JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) is facing a second massive lawsuit tied to the Jeffrey Epstein case, reports CNN.
“In June, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $290 million to settle a class-action lawsuit from Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sexual abuse victims, who accused the bank of enabling sex trafficking by the deceased financier when he was a client,” said a CNN reporter.
Now the US Virgin Islands is seeking $190 million in penalties and disgorgement from JPMorgan Chase and requesting that it implement safeguards against human trafficking in its ongoing case alleging the bank benefited financially from Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking operation and failed to report suspicious financial activity.
The government for the Virgin Islands said in a court filing it also wants JPMorgan Chase to implement an independent compliance consultant to prevent human trafficking and to separate its business and compliance functions.
JPMorgan should also analyze “the root causes of the bank’s failures in its banking relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and identifying the missed opportunities to report his criminal activities,” the Virgin Islands Department of Justice said in a statement.
But the bank disagreed.
“This document does not reflect the nature of settlement conversations,” a spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase said. “As for the USVI’s misdirected damages theories, they are not well founded and are being challenged by JPM in court.”
The policies requested by the Virgin Islands would prevent JPMorgan from opening bank accounts without basic details from customers and ban “the participation of employees with personal relationships to clients in decisions related to retaining those clients,” a government press release indicated.
The Virgin Islands’ government argued that JPMorgan Chase should have given Epstein closer scrutiny as a client after he entered a guilty plea to state charges in Florida of soliciting prostitution with a minor in 2008.
Further Comments and Statements on JPMorgan-Epstein Case
When it came to the $290 million settlement, JPMorgan agreed to pay it stating that any association with Epstein was a mistake and they regret it.
“We would never have continued to do business with him if we believed he was using our bank in any way to help commit heinous crimes,” the bank said.
“It could be that the bank doesn’t want this to stay in the press,” said Carliss Chatman, a professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Virginia.
“At a time Americans are questioning the banking system, associating Chase with human trafficking is not good for business.”
Davia Temin, chief executive of crisis management firm Temin and Co, said settling rather than fighting to the end sends “the right message across Wall Street.”
Epstein was a JPMorgan client from 1998 to 2013 and was kept on even after being arrested in 2006 on prostitution-related charges and pleading guilty two years later.
This is a developing story.
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