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JPMorgan, U.S. Virgin Islands reach $75M Epstein crimes settlement 

ajay_suresh | Flickr

In the wake of a colossal civil lawsuit filed by the U.S. Virgin Islands, JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay $75 million over its involvement in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking and prostitution facilitations.

The settlement was reached on Sept. 26, merely hours before a scheduled oral argument between attorneys for JPMorgan and its former CEO, Jes Staley. Staley, 66, held a close relationship with Epstein for decades, including during a time when the latter was convicted of sexual abuse and the solicitation of a prostitute.

Though the settlement terms with Staley remain unknown, the settlement with the U.S. Virgin Islands includes $30 million toward charitable organizations aimed at combating human trafficking and sexual misconduct and $25 million for increased law enforcement on the Islands. The remaining $20 million has been allocated to cover various legal fees.

Despite this enormous sum, the settlement falls short of the $190 million the Islands initially demanded. It further pales in comparison to the $290 million settlement JPMorgan reached with several of Epstein’s victims in June in response to a class action lawsuit filed by survivors of Epstein’s atrocities.

Any association with him was a mistake and we regret it,” lawyers for JPMorgan stated after the earlier settlement. “We would never have continued to do business with him if we believed he was using our bank in any way to help commit heinous crimes.”

Meanwhile, JPMorgan took legal action against Staley, alleging he was solely responsible for any business relations between the bank and Epstein. The bank stated that Staley subdued JPMorgan’s requests while benefiting himself and that he should therefore bear all responsibility for any harm done.

However, Staley vehemently denied those allegations, citing his lack of power over Epstein’s accounts. He said any accusations were irrelevant as he had already stepped down from his position as CEO.

Whether the culprit was indeed Staley or somebody else, the attorneys for the U.S. Virgin Islands highlighted in public court filings that the parties were clearly passive toward several “red flags.” It was revealed that Epstein made dozens of seven-figure payments to at least 20 of his victims. 

These substantial payments were withdrawn from Epstein’s accounts, managed by JPMorgan. Yet, at the time, nobody seemed to notice anything unusual.

The bank however used the same argument in pretrial filings, stating that the territory’s law enforcement agency received hefty donations from Epstein to allow the continuation of the pedophile’s heinous crimes.

These jaw-dropping allegations from JPMorgan, accurate or not, were substantial enough for the Governor of the US Virgin Islands to relieve former Attorney General Denise George of her duties — the same official that originally brought claims against JPMorgan.

Nevertheless, JPMorgan adamantly stated that no new policies were introduced after the settlement was reached, instead asserting that its efforts were, and will continue to be, meaningful and made in good faith.

“There are no new commitments,” JPMorgan spokeswoman Patricia Wexler said. “We have always worked closely with law enforcement to help combat human trafficking.”

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