The U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General filed a complaint this week against JP Morgan Chase, alleging the banking giant benefited fromand helped cover up the pursuit at his Little St. James property.
The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday, accuses JP Morgan of providing banking services to Epstein even after he became a registered sex offender in the US Virgin Islands following his 2008 conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution in Palm Beach, Florida. He also accuses the financial institution of failing to comply with federal regulations, including recording and reporting requirements that could have flagged Epstein’s crimes to US officials before they were ultimately exposed, in a deliberate attempt to hide Epstein’s suspicious activities.
“Financial institutions can connect – or stifle – human trafficking networks, and the enforcement actions filed and injunctions obtained by attorneys general are essential to ensure that companies like Epstein’s cannot not prosper in the future,” the attorney general wrote in Tuesday’s complaint.
Epstein, a former financier and longtime partner of ex-British socialite and convicted criminal Ghislaine Maxwell,in August 2019 in his jail cell at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was being held without bail pending trial on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.
Epstein allegedly recruited, groomed and sexually abusedover the decades and at multiple properties he owned around the world, according to a grand jury indictment. Maxwell was multiple charges of sex trafficking , including the sex trafficking of a minor and the transportation of a minor for purposes related to criminal sexual activity. She was sentenced last summer to 20 years in federal prison.
Denise N. George, Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands, initially filed a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate on Little St. James, one of two private islands he owned in the territory, and his two co -executors. George announced in early December that the co-executors had agreed to pay $105 million in cash plus half of the proceeds from the sale of Little St. James to the U.S. Virgin Islands for allegedly violating the islands’ bribery laws. , sex trafficking and sexual servitude.
In the new lawsuit, George alleges that JP Morgan willfully “turned a blind eye to evidence of human trafficking for over a decade because of Epstein’s own financial footprint”, and because he constantly brought profitable business and clientele to the bank.
A government investigation into sex trafficking operations at Epstein’s estate on the private island – which he owned from 1998 until his death, and where victims have said in various testimonies that many of his crimes took location – revealed evidence that JP Morgan “knowingly, negligently and unlawfully provided and operated the levers by which recruiters and victims were paid and was indispensable to the operation and concealment of Epstein’s trafficking business”, the lawsuit alleges.
“JP Morgan facilitated and concealed electronic and cash transactions that raised suspicions of – and were in fact part of – a criminal enterprise whose currency was the sexual servitude of dozens of women and girls in and beyond the United States. Virgin Islands,” the complaint continues. “Human trafficking was the main activity of the accounts that Epstein maintained at JP Morgan.”
It goes on to allege that the bank “facilitated, supported and concealed the human trafficking ring operated by Jeffrey Epstein from his home and base in the Virgin Islands, and benefited financially from such involvement, directly or indirectly, by not violating federal laws.” banking regulations. »
The latest complaint came about a month after two of Epstein’s accusers sued JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank for allegedly making millions of dollars in profits from their dealings with him and his criminal enterprise.
JP Morgan has yet to publicly acknowledge the Virgin Islands federal lawsuit. CBS News contacted the bank for comment but did not receive an immediate response.