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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

JPMorgan agrees to $75 million settlement over ties to Jeffrey Epstein

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, walks through a crowd of bank staffers at the Spokane branch of Chase bank on July 30.   (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)
By Aaron Gregg Washington Post

JPMorgan Chase will pay $75 million to resolve a lawsuit with the U.S. Virgin Islands alleging it facilitated disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking operation.

The banking giant admitted no wrongdoing under the terms of the settlement, a large portion of which will be distributed to charities.

It also sets aside $10 million to support mental health services for Epstein’s survivors.

“This settlement is a historic victory for survivors and for state enforcement, and it should sound the alarm on Wall Street about banks’ responsibilities under the law to detect and prevent human trafficking,” USVI attorney general Ariel Smith said in a statement.

Smith also said JPMorgan agreed to “implement and maintain meaningful anti-trafficking measures,” which includes a commitment to elevate and report suspicious activity in the future.

But JPMorgan spokeswoman Patricia Wexler insisted that the bank had already made those commitments.

“We have always worked closely with law enforcement to help combat human trafficking, and we will continue to look for ways to invest in advancing this important mission,” she said in a statement.

The settlement comes just one month before the two sides were set to go to trial in Manhattan, and on the heels of a $290 million settlement in a parallel case brought by Epstein’s victims.

It follows months of embarrassing discovery and depositions, showing that bank executives were informed of suspicious activity as early as 2006 but failed to fire Epstein as a client until 2013.

Throughout the litigation JPMorgan has denied wrongdoing, while directing attention to the Virgin Islands’ failure to crack down on Epstein’s operations within its borders.

“We are pleased that the USVI will use settlement proceeds to enhance the infrastructure and capabilities of their law enforcement to prevent and combat human trafficking and other crimes in their territories,” Wexler said in a statement.