JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG were accused of enabling the sexual abuse of Jeffrey Epstein in a New York class action lawsuit.The two lawsuits, filed separately in a New York court, said the banks had “knowingly benefited and received things of value for assisting, supporting, facilitating, and otherwise providing the most critical service for the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking organization.”
JPMorgan were accused in the suit of “financially benefiting from participating” in the alleged sex trafficking through providing financial support from 1998 to August 2013, the suit said. Deutsche Bank was accused of knowing that they would “earn million of dollars” from its relationship with Epstein.
The suit is seeking unspecified damages and asks for the suit to be certified as a class action. Representatives for JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank in London didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.“Epstein and his co-conspirators could not have victimized without assistance from wealthy individuals and financial institutions,” Bradley Edwards, a lawyer at Edwards Pottinger, one of the firms bringing the suit, said. We will not stop fighting for the survivors until everyone is held responsible.”
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Epstein was found dead in his U.S. jail cell in 2019, after being arrested and charged with sex trafficking. Epstein spent decades cultivating ties to U.S. and British elites including several Wall Street figures.
A Who’s Who of prominent financiers, entrepreneurs, politicians and even royals have been tainted by their association with the convicted pedophile.
The U.K.’s Prince Andrew had to withdraw from public duties after a disastrous television interview about his ties to Epstein. Jes Staley abruptly stepped down as chief executive officer of Barclays Plc last year after U.K. regulators shared with Barclays the preliminary findings of their multi year probe into what he told the bank’s board about his relationship with Epstein.
Staley has said that he knew Epstein since 2000 when he was head of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s private bank and was told to strike up a professional relationship with the financial adviser.
“Staley made sure Epstein and his illegal sexual abuse organization was absolutely protected by the bank,” according to the lawsuit filed Nov. 24. A lawyer for Staley declined to comment.
The anonymous claimants are being represented by David Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner, who represented Virginia Giuffre in a case against Prince Andrew that subsequently settled. None of the allegations made against Staley in the suit have been publicly proved.
After reviewing Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Epstein, the New York banking regulators found that “although the bank properly classified Epstein as high-risk, the bank failed to scrutinize the activity in the accounts for the kinds of activity that were obviously implicated by Epstein’s past,” the lawsuit said.
—With assistance from William Shaw and Jonathan Browning.