A federal judge Monday dismissed six claims against JPMorgan Chase and eight against Deutsche Bank in cases alleging the financial institutions knowingly benefited from sex-trafficking operations tied to the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.
However, each bank still must face four claims.
Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed claims, from the alleged Epstein victim known as Jane Doe, that JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank participated in Epstein’s crimes. But Rakoff ruled that Doe could proceed with a claim that charges filed against Epstein were delayed because the banks failed to earlier report his suspicious financial activity.
Deutsche must also face a claim that the bank failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent physical harm.
“Epstein’s sex trafficking operation was impossible without the assistance of JPMorgan Chase, and later Deutsche Bank, and we assure the public that we will leave no stone unturned in our quest for justice for the many victims who deserved better from one of America’s largest financial institutions,” Brad Edwards, an attorney representing Doe, told Bloomberg.
Edwards called the ruling “a monumental victory for the hundreds of survivors of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking scheme and survivors of sexual abuse in general, all of whom can rest easier knowing no individual or institution is above accountability,” according to the Financial Times.
Spokespeople for JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank declined to comment to the publications.
Attorneys for JPMorgan have argued the claims are “meritless.” Deutsche’s lawyers, meanwhile, have characterized the allegations as “manufactured,” according to the Financial Times.
Carol Thomas-Jacobs, acting attorney general for the U.S. Virgin Islands, which has also sued JPMorgan in connection with Epstein’s conduct, said she was pleased with Monday’s ruling.
“We look forward to uncovering additional facts regarding the depth and reach of JPMorgan’s conduct in the discovery process and ultimately proving our case in court,” Thomas-Jacob told the Financial Times.
Rakoff on Monday threw out three of the four claims the USVI filed against JPMorgan.
A trial date was provisionally set for October in the case. Jes Staley, who served as chief of JPMorgan’s private bank while Epstein was a client, is set to be deposed over two days, beginning Thursday. Mary Erdoes, JPMorgan’s asset- and wealth-management chief, faced deposition earlier this month.