By Tyler Durden
The US Virgin Islands says it’s seeking at least $190 million from JPMorgan in its lawsuit accusing the bank of facilitating Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation.
In a Friday court filing in Manhattan, the USVI also said it wants JPMorgan to commit to reforms that would prevent the bank from enabling human trafficking in the future. Epstein notably had a private island in the USVI where he brought many of his victims – and an unreleased list of associates who abused them.
“I am gratified that the victims have received some measure of compensation from the bank, but more needs to be done to hold JPMorgan Chase accountable and to ensure this does not happen to another generation of women and girls,” said USVI AG Ariel Smith in a statement, Bloomberg reports.
Last month JPMorgan settled with a group of Epstein victims for $290 million without admitting liability. The USVI suit seeks damages over the bank’s relationship with the dead pedophile which spanned 1998 to 2013.
The bank says the Friday filing by the USVI does not comport with previous “settlement conversations” between the parties, according to a spokeswoman, who added: “As for the USVI’s misdirected damages theories, they are not well-founded and are being challenged by JPM in court.”
JPMorgan has argued that the USVI suit is flawed because the territory itself facilitated Epstein’s crimes. For instance, the bank has noted that Cecile de Jongh, the former first lady of the USVI, worked for Epstein and helped arrange visas and travel for women he brought there. Epstein in return paid the Skidmore College tuition for one of De Jongh’s children and provided many other benefits.
According to its court filing, USVI is seeking $150 million in penalties from JPMorgan for allegedly facilitating Epstein’s sex trafficking. The territory said it also wants $40 million that it estimates JPMorgan earned in fees from managing Epstein’s accounts and the accounts of ultra-high net worth figures he referred to the bank. -Bloomberg
In its filing, the USVI indicated that it will seek additional compensatory and punitive damages to be distributed to the victims.
The territory has sought to block the bank from arguing in court that the USVI has “unclean hands” due to several times between officials and Epstein. According to the USVI, a state entity can’t be held liable for failing to protect specific individuals – only the general public.
Both the settled suit and the USVI action concern the relationship between former JPMorgan executive Jes Staley and Epstein, who had – in Staley’s words, a “profound” relationship.
Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.