JPMorgan’s Epstein Settlement Doesn’t Set Any Cap or Minimum on Claims

JPMorgan's Epstein Settlement Doesn't Set Any Cap or Minimum on Claims

The proposed $290 million settlement between sexual abuse victims of JPMorgan Chase and Jeffrey Epstein sets no minimum or maximum payouts for each person, according to a plan filed in federal court on Thursday, with the decision to oversee the process. Leaves it up to the appointed claims administrator.

If approved by a federal judge, the proposed deal with JPMorgan would resolve a class-action lawsuit filed in November in Manhattan federal court against the nation’s largest bank on behalf of women who claim they were sexually assaulted when they She was sexually abused by Mr. Epstein when she was a teenager or young woman. women. The decision to leave the size of each payment up to an administrator would give that person significant power over the settlement funds, which cover a period of abusive activity by Mr Epstein from 1998 to 2019.

As many as 200 women may be eligible to apply to the settlement fund, given the number of claims filed with a separate victims’ restitution fund set up by Mr Epstein’s estate. The estate created the restitution fund shortly after Mr Epstein committed suicide in August 2019 while awaiting trial in a Manhattan prison on sex-trafficking charges.

The proposed settlement with JPMorgan did not prohibit any women receiving payments from the property restoration fund from receiving additional recoveries under the deal with JPMorgan, according to a court filing. The bank served as Mr. Epstein’s primary financial institution for nearly 15 years before the relationship ended in 2013.

Suing large Wall Street firms that did business with Mr. Epstein has proven to be a successful strategy for obtaining additional financial relief for his victims. Litigation tactics have also generated large fees for the attorneys who brought the lawsuits.

The same group of lawyers suing JPMorgan recently negotiated a $75 million tentative settlement with Deutsche Bank, which became Mr. Epstein’s main banker after JPMorgan fired him. The proposed deal with Deutsche specifically states that Mr Epstein’s eligible victims from 2013 to 2019 could be entitled to receive $75,000 to $5 million in damages.

The lack of an award cap for victims in the JPMorgan deal is the most significant difference between the two proposed settlements.

In both cases, attorneys for the victims, led by David Boies, Brad Edwards and Sigrid McCauley, have requested legal fees of up to 30 percent of the settlement funds. Lawyers said the fees were justified by more than two dozen depositions taken in preparation for the trials and dozens of witnesses interviewed, according to court filings in both cases.

In the proposed settlement, JPMorgan denied that it had supported Mr. Epstein’s sex-trafficking activities in any way. Banks stated on several occasions that his activities were “heinous” and that “ultimately, any association with him was a mistake.”

JPMorgan continued to do business with Mr Epstein for five years after he was convicted in 2008 of soliciting a teenage girl for prostitution in Florida.

According to court filings, attorneys for the banks and victims worked out related settlements with the assistance of a mediator.

Judge Jed Rakoff of the Federal District Court in Manhattan, which is overseeing the lawsuits against both banks, still has to approve the fee requests. The judge last week gave preliminary approval to a settlement agreement between the victims and Deutsche.

Attorneys for the victims and JP Morgan asked Judge Rakoff to judge Simone K. asked to approve lelchuk As Claims Administrator for settlement. Ms. Lelchuk, a lawyer specializing in arbitration, has already been approved to oversee the process of distributing funds from the Deutsche settlement. He also oversaw the process of assessing settlement claims of victims of disgraced filmmaker Harvey Weinstein.

The petition filed with the court states that when considering a victim’s claim, the fund administrator should consider the extent of the alleged damages, the duration of the abuse, and the victim’s willingness to cooperate with law enforcement.

The settlement with JP Morgan will also require the administrator to take into account any award a victim may receive from the Deutsche Settlement Fund. But this does not prevent a victim from receiving recoveries from both bank settlements if the abuse overlapped during the years that both institutions had Mr. Epstein as a client.

Any money left over at the end of the process will be donated to a charitable organization agreed upon by the victims’ lawyers and JP Morgan.

In total, the settlements with the two banks more than double the nearly $150 million in restitution paid by Mr Epstein’s estate to more than 125 victims.

JPMorgan’s settlement with Mr Epstein’s victims will not end all lawsuits.

The bank is seeking damages from James E. Staley, a former top JPMorgan executive who had close ties to Mr. Epstein and lobbied to retain him as a client. JPMorgan is also being sued by the government of the US Virgin Islands, where Mr Epstein maintained a private island residence and ran his business for nearly two decades. The Virgin Islands lawsuit is being led by attorneys from Motley Fool Rice, a law firm retainer agreement with American territory.

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