US Virgin Islands Seeks $190 Million from JPMorgan in Epstein Case

US Virgin Islands Seeks $190 Million from JPMorgan in Epstein Case

US Virgin Islands Seeks $190 Million from JPMorgan in Epstein Case

The U.S. Virgin Islands is demanding that JPMorgan Chase pay a minimum of $190 million, and potentially more, in relation to its lawsuit accusing the bank of disregarding the sexual trafficking activities of the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

According to a filing in federal court in Manhattan on Friday, the territory is seeking a $150 million civil fine from JPMorgan and the forfeiture of at least $40 million linked to its 15-year association with Epstein.

US Virgin Islands Seeks $190 Million from JPMorgan in Epstein Case

Additionally, the U.S. Virgin Islands wants JPMorgan to compensate Epstein’s victims through damages, pay punitive damages, separate its business and compliance functions, and hire a compliance consultant.

Attorney General Ariel Smith of the U.S. Virgin Islands stated, “Financial penalties, as well as conduct changes, are important to make sure that JPMorgan Chase knows the cost of putting its own profits ahead of public safety.”

JPMorgan acknowledged the ongoing discussions to settle the case in a statement, but indicated that the recent filing does not accurately represent the nature of those discussions. The bank also criticized the U.S. Virgin Islands’ arguments for damages, deeming them “misdirected” and “not well founded.”

This filing marks the first time that the U.S. Virgin Islands has specified a monetary amount in its lawsuit.

The territory seeks to hold JPMorgan accountable for providing banking services to Epstein between 1998 and 2013, facilitating his payments to victims, and ignoring internal warnings and red flags due to his status as a wealthy client.

Furthermore, the claimed $40 million amount does not include the value, which is challenging to quantify, of Epstein allegedly introducing JPMorgan to prominent individuals such as Britain’s Prince Andrew and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Epstein, who died by suicide in August 2019, owned two adjacent islands in the U.S. Virgin Islands, with one allegedly acquired to shield his sexual abuses of young women and girls on the other from prying eyes.

A trial for this case is scheduled for October 23.

This lawsuit represents the largest unresolved legal matter connected to Epstein.

JPMorgan recently agreed to a $290 million settlement with dozens of Epstein accusers, while Deutsche Bank, where Epstein was also a client, reached a $75 million settlement in May. Both settlements are pending final court approval.

Meanwhile, Epstein’s estate has paid over $125 million to his victims and over $105 million to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend, was convicted in December 2021 for her involvement in his abuses.

In response to the U.S. Virgin Islands’ case, JPMorgan has attempted to shift blame, accusing the territory of actively aiding Epstein by providing tax incentives and waiving sex offender monitoring requirements in exchange for cash or gifts to local police and high-ranking officials.

Separately, JPMorgan is suing Jes Staley, a former executive who had close ties to Epstein, in an effort to recover losses resulting from the two lawsuits it faces. Staley has expressed regret for his association with Epstein and has repeatedly denied knowledge of his sex trafficking activities. He departed from JPMorgan a few months after Epstein’s departure and served as the CEO of Barclays from 2015 to 2021.

The case is U.S. Virgin Islands v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-10904.

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