JPMorgan allowed to access Epstein accuser’s statements to prosecutors
JPMorgan Chase can study statements which will have been made to Manhattan prosecutors by a lady suing the financial institution over its resolution to retain Jeffrey Epstein as a shopper, a New York choose dominated on Friday.
The US lender first subpoenaed the Manhattan district lawyer’s workplace earlier this month, requesting any statements made by an unnamed Epstein accuser to its intercourse crimes unit in August.
The accuser, who makes use of the pseudonym Jane Doe, has alleged that JPMorgan needs to be answerable for damages over her sexual abuse by the hands of Epstein, and by Jes Staley, a former senior govt on the financial institution. Staley has strongly denied the allegations, calling them “slanderous”.
The financial institution sued Staley in March, arguing that he needs to be pressured to shoulder the price of any payouts in reference to the instances introduced towards JPMorgan by the Epstein accuser and the US Virgin Islands, the place the late intercourse offender as soon as had a house.
In addition to in search of paperwork referring to Jane Doe, JPMorgan had requested the Manhattan DA for information of statements made by any “particular person figuring out [Staley] as an alleged witness or an alleged perpetrator of any sexual assault, sexual abuse, or different sex-related crimes”.
Choose Jed Rakoff, who’s overseeing the instances in Manhattan federal courtroom, stated JPMorgan may entry the information in query, which he later clarified associated solely to these sought in reference to Jane Doe’s statements.
The order got here as JPMorgan chief govt Jamie Dimon was answering questions beneath oath about his information of Epstein’s crimes.
The sworn testimony, which the US’s largest lender had tried to stop from occurring, marked a major escalation within the two high-profile instances over JPMorgan’s 15-year relationship with Epstein, which have embarrassed some present and former executives and shone an unflattering mild on the financial institution’s inner compliance processes.
Dimon’s title had already come up within the contentious litigation, with the lawsuits towards JPMorgan having been filed in direction of the top of final 12 months. He was referenced in an inner e mail expressing considerations about Epstein, containing the phrases “pending Dimon evaluate”.
Mary Erdoes, a prime JPMorgan govt, advised attorneys in a sworn deposition in March that Dimon was solely in command of supervising Staley, who was on the financial institution for many years and for a interval managed the connection with Epstein, in accordance with individuals aware of the matter. JPMorgan’s lawsuit towards Staley alleges he misled the financial institution about Epstein’s misdeeds.
In a press release, JPMorgan stated: “At at present’s deposition, our CEO repeatedly confirmed that he by no means met with [Epstein], by no means emailed him, doesn’t recall ever discussing his accounts internally, and was not concerned in any choices about his account. There are thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of emails and different paperwork which have been produced on this case and never one comes near even suggesting that he had any position in choices about Epstein’s accounts.”
But the instances stay one of many few blots on the copy e-book of the longtime govt. He not too long ago introduced an virtually $16bn spending spree at JPMorgan, has been on the forefront of Wall Avenue’s lobbying efforts for a deal on the US debt ceiling to keep away from default, and scooped up First Republic, a failed lender, in a government-led public sale.
The litigation has additionally raised questions extra usually concerning the robustness of the financial institution’s controls throughout his tenure.
“It’s truly not excellent news if Dimon didn’t know,” an individual aware of the financial institution’s organisational construction stated. “If no person ever reached out to him in roughly a decade of continuous to financial institution [Epstein] once they knew of his conduct and when it was public, that’s maybe even worse information.”
JPMorgan has referred to as Epstein’s scheme “monstrous” and expressed remorse for having him as a shopper. “In hindsight, any affiliation with [Epstein] was a mistake . . . however we didn’t assist him commit his heinous crimes.”
Final week, Deutsche Financial institution settled separate Epstein-related claims for $75mn, which can be shared amongst dozens of girls.
The stakes for JPMorgan may quickly be even greater. Whereas Dimon was being deposed on Friday, a federal choose in New York heard arguments from representatives of the Epstein accuser, who contend that doubtlessly tons of of girls needs to be entitled to compensation from the financial institution, which they accuse of cashing in on human trafficking.
Sigrid McCawley, a lawyer for Jane Doe, advised the courtroom that there was “clear proof within the document that the financial institution knew of Epstein’s conduct . . . beginning within the early 2000s” and argued that his crimes necessitated JPMorgan, which had Epstein as a shopper from 1998 to 2013, turning a “blind eye”.
Attorneys for JPMorgan argued that alleged victims had “very completely different experiences” and may thus not be allowed to sue as a single group.
Choose Rakoff stated he understood the argument that “if these allegations are true, they might properly violate the sex-trafficking statute . . . and that if the cash was offered by a financial institution that knew or ought to have recognized [of Epstein’s crimes] that they might be liable too”. He stated he would rule by June 20.
Epstein pleaded responsible in 2008 to a state cost in Florida of soliciting a minor for prostitution. Greater than a decade later he was charged by federal prosecutors with intercourse trafficking, and died by suicide in jail in 2019 whereas awaiting trial.