JPMorgan Under Legal Scrutiny: U.S. Virgin Islands Reveals $1 Billion Epstein Transactions

Last week, a legal advisor for the U.S. Virgin Islands disclosed that JPMorgan Chase had admitted to U.S. authorities that it managed financial transactions exceeding $1 billion for Jeffrey Epstein over a span of 16 years.

Speaking during a legal proceeding, Mimi Liu, counsel for the U.S. territory, indicated that the bank had reported these dealings as questionable to the U.S. Treasury after Epstein took his own life in 2019. While the specifics of these reports haven’t been made public, JPMorgan’s spokesperson declined to provide any comments.

Epstein maintained a financial relationship with JPMorgan from 1998 until 2013 when the institution cut off its association with him. When he died, Epstein was facing a legal battle on sex trafficking charges.

The U.S. Virgin Islands, which was home to two private islands owned by Epstein, is pursuing a lawsuit against JPMorgan. The territory is seeking at least $190 million, alleging that the bank ignored warning signs of Epstein’s illicit activities due to his value as a high-earning client. In response, JPMorgan asserted they had no knowledge of Epstein’s criminal behavior and criticized the U.S. Virgin Islands for their close ties with him.

During the court session, Liu mentioned the $1 billion figure, previously not publicized, to advocate that Judge Jed Rakoff should rule, before the trial commences, that the bank had involvement in Epstein’s illegal operations.

Felicia Ellsworth, who is defending JPMorgan, contended that it would be inappropriate for the court to decide on the bank’s awareness of Epstein’s activities before the trial. She stated that both former and current staff members have testified that they weren’t informed about Epstein’s criminal conduct. Ellsworth also said the bank had reported Epstein’s questionable activities to the Treasury on at least six occasions, starting as early as 2002, and denied allegations that JPMorgan had hindered any investigations into Epstein.

The court case is scheduled to start on October 23. Judge Rakoff announced that he will settle significant legal issues by the end of this month. Earlier in the year, he preliminarily greenlit JPMorgan’s $290 million accord with women who have accused Epstein of misconduct. In a similar development, Deutsche Bank, where Epstein was a client between 2013 and 2018, had previously settled for $75 million with his accusers.

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