The decade's most triggering comedy
The relationship between investment bank JPMorgan Chase and deceased child sex predator Jeffrey Epstein was deeper than the firm has previously admitted, according to a Friday report from The Wall Street Journal.
Recent lawsuits filed against JPMorgan Chase assert that Epstein, who ran a hedge fund before his apparent suicide in 2019, benefited from special treatment at the investment bank because he attracted a number of wealthy clients. Even as attorneys insist that the firm is not liable for the crimes committed by Epstein, the firm continued to conduct business with him for five years after his 2008 state-level conviction for procuring prostitution from a minor.
Mary Erdoes, a senior lieutenant to veteran JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, made two visits to Epstein’s townhouse in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 2011 and 2013, unnamed people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. Erdoes communicated with Epstein via email about a charitable fund JPMorgan Chase was seeking to launch.
John Duffy, who formerly led JPMorgan Chase’s private bank, reportedly visited the townhouse in 2013 for a meeting; despite multiple warnings from compliance officers, the company renewed an authorization one month later permitting Epstein to borrow funds against his account. Justin Nelson, a banker who worked with Epstein at JPMorgan Chase, traveled to a New Mexico ranch owned by the pedophile in 2016 and participated in a handful of meetings at the Manhattan townhouse between 2014 and 2017.
The report from The Wall Street Journal comes one month before Dimon, who has served as the bank’s chief executive since 2005, is scheduled to be deposed behind closed doors. Attorneys recently uncovered communications from employees who mentioned a “Dimon review” into the company’s relationship with Epstein, according to a report from the Financial Times likewise based upon unnamed sources. JPMorgan Chase faces legal actions from the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands and an unnamed Epstein victim contending that the firm benefited financially from the deceased hedge fund manager’s crimes.
JPMorgan Chase has denied that Dimon, widely regarded as one of the financial sector’s most powerful executives, had knowledge of a review into the firm’s associations with Epstein. Another source told the Financial Times that there exists no record of direct communications between the two individuals.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff tossed most charges against JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank last month in the proposed class action lawsuits from the Epstein accuser and the U.S. Virgin Islands officials. Deutsche Bank received most of the Epstein hedge fund’s business after his partnership with JPMorgan Chase concluded in 2013.
“Epstein’s sex trafficking operation was impossible without the assistance of JPMorgan Chase, and later Deutsche Bank, and we assure the public that we will leave no stone unturned in our quest for justice for the many victims who deserved better from one of America’s largest financial institutions,” lawyers for the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Epstein victim, identified only as Jane Doe, asserted in a statement.
Managers of the Epstein estate agreed to settle a lawsuit with the U.S. Virgin Islands last year related to the territory’s laws against fraud, sex trafficking, and child exploitation. The estate agreed to pay $105 million and half of the proceeds earned from selling the island of Little St. James, which acquired nicknames such as “Pedophile Island” after the demise of Epstein.