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JPMorgan Relationship With Epstein Under New Scrutiny

New disclosures in two civil lawsuits against the nation's largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, expose the bank's cozy relationship with Jeffrey Epstein even after the wealthy investor pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl, The New York Times reports. The lawsuits, filed late last year in Manhattan, claim the bank ignored warnings about Epstein's trafficking of teenage girls for sex because its relationship with Epstein was so profitable. Depositions and other evidence in the cases suggest that employees of the bank flagged Epstein’s activity as suspicious on a number of occasions. The evidence also shows Epstein’s familiarity with top executives at the bank, and his easy access to them, even after his 2008 guilty plea in Florida to soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl. The lawsuits — one brought by lawyers representing Epstein’s victims and the other by the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands — are proceeding on a fast track, with dozens of depositions taken of victims, Virgin Islands officials and people who worked for the bank and Epstein.

The proceedings will take on a new urgency on Friday, when Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chief executive, is scheduled to be deposed at the bank’s headquarters in Manhattan. Epstein died by suicide three years ago while being held in federal custody on sex-trafficking charges. JPMorgan dropped him as a client a decade ago. Many of the documents and exhibits filed in the litigation are under seal. One document prepared by the bank, an exhibit in a court filing last week, suggests employees of JPMorgan filed numerous suspicious activity reports, or SARs, about some of Epstein’s transactions. The names of some four dozen employees who the bank said were “involved in reporting SARs relating to Epstein Accounts between 2000 and 2019” are redacted. Banks must file a SAR with federal regulators when they suspect that a transaction may involve money laundering or fraud. A JPMorgan spokeswoman said the bank had not known of anything that indicated Epstein was involved in sex trafficking. In filings related to the case, the bank has also disclosed that it asked federal prosecutors in Florida in 2011 if there was any active investigation of Epstein. The bank said the prosecutors did not disclose any investigation.


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