JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay a $290 million settlement following a federal class-action lawsuit lodged by victims of pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein’s international sex trafficking ring. The announcement represents a significant shift in stance for the global bank, which had previously denied allegations of turning a blind eye to Epstein’s illicit activities.
In a statement released on Monday, JPMorgan Chase expressed regret over Epstein’s “monstrous” conduct, describing the settlement as a necessary step towards compensating Epstein’s victims and acknowledging the scale of their suffering. The case was filed in the Southern District of New York by Edwards Henderson Lehrman and Boies Schiller, representing an anonymous victim referred to as Jane Doe, who alleged sexual abuse by Epstein between 2006 and 2013.
JPMorgan was also accused by the US Virgin Islands government and the law firm Motley Rice of enabling Epstein’s activities by providing loans and allowing significant cash withdrawals from 1998 to 2013, even after his 2008 arrest and guilty plea to sex crimes in Florida.
On the same day, US District Judge Red Rakoff granted Jane Doe class standing, which means future awards will be given to her and Epstein’s other victims. Brad Edwards of Edwards Henderson described the settlement as a groundbreaking move towards holding financial institutions accountable for aiding sex trafficking.
Epstein’s crimes, which involved paying underage girls for massages before assaulting them at his residences, remained largely concealed due to a non-prosecution agreement reached in Florida. However, he was eventually arrested in 2019 on federal charges. Epstein died in jail awaiting trial.
The JPMorgan settlement comes on the back of the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program’s distribution of nearly $125 million to approximately 150 eligible claimants in August 2021, a year after the initiative’s launch.
Information for this briefing was found via Reuters and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.