Thanks to a recent ruling in a US District Court, an unnamed victim of Jeffrey Epstein and the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands will be allowed to bring suits against the two big banks involved in Epstein’s sex-trafficking empire, JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank.
That ruling came from United States District Judge Jed Rakoff. The ruling was not an unmitigated victory for Epstein accusers, however. That’s because Judge Rakoff, on Monday, threw out most of the charges against the two banks. However, he allowed the accusers to contend that the two banks benefitted from the Epstein sex trafficking operation. News on that comes from Bloomberg, which reported that:
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG must still face lawsuits alleging that they knowingly benefited from Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking venture, but a judge threw out several of the claims against them.
US District Judge Jed Rakoff on Monday tossed the majority of the claims made against the banks in proposed class action suits filed by an Epstein victim identified only as Jane Doe.
Discussing the matter in a statement, lawyers for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Jane Doe said, “Epstein’s sex trafficking operation was impossible without the assistance of JPMorgan Chase, and later Deutsche Bank, and we assure the public that we will leave no stone unturned in our quest for justice for the many victims who deserved better from one of America’s largest financial institutions.”
Doe’s lawsuit contends that JPMorgan Chase granted Jeffrey Epstein, a large client of the bank from 1998 to 2013, special treatment because he attracted clients to it. Epstein switched to mainly using Deutsche Bank after 2013.
The Daily Wire, reporting on the lawsuits and what is being alleged about the banks’ connections to Epstein, noted that:
An earlier lawsuit from former U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George noted that JPMorgan Chase continued working with Epstein even after he pleaded guilty to two counts of soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl in 2008. George was dismissed from her post by U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan days after she submitted the lawsuit.
Jes Staley, a former senior executive at JPMorgan Chase and the former chief executive of Barclays, allegedly exchanged more than 1,200 emails with Epstein, some of which reportedly made reference to young women and vacations to Little St. James, the private estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands owned by Epstein. JPMorgan Chase filed suit against Staley earlier this month, contending that he should be held responsible for damages to the company should any claims from Doe or the U.S. Virgin Islands be upheld in court. Staley is scheduled to be deposed on Thursday.
“We are pleased that the U.S. Virgin Islands will continue to work alongside survivors to hold JPMorgan Chase accountable for enabling Jeffrey Epstein’s heinous sex-trafficking venture,” U.S. Virgin Islands Acting Attorney General Carol Thomas-Jacobs said in a statement, according to a report from CNBC. “This case is critically important to ensuring that financial institutions do their jobs, with the detailed, real-time information available to them, as a first line of defense in identifying and reporting potential human trafficking, as the law expects.”
In the complaint originally brought by the US Virgin Islands against Epstein, the Attorney General for the territory alleged that JP Morgan was instrumental in the Epstein operation, saying:
“The Attorney General brings this action, after presenting her findings in September 2022, in her ongoing effort to protect public safety and to hold accountable those who facilitated or participated in, directly or indirectly, the trafficking enterprise Epstein helmed. The investigation revealed that JP Morgan knowingly, negligently, and unlawfully provided and pulled the levers through which recruiters and victims were paid and was indispensable to the operation and concealment of the Epstein trafficking enterprise.”
Continuing, AG George alleged in the complaint that financial institutions like JP Morgan can choke human trafficking networks if they step up and do so, but that JP Morgan instead “knowingly” helped Epstein with his trafficking network by facilitating and concealing his activities and network.
Further, George alleges that JP Morgan facilitated very suspicious payments, particularly wire and cash transactions, and that those were for Epstein’s “criminal enterprise whose currency was the sexual servitude of dozens of women and girls in and beyond the Virgin Islands.”
Ghislaine maxwell pic By Ghislaine Maxwell – I. Maxwell, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15965324
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