The government of the US Virgin Islands said in a court filing on Friday that it will sue JPMorgan Chase at least for the bank’s failure to detect and report a sex trafficking operation run by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein in the US territory. Seeking $190 million in fines. ,
Lawyers for the Virgin Islands disclosed the amount in a legal filing in response to a request by the federal judge in Manhattan overseeing the lawsuit filed against JPMorgan last year, which claimed the bank eyed Mr Epstein’s activities. Had closed her eyes.
In the filing, the Attorney General’s Office of the Virgin Islands said it also wants the country’s largest bank to enact new policies to prevent it from providing them. Financial services to human traffickers.
“We are pursuing this enforcement action because the institutional failure of JPMorgan Chase enabled Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking,” US Virgin Islands Attorney General Ariel Smith said in a statement.
“This document does not reflect the nature of settlement negotiations,” said JPMorgan spokeswoman Patricia Wexler. He also said that the Virgin Islands’ legal principles were “not well established and are being challenged in court by the JPM.”
The bank has argued, in court papers, that the Virgin Islands government has done little to stop any illegal activity conducted by Mr Epstein at his private island residence near St Thomas.
JPMorgan Chase has already agreed to pay $290 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed last year on behalf of several victims of Mr Epstein’s sexual abuse. The lawsuit, filed by lawyers for Mr Epstein’s victims, was combined for legal discovery purposes with a lawsuit filed by the Virgin Islands. The bank and the Virgin Islands government have not yet reached an agreement.
The lawsuit filed by the Virgin Islands is tentatively set for a hearing in October in federal court in Manhattan.
The Virgin Islands said Friday that its lawsuit is designed as an enforcement action against the bank and that it is entitled to substantial relief to compensate and deter future conduct by the bank. The $190 million includes payment of fines and fees earned from the business, which the Virgin Islands claim Mr Epstein directed to JPMorgan.
Last year, the US territory reached a $105 million settlement with the estate of Epstein, who killed himself in August 2019 while in federal custody on sex trafficking charges.
Lawyers for Mr Epstein’s victims have said at least 200 women – many of whom were teenagers at the time – were sexually abused by the financier at his private residence in the Virgin Islands, as well as homes in Manhattan, Florida and elsewhere I went. Mr. Epstein maintained a private island residence near St. Thomas for nearly 20 years and also operated his own investment advisory business from the Virgin Islands.
The Virgin Islands are being assisted by attorneys from the South Carolina-based plaintiffs’ law firm Motley Rice in all litigation related to Mr. Epstein. Motley Fool has a retainer agreement with the Government of the Virgin Islands that entitles it to receive a portion of each settlement and recovery as compensation.