A long association with Jeffrey Epstein has turned into a bad stain that is very hard to clean away.
Whether you are politician, monarchy, Hollywood elite, famous academic, or even a Wall Street titan, sooner or later the reckoning comes.
Just ask the largest US bank, JPMorgan Chase. After roughly a year in pre-trial litigation and negotiations, the financial institution finally seems to have resolved its legal issues regarding its decades long ties to the late convicted sex offender.
A U.S. Federal judge approved JPMorgan Chase’s $290 million settlement with Epstein’s victims, who claimed that bank turned a blind eye to the late financier’s sex trafficking.
“U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff granted final approval to the deal at a hearing in Manhattan federal court. He had previously granted preliminary approval to the deal in June, calling it a ‘really fine settlement’.”
The settlement covers a large group of women, led by a former ballet dancer known only as Jane Doe 1, who said Epstein abused them.
“It followed embarrassing disclosures that JPMorgan ignored internal warnings and overlooked red flags about Epstein because he had been a valuable client.”
Epstein was a JPMorgan client from 1998 to 2013, and was kept even after he was imprisoned, having pleaded guilty in a Florida case to soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl.
“JPMorgan in September agreed to pay $75 million to settle related claims by the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned two islands.
Rakoff on Oct. 20 gave final approval to a similar $75 million settlement between Epstein’s accusers and Deutsche Bank, where Epstein banked after JPMorgan fired him.”
JPMorgan did not admit wrongdoing when agreeing to settle.
The New York Times reported:
“The money being paid by JPMorgan, the nation’s biggest bank, could provide compensation to nearly 200 victims of Mr. Epstein, according to a legal filing. JPMorgan and lawyers for the victims reached a preliminary settlement in June, averting a potential civil trial in federal court in Manhattan.”
Judge Jed Rakoff gave final approval to the deal after holding a hearing to ‘assess the fairness of the settlement’ to the victims.
The Judge dismissed the concern of 18 state AGs that the language of the settlement would preclude them from bringing further litigation o the subject.
The settlement with the victims is expected to close this chapter in the Epstein ‘saga’, after JPMorgan Chase and Deutsch Bank also settled civil suits with the government of the Virgin Islands over the same issue.
The year-long controversy centered on the role of big banks in enabling Epstein’s conduct to continue for nearly two decades, and profiting from it.
“Fifteen unidentified victims submitted written declarations in support of the deal. Some, including one who said she was just 13 when Mr. Epstein first sexually assaulted her, wrote about continuing to suffer from depression, anxiety, panic attacks and eating disorders.
‘This case sent a message through this very substantial settlement that banking institutions have a responsibility’, Judge Rakoff said.”