Supposedly hanging himself in his Manhattan jail cell in August of 2019, Jeffrey Epstein was awaiting prosecution for sex trafficking. A month after he was arrested for the crimes by federal investigators, he took his own life. The businessman, who was connected to both Trump and Clinton, allegedly trafficked minors to affluent men and molested some of them.
Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, was convicted of her role in the trafficking operation, despite Epstein’s untimely death before trial. JPMorgan Chase, Epstein’s bank, was also named in the complaints. The financial institution has now agreed to a second settlement.
A federal judge on November 9 approved a $290 million settlement between JPMorgan Chase and nearly 200 victims of Epstein. The bank disclosed some extremely embarrassing papers in June, prompting the parties to seek a settlement at that time. In November of 2022, an unnamed woman filed the complaint on behalf of the plaintiffs.
Victims claimed JPMorgan Chase ignored warning signs during Epstein’s banking relationship with the bank, which lasted more than 15 years. The New York Times reports that bank personnel repeatedly marked Epstein’s transactions as questionable. Four hundred employees’ identities were blacked out of documents and the court has sealed most of the remaining information. Some of the records, however, demonstrated the intimate ties that Epstein shared with the bank’s top management.
Fifteen victims endorsed the $290 million settlement in court filings. One of the women claims that the billionaire sexually raped her when she was 13 years old, and that she still experiences major difficulties as a result of the abuse to this day, including anxiety, eating disorders, and panic attacks.
JPMorgan isn’t the only financial institution to make a settlement with the assault victims. In a separate $75 million settlement, Deutsche Bank avoided similar liability. Thirty percent of the proceeds from the settlements reached between the banks and the legal firms (Boies Schiller Flexner and Edwards Henderson Lehrman, respectively) that brought the cases against the banks will go to the firms.
Settlement With the US Virgin Islands
JPMorgan Chase reached a settlement in a separate complaint in September. The US Virgin Islands filed that one because Epstein utilized one of his two islands to mistreat his victims. The authorities claimed that the bank condoned sex trafficking by continuing to serve the billionaire despite their knowledge of the organization’s illegal activities.
The $55 million must be distributed to local organizations that aid victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, and other crimes in accordance with the terms of the settlement. Ten million dollars would go toward a fund to provide mental health assistance for the survivors of Eptstein’s abuse, and the remaining funds would be utilized to assist law enforcement agencies in improving their capacities.