the united states government virgin islands in a court filing on Friday estimated that it will seek damages of at least $190 million from JPMorgan Chase in a lawsuit accusing the big bank of facilitating sex trafficking by his former client Jeffrey Epstein.
The Virgin Islands also said they want an order requiring JPMorgan to take a series of steps to protect young women and girls from other predators in the future.
And the US territory said it will seek more compensatory damages specifically for Epstein’s victims beyond the nearly $300 million JPMorgan agreed to pay victims last month to settle a lawsuit by one of its accusers. The filing did not give an amount for those additional damages.
The new filing in the US District Court in Manhattan came in response to a request last week by Judge Jed Rakoff that the US territory detail the damages it seeks in the case as it heads toward trial.
The Virgin Islands lawsuit accuses JPMorgan of profiting from Epstein’s trafficking of young women to be abused by him and others during the 15 years he was a client of the bank, which is the largest in the United States.
The complaint alleges that JPMorgan allowed Epstein to keep many millions of dollars in accounts at the bank, which he used to finance his trafficking in women, despite multiple red flags about him raised by bank employees over the years. .
JPMorgan, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the case.
“We are taking this enforcement action because JPMorgan Chase’s institutional failure enabled the sex trafficking of Jeffrey Epstein, and JPMorgan Chase must make significant changes to detect, report and stop human trafficking,” the Islands Attorney General said. US Virgin, Ariel Smith, in a statement Friday.
“Financial sanctions, as well as behavioral changes, are important to make sure that JPMorgan Chase knows the cost of putting its own profits before public safety,” Smith said.
He said that if the Virgin Islands wins his lawsuit, he will use the monetary damages he receives “to support efforts to strengthen, inform and expand local law enforcement and improve Virgin Islands services for victims of human trafficking and other crime victims. .”
The filing says the Virgin Islands wants at least $150 million in civil penalties alone. The filing also says that it wants JPMorgan to shell out at least another $40 million in fees that Epstein generated for the bank, and that JPMorgan received from “many ultra-high net worth clients” that he referred to the bank.
Those clients, according to the filing, included Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Lex Wexner, the founder of Limited Brands, and billionaire Glenn Dubin.
In addition to monetary damages, the Virgin Islands also asks that JPMorgan be compelled to “implement new policies, including the separation of its business and compliance functions and the appointment of an independent compliance consultant, to prevent human trafficking,” according to a news release from Smit’s office. .
JPMorgan in its own court documents accused the Virgin Islands of being “complicit in the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein.”
The bank alleges Epstein gave money, advice and favors to high-ranking officials in exchange for looking the other way when he trafficked young women for abuse there.
Epstein had a residence on a private island in the territory, where accusers say he and others sexually abused them.
Last month, in the same court where the Virgin Islands is suing, JPMorgan bank agreed, without admitting wrongdoing, to pay $290 million to Epstein’s victims to settle a lawsuit by one of his accusers.
In May, german bank agreed to pay Epstein’s victims $75 million to settle a separate lawsuit from an accuser who accused that party of instigating his sex trafficking of her and others. Deutsche Bank hired Epstein as a client after JPMorgan severed ties with him in 2013, years after bank employees first raised concerns about im.
Epstein, who had been friends with former presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as Britain’s Prince Andrew, pleaded guilty in 2008 to a Florida state charge of soliciting an underage girl for sex. He served 13 months in jail, but he spent much of that time on daily probation.
Epstein, then 66, committed suicide in a New York federal jail in August 2019, a month after he was arrested on federal child sex trafficking charges.