JPMorgan Chase has been warned by a federal judge in New York that it could face contempt of court charges if it does not speed up the production of evidence related to late sexual offender and money manager Jeffrey Epstein. The warning comes as a result of lawsuits by an Epstein accuser and the government of the US Virgin Islands.
JPMorgan Accused of Enabling Epstein’s Alleged Sex Trafficking
The civil suits accuse JPMorgan Chase of enabling and benefiting from Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking of young women. The lawsuits allege that the bank allowed Epstein to remain a client despite evidence he was using millions of dollars he kept on deposit to facilitate his trafficking of girls and young women to his private island in the Virgin Islands and elsewhere. JPMorgan denies any wrongdoing.
Judge Criticizes JPMorgan and Law Firms for Slow-Walking
Judge Jed Rakoff, in a notice that has yet to appear on the public docket in the case in US District Court in Manhattan, suggested that JPMorgan and two law firms representing the bank have been slow-walking in turning over documents and other evidence to plaintiffs in the case, under a process known as discovery. Rakoff expressed concern that JPMorgan is not moving more expeditiously to produce responsive documents. Rakoff referred to the bank’s two law firms, WilmerHale and Massey & Gail, stating that a company as large as JPMorgan and counsel as experienced as these two firms should be able to move with greater speed.
Jes Staley Denies Accusations of Wrongdoing
Former JPMorgan executive Jes Staley has been accused of having first-hand knowledge of Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation. Staley, who spent three decades at JPMorgan, had close contact with Epstein over the years when he was a customer. In his own court filing, Staley called the accusations against him “baseless,” and he has denied knowledge of Epstein’s sex trafficking. Staley stepped down as CEO of British banking giant Barclays in late 2021 after an inquiry by a United Kingdom regulator into how he had characterized his relationship with Epstein to Barclays.
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