- A New York federal judge has warned JPMorgan Chase that it could find the bank in contempt of court over its speed in providing evidence in lawsuits involving sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
- The warning comes before JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is to be questioned under oath by attorneys for plaintiffs in civil claims by the US Virgin Islands and Epstein’s accuser.
- The huge bank is accused of enabling and profiting from the sex trafficking of young women.
- Epstein, a former friend of Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, has been a longtime customer of the bank.
A New York federal judge warned JPMorgan Chase that it could find the bank in contempt of court if it did not speed up evidence relating to late sex offender and money manager Jeffrey Epstein to lawsuits by Epstein’s accuser and the US Virgin government. carrots, CNBC has learned.
Judge Jed Rakoff noted in a notice that JPMorgan and two law firms representing the bank were slow to turn over documents and other evidence to plaintiffs in the case, under a process known as discovery, according to a source familiar with the notice.
The notification comes two weeks before JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is scheduled to be questioned under oath by attorneys for the plaintiffs in the civil lawsuits, who accuse his bank of enabling and profiting from Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking of young women.
“The court also wishes to note that it is concerned that JPMorgan is not moving more quickly to file responsive documents,” Rakoff wrote in the notice, which has not yet appeared on public record in the case in the US District Court in Manhattan.
“While the court appreciates the sheer volume of discoveries that will be completed in this case, a large firm like JPMorgan and attorneys as experienced as WilmerHale and Massey & Gail should be able to act more quickly than this incident has revealed,” the judge wrote, referring to the bank’s two law firms.
“Therefore JPMorgan was notified that further exploratory expedition would be required in contempt of court,” Rakoff wrote.
A JPMorgan spokesperson did not comment on the notice.
Jeffrey Epstein attended the launch of RADAR Magazine at the QT Hotel on May 18, 2005.
Patrick McMullan | Getty Images
Epstein, who died by suicide in prison in 2019 shortly after his arrest on federal child sex trafficking charges, was a longtime customer of the bank until 2013.
The lawsuits allege that the bank allowed Epstein to remain a customer despite evidence that he was using the millions of dollars he had in her deposit to facilitate his smuggling of girls and young women to his private island in the Virgin Islands and elsewhere.
Five years before JPMorgan ended its client relationship with Epstein, he pleaded guilty in a Florida state court to soliciting sex for money from an underage girl and served 13 months in prison.
Prior to his conviction, Epstein was friends with former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as Britain’s Prince Andrew.
JPMorgan denies any wrongdoing, and in its civil complaint, the company said former bank CEO Jess Staley would be legally liable for any liability arising from its relationship with Epstein.
Staley spent three decades at JPMorgan and had close contact with Epstein – whom he considered a friend – over the years Epstein was a client.
“Prosecutors allege that Mr. Staley had direct knowledge of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking operation,” Rakoff noted, in a court ruling published in early May.
Mr. Staley allegedly visited Epstein’s residence several times during that process, and during those visits, he observed [the Epstein accuser suing JPMorgan] “As a victim of trafficking and sexual abuse,” Rakoff noted.
“Prosecutors further allege that Mr. Staley himself mistreated some of Epstein’s victims, including” the woman suing the bank, the judge wrote. That woman claims that “one of Epstein’s friends — whom she later identified as Mr. Staley —” used aggressive force in his sexual assault and told her [her] He got Epstein’s permission to do whatever he wanted her.”
In his court filing, Staley called the accusations against him “baseless”, and denied knowledge of Epstein’s sex trafficking.
Staley resigned as chief executive of British banking giant Barclays in late 2021 following an inquiry by a UK regulator about how he had described his relationship with Epstein with Barclays.
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