New York CNN
New court documents allege that JPMorgan Chase executives knew about sex abuse allegations and trafficking against their then-client Jeffrey Epstein several years before they cut ties.
The attorney general of the US Virgin Islands filed a complaint against JPMorgan in which he added an additional count alleging JPMorgan had obstructed federal agencies that were prosecuting Epstein.
The filing states that JP Morgan's relationship to Epstein, which allowed his sex trafficking venture access to large sums of money each year, went beyond a regular (and legal) banking relationship. It also adds that bank executives knew of potential suspicious cash withdrawals.
Epstein, aged 66, had been a customer of the financial institution up until 2013. In August 2019, he was found dead inside a New York jail.
Epstein was waiting for trial on federal charges accusing of running a sex-trafficking ring between 2002 and 2005 in his Manhattan mansion, as well as his Palm Beach estate. He paid girls as young 14 years old for sex.
The complaint filed against JP Morgan on Wednesday comes just days after CEO Jamie Dimon gave an exclusive interview to CNN's Poppy Hardlow.
Dimon said to Harlow, 'hindsight' is a wonderful gift' when Harlow asked if the bank should have taken action sooner after Epstein entered into a guilty plea for soliciting prostitution in Florida with a minor.
CNN was not able to get a comment from a JP Morgan spokesperson about the new complaint that was filed, as it was part of a lawsuit filed in December.
JP Morgan's attorneys have denied these allegations. According to court documents, they accused the USVI of seeking 'deeper pocket'.
The amended complaint details email exchanges and internal documents. It cites several examples to refute Dimon’s claim that the financial institution required 'hindsight" regarding Epstein.
According to the filing by JPMorgan, executive Mary Erdoes "admitted that JPMorgan knew in 2006 that Epstein had been accused of paying money to bring underage girls and women to his house."
The filing stated that Mary Erdoes had testified that JP Morgan had terminated Epstein's customer status in 2013 when she learned that the withdrawals were "actual cash". Erdoes was deposed last month.
The filing also claims that in 2006, JPMorgan Rapid Response Team observed that Epstein made 'routinely,' cash withdrawals of $40,000-$80,000, several times a month, for a total of $750,000 per annum. The officials concluded in 2006 that Epstein's account "should be classified high risk" and require special authorization.
In emails included in the court filing, JP Morgan employees and senior executives discussed the Epstein allegations from 2006 to the time he was fired as a customer seven years later. According to the court filing, high-level bank officials met in 2008 about Epstein's case and the allegations made against him.
In 2010, Epstein was flagged as a sexual offender by the risk management division of the company. It was two years since he had pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting prostitution with a child and spent around 13 months in jail.
According to an email that was included in the newly redacted court documents, 'See below the new allegations of an inquiry related to child trafficking. Are you still comfortable with the client who is now registered as a sex offender?'
Ghislaine Maxiwell, an Epstein confidante who was also a JP Morgan customer, was flagged by the bank's compliance director in 2011 when she was allegedly trying to open a personal recruitment consulting business account.
What does she mean when she says personal recruitment? Are you certain this has nothing to do Jeffrey? In an email to staff, the director said, "If you wish to proceed, we should flag this client as High Risk."
A senior compliance official who reviewed JP Morgan information about Epstein also called him a "sugar dad" and noted that he sponsored private bank accounts for two 18-year olds, 'that appeared to be part his inner entourage', the lawsuit states.
A federal district court judge in Manhattan, who presided over the case, ruled last month that the lawsuit could proceed, partly denying JPMorgan's motion to dismiss.