JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) has agreed to pay a $290 Million settlement in the new Jeffrey Epstein case.
“Any association with (Epstein) was a mistake and we regret it,” JPMorgan said in a statement.
“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.”
(Reuters) JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay about $290 million to settle a class action lawsuit by Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, resolving a large part of litigation over the bank’s relationship with the disgraced financier.
Monday’s settlement follows months of 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 on even after being arrested in 2006 on prostitution-related charges and pleading guilty two years later.
Monday’s accord would resolve claims against the largest U.S. bank by potentially more than 100 victims.
Epstein killed himself at age 66 in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
“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.”
Other JPMorgan Scandals
The JPMorgan-Jeffrey Epstein scandal is a big mess, one far too disturbing to cover here, but Reuters does a great job of hitting the key points.
JPMorgan is freezing customer bank accounts in one of its other latest scandals.
Republican attorneys general from 19 states say the bank is “persistently” discriminating against its own clients and closing bank accounts without warning.
The law enforcement officials, led by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, sent a letter to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon stating that the banking giant’s practices go against the company’s own policies on equality, per Business Insider.
The letter, which has now been published by the Wall Street Journal, states that JPMorgan has repeatedly discriminated against customers based on their religious or political beliefs.
“It is clear that JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Chase) has persistently discriminated against certain customers due to their religious or political affiliation.
This discrimination is unacceptable.
Chase must stop such behavior and align its business practices with the anti-discrimination policies that Chase proclaims.”
The attorneys general cite the sudden account closure of a religious liberty organization as an example of the bank’s discriminatory practices.
In May 2022, Chase abruptly closed the National Committee for Religious Freedom’s (NCRF) checking account.
A JPMorgan representative told The Journal: “We have never and would never exit a client relationship due to their political or religious affiliation.”
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