The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is continuing its legal battle against JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, over allegations that the bank’s executives were aware of and joked about Jeffrey Epstein’s “interest in young girls.” The territory has asked the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York to amend its lawsuit against the bank to include a claim under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. This comes after the court dismissed most of the USVI’s initial claims and combined its lawsuit with another filed by an unnamed woman, known as Jane Doe.
In the latest filing, the USVI claims that senior executives at JPMorgan were aware of Epstein’s criminal activities, citing redacted depositions and emails from JPMorgan executives as evidence. The territory also refers to internal bank communications from 2010, discussing the investigations into Epstein’s sex abuse and sex trafficking.
The USVI alleges that JPMorgan facilitated Epstein’s sex trafficking operation by allowing him to use accounts at the bank to pay recruiters and young women involved in the scheme. Furthermore, the territory claims that the bank knowingly ignored anti-money laundering requirements, thereby enabling Epstein’s criminal activities to escape the attention of federal investigative and prosecuting agencies.
The new claim against JPMorgan accuses the bank of violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. JPMorgan has denied any wrongdoing and has filed a suit against former executive Jes Staley, asserting that any liability arising from the lawsuits should be attributed solely to Staley.
Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges in 2019 but was found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial. His death was ruled a suicide. The ongoing legal battle against JPMorgan highlights the need for greater scrutiny and accountability in the financial sector to prevent the facilitation of criminal activities.