The US Virgin Islands is seeking to add a new obstruction charge to its lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase, claiming that the banking giant benefited from convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking operation, US media reported on Wednesday, citing a new filing in Manhattan federal court.
The Monday filing referred to a recent deposition by JPMorgan employee Mary Erdoes, who runs an asset management division of the bank where Epstein was a client.
According to the filing, the obstruction charge was proposed after it emerged that the bank had processed large cash withdrawals for Epstein and his associates, thus helping impede enforcement of a US anti-trafficking law and allowing Epstein to evade criminal liability.
Furthermore, the filing alleged that Epstein’s dealings had been “so widely known at JPMorgan that senior executives joked about Epstein’s interest in young girls.”
JPMorgan is facing two lawsuits over its long-lasting relationship with Epstein, which continued even after he had pleaded guilty in Florida of procuring a child for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute. One of the suits is from the US Virgin Islands, where the late financier had a home, while the other was initiated by an alleged victim identified by the pseudonym Jane Doe. A trial date for the two cases has been set for October.
Last month, reports emerged that JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon would face questioning under oath in May over the bank’s ties to Epstein. The lawsuits claim that Dimon had knowingly allowed the bank to continue working with Epstein, despite internal warnings about his illegal behavior.
Epstein died in a prison cell in 2021 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. He banked at JPMorgan for 15 years, between 1998 and 2013. German banking giant Deutsche Bank, where Epstein was a client from 2013 to 2018, also currently faces a lawsuit over its ties to the notorious financier.
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