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The US Virgin Islands will seek a payout of no less than $190mn from JPMorgan Chase in a looming trial over the financial institution’s alleged facilitation of Jeffrey Epstein’s human trafficking in the territory.
The demand, contained in a quick filed in courtroom on Friday, comes simply over a month after JPMorgan agreed to pay $290mn to settle an identical however separate declare introduced by an unnamed Epstein sufferer on behalf of dozens of different girls who allege they have been abused by the hands of the late financier.
JPMorgan, which maintained Epstein as a consumer from 1998 till 2013, has not admitted any legal responsibility in both continuing, however conceded its relationship with Epstein had been “a mistake”. The financial institution didn’t instantly reply to a request for additional touch upon the calls for by the US Virgin Islands.
The pair of lawsuits from the unnamed sufferer and the US Virgin Islands, each filed late final yr, have shone an unflattering gentle on the financial institution’s inner compliance processes and generated embarrassing headlines for the US’s largest lender.
Some of its most senior managers — together with longstanding chief govt Jamie Dimon, and Mary Erdoes, the pinnacle of JPMorgan’s $4tn asset and wealth administration enterprise — have been compelled to reply questions underneath oath about what they knew of Epstein’s crimes.
Court filings revealed that staff at JPMorgan have been conscious by July 2006 that Epstein had been arrested in Florida, and that they’d mentioned his 2008 responsible plea to a state cost of soliciting a minor, in addition to the requirement that he register as a intercourse offender.
In a quick filed to a New York courtroom on Friday, the US Virgin Islands stated it was in search of $150mn in civil penalties, in addition to $40mn in disgorgements of income the territory claims that JPMorgan made from its relationship with Epstein, and the rich people he allegedly launched to the financial institution.
As properly as in search of a payout, the US Virgin Islands stated in an announcement that it wished to power JPMorgan to implement “structural institutional changes” to stop the financial institution from making related errors in the long run.
The proposed measures embody separating JPMorgan’s enterprise and compliance models and appointing an exterior advisor to be certain that the lender “does not prioritise profits over its duty to report suspicious activities”.
“JPMorgan Chase must make significant changes to detect, report and stop human trafficking,” the US Virgin Islands’ attorney-general Ariel Smith stated.
“Financial penalties, as well as conduct changes, are important to make sure that JPMorgan Chase knows the cost of putting its own profits ahead of public safety,” she added.
The US Virgin Islands can be demanding that JPMorgan pays its authorized charges if its lawsuit is profitable and that the financial institution arrange a fund to compensate victims who have been allegedly abused in the territory.
A trial is ready for October.
Epstein died by suicide in 2019 in New York, whereas awaiting trial on federal costs of intercourse trafficking. His affiliate Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in jail in 2022.