Women who accused the late Jeffrey Epstein of sexual abuse have sued Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co., arguing the banks enabled and financially benefited from Epstein’s sex trafficking operations. Lawsuits filed in Manhattan federal court on Thursday allege the banks knowingly benefited from “assisting, supporting, facilitating, and otherwise providing the most critical service for the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking organization to successfully rape, sexually assault, and coercively sex traffic” the women despite knowing about Epstein’s dealing, The Hill reports.
The anonymous plaintiffs in both filings argue the banks knew “they would earn millions of dollars” from facilitating Epstein and “chose profit over following the law.” Epstein couldn’t have kept up his sex trafficking operations without “the assistance and complicity” of a banking institution, the lawsuit contends. “We believe this claim lacks merit and will present our arguments in court,” said a spokesperson for Deutsche Bank. The lawsuits come after New York opened up a one-year window under the state’s Adult Survivors Act, which waives the usual statute of limitations deadlines for filing sex-crime lawsuits to allow survivors to file claims on old cases, as long as they were above 18 when the alleged crime occurred. Epstein died in prison before he could go to trial for sex trafficking charges.