JPMorgan says it is not liable for top banker’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Then Barclays’ CEO Jes Staley arrives at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, January 11, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls


By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:) on Wednesday said it should not be held liable for a former top executive’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein in a lawsuit accusing the largest US bank of facilitating its former client’s sex dealing enterprise.

In a filing in Manhattan federal court, JPMorgan said emails between former executive Jes Staley and Epstein provided no basis for the US Virgin Islands, which filed the lawsuit, to suggest Staley could “detect Epstein’s sex transaction.”

The bank also said there was no proof Staley’s personal travel to the islands or alleged inappropriate emails were part of his job, and that even assuming Staley helped “direct “Epstein’s sex dealing” his conduct would be far beyond his remit as a JPMC employee. ”

In seeking the dismissal of the “misdirected and deficient” lawsuit, JPMorgan said there was no explanation as to how it might have known about and benefited from Epstein’s misconduct by having him as a client from 2000 to 2013.

Lawyers for the US Virgin Islands did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Staley is not a defendant.

Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex dealing charges.

JPMorgan’s dismissal motion came one week after a court filing said Staley and Epstein had exchanged about 1,200 emails between 2008 and 2012, including some about young women that contained sexual content.

Epstein had pleaded guilty in 2008 to a Florida state prostitution charge.

Staley, a former JPMorgan private banking chief, has acknowledged having a friendship with Epstein but denied knowing about his alleged crimes.

After leaving JPMorgan, Staley became chief executive of JPMorgan Barclays (LON:) Plc but resigned in November 2021 amid a dispute with British financial regulators examining his ties to Epstein.

The US Virgin Islands sued JPMorgan for unspecified damages in December 2022, saying the bank should have known about Epstein’s misconduct on a private island he owned there.

Epstein’s victims are also suing JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:), where Epstein was a client from 2013 to 2018. Both banks are seeking dismissals.

The case is Government of the US Virgin Islands v JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, US District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-10904.

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