JPMorgan Chase reaches settlements with Epstein, USVI

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JPMorgan Chase reaches settlements with Epstein, USVI

JPMorgan Chase has reached settlements with former executive Jes Staley and the Virgin Islands over ties to Jeffrey Epstein, in an effort to end its legal woes over its banking relationship with the dead pedophile.

The biggest US bank tentatively agreed to pay $75 million to the USVI on Tuesday - less than half of the $190 million the territory had sought. JPMorgan has reached a confidential agreement with Staley to resolve the firm's claims against him.

Mr JPMorgan said he was not releasing the results of his investigation. Staley's lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The settlements were part of a nearly a year-long public battle over JPMorgan's relationship with Epstein, which had become a reputational headache for the bank. A Jane Doe victim filed a class action against JPMorgan in November and the company agreed to settle for $290 million in June.

The tentative deal, which expires Wednesday, includes $30,000 for USVI human trafficking organizations and a mental health fund for Epstein survivors, $25 million to enhance local infrastructure and law enforcement to prevent sex crimes, and $20 million in attorneys' fees.

In a statement, the U.S. Attorney General, Ariel Smith, said responsibilities under the law to detect and prevent human trafficking. The case also marked the first time a state attorney-general has filed a sex-trafficking lawsuit, the USVI said.

JPMorgan shares fell to $144.79 from $144.79 in late morning trading.

The USVI filed the suit in December, and weeks later began detailing the contents of some 1,200 emails exchanged between Epstein and Staley, JPMorgan's one-time private banking chief, over about a decade. The messages detailed the depth of the relationship between the two men, including exchanges about women, dinners at Epstein's Manhattan home and networking with world leaders.

The USVI had argued that the case was about institutional responsibility, not the actions of one banker.

Jed Rakoff was due by the end of the month to decide on requests filed by both sides that he resolve claims without a trial, known as summary judgment. The case was scheduled to go to trial in October. In May, the German bank said it would pay $75 million to Epstein victims who accused the German bank of facilitating the financier's sex-trafficking operation. After JPMorgan cut the relationship with Epstein, Epstein moved his accounts to Deutsche Bank.

The cases caused the depositions of former and current bank executives, including chief executive Jamie Dimon. Subpoenas were also sent to a roll call of American billionaires, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The USVI said Epstein may have introduced Brin to JPMorgan.

The Bank had taken a harder line in its lawsuit with the U.S. Virgin Islands than it did with Doe, accusing the territory of hypocrisy in failing to investigate Epstein's crimes earlier.

JPMorgan seized on emails between former Epstein staffers in the USVI and local government officials to point to the late pedophile's influence there when he was alive. The former governor's wife, who worked for him and allegedly acted as his conduit to other figures in the U.S. government, paid for school and college tuition for the children of the former governor. Former USVI First Lady Cecile de Jongh and other officials tried to soften sex offender monitor laws to benefit Epstein and also helped him get $300 million in tax breaks, court documents revealed over the past few months.

In the wake of Epstein's suicide in 2019, the USVI filed a $105 million settlement with his estate and eventually reached a $105 million settlement. The territory signed a $5.6 million loan deal with Apollo Global Management co-founder Leon Black to avoid a legal battle over his past Epstein ties.

Black was once an Epstein client who paid him $158 million for financial advisory services, but Black has denied knowing of Epstein's illegal conduct.