JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit from the U.S. Virgin Islands, accusing the bank of providing services to Jeffrey Epstein after the now-late financier was convicted of sex charges in 2008, and for failing to report suspicious activities, the territory’s attorney general announced Tuesday in a press release.
The tentative settlement amount includes $30 million for U.S. Virgin Islands charities meant to address human trafficking and other sex crimes; $25 million to enhance local infrastructure and law enforcement capabilities; and $20 million in attorneys’ fees, JPMorgan said in its own release Tuesday.
JPMorgan reached a separate settlement with its former private-banking chief, Jes Staley, the bank said. Terms of that deal are confidential, JPMorgan said. Representatives for Staley declined to comment to The New York Times on Tuesday.
“JPMorgan Chase believes this settlement is in the best interest of all parties, particularly for those who can benefit from efforts to combat human trafficking and for survivors who suffer unimaginable abuse at the hands of these criminals,” the bank said in a statement Tuesday. “While the settlement does not involve admissions of liability, the firm deeply regrets any association with this man, and would never have continued doing business with him if it believed he was using the bank in any way to commit his heinous crimes.”
The settlement comes roughly a month before trial in the case was set to begin. The $75 million figure is far less than what the USVI was asking: The territory sought at least $190 million: $150 million in civil penalties and another $40 million it claims JPMorgan generated in fees tied to its relationship with Epstein, whom, the USVI said, referred “many ultra-high net worth clients” to the bank.
“This settlement is an historic victory for survivors and for state enforcement, and it should sound the alarm on Wall Street about banks’ responsibilities under the law to detect and prevent human trafficking,” USVI Attorney General Ariel Smith said in a statement. “We look forward to helping our community move forward and to building a new relationship with JPMorgan.”
JPMorgan in June agreed to pay $290 million to settle a separate lawsuit filed by alleged Epstein victims. Deutsche Bank agreed a month earlier to pay $75 million to settle alleged Epstein victim claims. The German bank took Epstein on as a client after his relationship with JPMorgan ended.
The USVI sued JPMorgan in December, asserting the bank should have known about Epstein’s illegal activities on an island he owned in the territory, and should have reported them as part of anti-money laundering due diligence.
JPMorgan, in turn, sued Staley in March, alleging he concealed knowledge of Epstein’s conduct. The bank asked a judge to order Staley to return eight years’ worth of compensation.
Staley accused JPMorgan this year of trying to “deflect blame” and use him as a “public relations shield” for its own mistakes, according to the BBC.
The USVI sought depositions from several high-ranking current and former JPMorgan executives — a request the bank at first dismissed as a “fishing expedition.” Executives including Staley, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and the bank’s asset and wealth-management CEO, Mary Erdoes, eventually did testify.
Erdoes said in April that by 2006, JPMorgan was aware that Epstein had been accused of paying cash to bring young women and underage girls to his Virgin Islands home.
Dimon in May, affirmed he “never met with [Epstein], never emailed him, does not recall ever discussing his accounts internally, and was not involved in any decisions about his account,” a spokesperson for the bank told CNBC.
Staley left JPMorgan in 2013 and became CEO of Barclays two years later. He resigned from that role in 2021 as allegations surrounding his ties to Epstein gained steam.