JPMorgan Chase, the largest investment bank in the U.S., said it would pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit accusing the financial institution of facilitating Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking network.
The U.S. Virgin Islands sued the bank for $190 million, claiming it looked the other way from suspicious payments and money transfers while Epstein committed sex crimes. The trial was set to begin on October 23.
According to the Virgin Islands, the settlement “includes several substantial commitments by JPMorgan Chase to identify, report, and cut off support for potential human trafficking, including establishing and implementing comprehensive policies and procedures.”
Of the settlement, $20 million will go toward legal fees, while $55 million will be allocated for anti-trafficking efforts by the Virgin Islands and charities.
“As part of the settlement, JPMorgan has agreed to implement and maintain meaningful anti-trafficking measures, which will help prevent human trafficking in the future,” Virgin Islands Attorney General Ariel Smith said in a statement.
“This settlement is an historic victory for survivors and for state enforcement, and it should sound the alarm on Wall Street about banks’ responsibilities under the law to detect and prevent human trafficking,” Smith added.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Epstein maintained dozens of bank accounts with JPMorgan and regularly communicated with leadership at the bank.
“While the settlement does not involve admissions of liability, the firm deeply regrets any association with this man, and would never have continued doing business with him if it believed he was using the bank in any way to commit his heinous crimes,” JPMorgan said in a statement.
At the same time the settlement between the Virgin Islands and JPMorgan was announced, the bank said it had settled with former executive Jes Staley, who was close to Epstein.
Staley has been sued by JPMorgan, which blamed the bank’s connection to Epstein on him. The details of that settlement have not been disclosed.
Emails between Staley and Epstein allegedly show them discussing someone described as “Snow White.” Staley allegedly emailed Epstein from his work account on July 9, 2010, saying, “That was fun. Say hi to Snow White.” Epstein reportedly replied, “What character would you like next,” to which Staley allegedly replied, “Beauty and the Beast.”
In an additional filing from the Virgin Islands, Staley was allegedly told by then-JPMorgan CEO Douglas Warner that Epstein was “one of the most connected people I know of in New York,” saying he should meet him.
JPMorgan previously settled with victims of Epstein’s trafficking operation for $290 million. While the bank has agreed to settle, it has not acknowledged any wrongdoing.
The bank had accused the Virgin Islands of complicity with Epstein, claiming that the territory “created a haven for Epstein’s criminal activity.”