Last Updated on December 29, 2022
The Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands filed a lawsuit (1:22-cv-10904-UA) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) on Tuesday against JP Morgan Chase & Co. which seeks damages for the violation of sex-trafficking and financial laws “in an amount to be determined at trial.”
“The Attorney General brings this action, after presenting her findings to JP Morgan in September 2022, in her ongoing effort to protect public safety and to hold accountable those who facilitated or participated in, directly or indirectly, the trafficking enterprise Epstein helmed,” the U.S. Virgin Islands said.
The lawsuit demands a trial by jury and asserts that JP Morgan Chase Bank violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (18 U.S.C. §§ 1591 to 1595), the Virgin Islands Criminally Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (CICO) Act (14 V.I.C. §§ 600 to 614), the Virgin Islands Consumer Fraud and the Deceptive Business Practices Act (12A V.I.C. §§ 301 to 336).
“The investigation revealed that JP Morgan knowingly, negligently, and unlawfully provided and pulled the levers through which recruiters and victims were paid and was indispensable to the operation and concealment of the Epstein trafficking enterprise,” the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit further alleges that JP Morgan hid “wire and cash transactions that raised suspicion of a criminal enterprise whose currency was the sexual servitude” of victims in the Virgin Islands.
“Based on documents reviewed and interviews conducted by the Government, JP Morgan knowingly facilitated, sustained, and concealed the human trafficking network operated by Jeffrey Epstein from his home and base in the Virgin Islands, and financially benefited from this participation, directly or indirectly, by failing to comply with federal banking regulations. JP Morgan facilitated and concealed wire and cash transactions that raised suspicion of–and were in fact part of–a criminal enterprise whose currency was the sexual servitude of dozens of women and girls in and beyond the Virgin Islands. Human trafficking was the principal business of the accounts Epstein maintained at JP Morgan.”
-Legal complaint filed on Tuesday by the U.S. Virgin Islands against JPMorgan Chase Bank.
During the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, a JP Morgan banker testified under oath that Epstein wired her $31 million at the time, or $46 million today, which prosecutors asserted was payment from Epstein to Maxwell for the procurement of minor females.
Epstein’s estate reached a settlement with the U.S. Virgin Islands for a settlement of $105 million after the U.S. protectorate filed racketeering claims against it.
Epstein was found dead in his cell on August 10, 2019 after the jail guards had failed to perform a routine check on him for several hours.
On February 19th around 1:00 AM local time, former fashion mogul and long-time Epstein associate, Jean-Luc Brunel, was found hanged in his cell at La Santé Prison in Paris, France.
Epstein was also closely connected with Jes Staley, the former CEO of Barclays and JP Morgan Chase. Staley visited Epstein while he was on a work-release program in Florida after his first convictions of solicitation of prostitution and solicitation of a minor.
“Former senior executive, Jes Staley, developed a close relationship with Epstein when Staley was the head of JP Morgan’s Private Bank, which is a segment of JP Morgan’s business dedicated to extremely wealthy clients with at least $10 million in assets,” the lawsuit said.
Over a four-year period, Epstein exchanged some 1,200 emails with Staley.
The lawsuit later mentions many “red flags,” all of which were redacted in the document.
“Each of these red flags was serious, together, they suggest a pattern of potentially illegal conduct that should have prompted action by JP Morgan,” the U.S. Virgin Islands said. “Financial institutions can connect–or choke–human trafficking networks, and enforcement actions filed and injunctive relief obtained by attorneys general are essential to ensure that enterprises like Epstein’s cannot flourish in the future,” the lawsuit stated.
On May 7th, Mark Middleton, the man who allegedly introduced Epstein and former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, was found hanged from an electrical cord with a shotgun wound to the chest in Perryville, Arkansas.
Ghislaine Maxwell, for her part as Epstein’s socialite connector and primary madam, was sentenced to 20 years in prison by Judge Alison J. Nathan on June 28th and is currently incarcerated at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Tallahassee in Tallahassee, Florida.
JP Morgan Chase has yet to make a public comment about the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Stay tuned to National File for any updates.