JPMorgan Says Epstein Accuser's Claims Are "Unsupported"
JPMorgan responded to a Jeffrey Epstein accuser's claim that former executive Jes Staley "personally observed" Epstein's abuse, calling the claim "unsupported" and "conclusory."
On Tuesday night the bank asked a federal judge to dismiss an amended lawsuit filed in January by Epstein victims who say that since Staley witnessed abuse, the bank therefore facilitated and had "direct and actual knowledge of Epstein's sex-trafficking venture," Bloomberg reports.
According to JPMorgan, the unsupported allegation that Staley observed Epstein's abuse couldn't be used to impute knowledge to the bank.
"Actual knowledge of Plaintiff’s battery cannot be established by the unsupported assertion that, at an unspecified time, Staley ‘observed [Plaintiff] in circumstances indicating sexual abuse and trafficking,'" reads the response.
Staley, who is not named as a defendant in the suit, has consistently denied knowledge of Epstein’s abuse. He left JPMorgan in 2013 and was later appointed chief executive officer at Barclays Plc. He stepped down in 2021 following a UK Financial Conduct Authority probe into his ties to Epstein.
The amended complaint alleges that Staley, who was JPMorgan’s head of private banking at the time, frequently visited Epstein’s properties, including his New York townhouse massage room, a “stash house” apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and a US Virgin Islands estate. He met many of Epstein’s trafficking victims and witnessed the financier “sexually grabbing” some of them, the suit claims. -Bloomberg
JPMorgan argues that while Epstein's grabbing was "odious," it doesn't establish that the plaintiff was a victim of sex-trafficking, much less that Staley knew that she was, and that the crime of sex-trafficking only applies to children or adults who are forced or coerced.
"Without that crucial detail, Plaintiff alleges nothing more than that a JPMC employee developed a bond with a wrongdoer customer," reads the filing.
The woman, Jane Doe 1, made the new allegations in an amended complaint in mid-January. In it, she claims that Staley was a frequent visitor to Epstein's properties - including his New York townhouse 'massage room,' a 'stash house' apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and of course, pedo island in the US Virgin Islands.
While hanging out at Epstein's properties, the former JPMorgan exec "personally observed the sexual abuse of young women, including Jane Doe 1," according to the filing.
"As a result of Staley’s direct and actual knowledge of Epstein’s sex-trafficking venture, JP Morgan had direct and actual knowledge of Epstein’s sex-trafficking venture," read the amended complaint.
Also hit with class action suits over Epstein is Deutsche Bank, which became Epstein's primary bank after 2013. The suits claim the banks knowingly benefitted and received things of value while supporting and assisting Epstein's sex-trafficking scheme.
Deutsche Bank has also sought dismissal of the claims. In a late-Tuesday filing, the bank argued that the accuser added "few new factual allegations" within the 60 pages added to her original complaint - calling the additions "conclusory" and "unsupported." The bank also noted that it recently learned from the woman's lawyer that she entered into a settlement with the dead pedophile's estate which included a "broad release" of claims against any entity that ever did business with the financier - meaning, she had waived her claims against Deutsche, the company's lawyers wrote.