JPMorgan Chase Defend yourself on Tuesday against a US Virgin Islands lawsuit alleged it empowered Jeffrey Epstein to abuse teenage girls by arguing in court papers that it was the islands, not the banks, that enabled the financier to commit crimes.
The bank’s attorneys said in filings in Manhattan federal court that the Virgin Islands government was complicit in allowing high-ranking officials to be bribed by Epstein and actively working with him while “profit from his wealth”.
“He gave them money, advice, influence and favor. In return, they protect and even reward him,” offering attractive tax breaks worth millions of dollars, they wrote.
Most worryingly, they say, is that officials from the archipelago “have protected Epstein, creating the perfect conditions for Epstein’s criminal behavior to continue undetected.”
The lawyers added: “In the two decades and for a long time after JPMC left Epstein as a client, the unit directly failed to protect public safety and most actively facilitated public safety. suing and benefiting from Epstein’s continued criminal activity is the plaintiff in this case – USVI government.”
Virgin Islands, where Epstein has real estate, sued JP Morgan last year, said its investigation had revealed that the financial services giant had allowed Epstein’s recruiters to pay victims and was “indispensable to the operation and concealment of the business”. Epstein trade.”
In their filing on Tuesday, the bank’s lawyers said Virgin Islands officials looked the other way as Epstein walked through their airports with girls and young women as he donated. generous contributions to political campaigns. Attorneys say officials have been lenient with requests that he register as a sex offender, making checks of his whereabouts “at best sketchy”.
“In short, in exchange for Epstein’s cash and gifts, USVI made his life easy,” the lawyers said. “The government has eased any burden from his sex offender status. And it ensures that no one asks too many questions about transporting and keeping young girls on his island.”
Portions of the profile have been heavily edited. It asked Judge Jed Rakoff to dismiss the archipelago’s attempt to prevent the bank from using defenses at trial that would expose the archipelago’s role in Epstein’s dealings.
The attorneys wrote that “the alleged damages must be balanced against the substantial gains the USVI derives from facilitating Epstein’s crimes.”
Attorneys for the US Virgin Islands did not return emails requesting comment.
Epstein was 66 years old when he took his own life in August 2019 in Manhattan federal prison, where he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. He has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing dozens of girls, some as young as 14.