JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG have been accused of enabling the sexual abuse of Jeffrey Epstein in a class action lawsuit in New York. The two lawsuits, filed separately in a New York court, said the banks “knowingly benefited from and received things of value to aid, support, facilitate and otherwise provide the service most critical to the sex trafficking organization Jeffrey Epstein.
JPMorgan was accused in the lawsuit of “benefitting financially from its participation” in the alleged sex trafficking by providing financial support from 1998 to August 2013, according to the lawsuit. Deutsche Bank has been accused of knowing it will “make millions of dollars” from its relationship with Epstein.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and asks that the lawsuit be certified as a class action. Representatives for JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank in London did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment. “Epstein and his co-conspirators could not have been victimized without the help of wealthy individuals and financial institutions,” Bradley Edwards, attorney at Edwards Pottinger, one of the companies bringing the suit, said. We won’t stop fighting for the survivors until everyone is held accountable.
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Epstein was found dead in his US jail cell in 2019, after being arrested and charged with sex trafficking. Epstein has spent decades cultivating ties with American and British elites, including several Wall Street figures.
A Who’s Who of prominent financiers, entrepreneurs, politicians and even royals have been tainted by their association with the convicted paedophile.
Britain’s Prince Andrew had to step back from public duties after a disastrous TV interview about his links to Epstein. Jes Staley abruptly resigned as chief executive of Barclays Plc last year after UK regulators shared with Barclays the preliminary findings of their multi-year investigation into what he told the bank’s board at the about his relationship with Epstein.
Staley said he had known Epstein since 2000, when he was head of private banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and was told to establish a professional relationship with the financial adviser.
Read more: Following the Barclays CEO’s departure, here are some of the other corporate executives linked to Jeffrey Epstein
“Staley ensured that Epstein and his illegal sex abuse organization were absolutely protected by the bank,” according to the lawsuit filed Nov. 24. A lawyer for Staley declined to comment.
The anonymous plaintiffs are represented by David Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner, who represented Virginia Giuffre in a case against Prince Andrew which later settled. None of the allegations made against Staley in the lawsuit have been publicly proven.
After reviewing Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Epstein, New York banking regulators found that “although the bank correctly classified Epstein as high risk, the bank did not review activity in the accounts for the types of activity that were obviously involved in Epstein’s past,” the lawsuit said.
—With the assistance of William Shaw and Jonathan Browning.
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