JPMorgan Chase processed more than $1 billion for late sex offender financier Jeffrey Epstein over the 16 years he was a client, a lawyer for the U.S. Virgin Islands said at a lawsuit hearing Thursday.
Lawyer Mimi Liu said the bank reported the transactions to the U.S. Treasury Department after Epstein’s 2019 suicide on the grounds that they were suspicious, according to Reuters.
The disclosures to the Treasury are not public and weren’t seen by Reuters or Banking Dive.
JPMorgan is embroiled in a lawsuit with the U.S. territory, where Epstein had two private islands he allegedly used to traffic young women and girls for sex.
The USVI is seeking at least $150 million in civil penalties from the bank and an additional $40 million it claims JPMorgan generated in fees earned from its relationship with Epstein, who, according to a July court filing, referred “many ultra-high net worth clients” to the bank.
Although the USVI alleges JPMorgan executives ignored red flags in favor of continuing a lucrative relationship, JPMorgan has denied knowledge of Epstein’s sex trafficking operation.
“No reasonable juror could find” that the bank was unaware of Epstein’s activities, Liu told U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff on Thursday, arguing he should find prior to trial that JPMorgan was a participant in Epstein’s wrongdoings, Reuters reported.
"JPMorgan was a full service bank for Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking," Liu told the judge.
JPMorgan’s attorney, WilmerHale partner Felicia Ellsworth, said it would not be appropriate for Rakoff to determine prior to trial that the bank participated in Epstein’s trafficking because multiple JPMorgan employees have testified that they didn’t know about the trafficking.
Ellsworth also told the judge the USVI was wrong in its claim that JPMorgan interfered with investigations of Epstein because the bank had inquired with authorities about probes into his conduct.
A trial is set for Oct. 23.
JPMorgan reached a $290 million settlement in June with an undisclosed number of Epstein victims, but did not admit to liability as part of the settlement. The bank’s lawsuit against former executive Jes Staley, who is accused of concealing knowledge of Epstein’s conduct from the firm, is still pending.
The bank asked a federal court in March to order Staley to return eight years’ worth of compensation, likely amounting to more than $80 million.
Deutsche Bank, which picked up Epstein as a client after JPMorgan dropped him in 2013, agreed to pay $75 million in May to settle allegations that the bank knew Epstein was up to no good while the bank benefited from his wealth.