduct . . . beginning in the early 2000s” and argued that JPMorgan’s responsibility for his crimes Requirement, which had Epstein as a client from 1998 to 2013, “turned a blind eye”.
JPMorgan’s lawyers argued that the alleged victims had “very different experiences” and therefore should not be allowed to sue as a group.
Judge Rakoff said he understood the argument that “if these allegations are true, they may violate sex-trafficking statutes . . . and that if the money was provided by a bank that knew or knew it should have happened[of Epstein’s crimes]that they may also be liable”. He said he would rule till June 20.
Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida. He was charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors more than a decade later, and died by suicide in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial.