Staley denies Epstein ties, blames JPMorgan in sex trafficking lawsuits

Jes Staley, the former JPMorgan Chase & Co executive, has officially denied any involvement in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking activities and pointed the finger at JPMorgan for maintaining him as a client. In recent filings at a Manhattan federal court, Staley claimed that his interactions with Epstein were not the direct cause of any damages JPMorgan might face in the two lawsuits related to its work with Epstein, who was a client from 1998 to 2013.

Staley, who has previously expressed regret for his association with Epstein, stated that he was unaware of Epstein’s coercion of young women and girls into having sex or that anyone under the age of 18 would be pressured into such acts. Additionally, he accused JPMorgan of having “unclean hands” due to its own shortcomings in dealing with Epstein and argued that the largest US bank waived at least some claims against him by keeping him on the payroll “after learning of his alleged misconduct”. JPMorgan declined to comment on the filings.

Epstein died in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 at age 66 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. New York City’s medical examiner called the death a suicide.

Staley’s denials were expected and contained in “answers” to New York-based JPMorgan’s effort to blame him for entangling it with Epstein. Now 66, Staley led JPMorgan’s asset management business from 2001 to 2009 and its investment bank from 2009 to 2013. He was also Barclays PLC’s chief executive from 2015 to 2021.

JPMorgan is facing a proposed class-action suit by women who accused Epstein of sexual abuse, led by a former ballet dancer known as Jane Doe 1, and a lawsuit by the US Virgin Islands, where Epstein allegedly abused women on a private island he owned. The bank is also seeking that Staley forfeits his pay from 2006 to 2013, estimated to be in the tens of millions of US dollars.

Jane Doe 1 has also alleged that one of Epstein’s friends sexually assaulted her. JPMorgan later identified Staley as that friend, which he has called a “baseless” accusation.

On May 24, US District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan rejected Staley’s bid to dismiss JPMorgan’s complaints. The judge has yet to explain his reasoning.

Staley is expected to testify under oath in a June 10 deposition.

In a May 26 deposition, JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said he had barely heard of Epstein before the financier’s July 2019 arrest. Dimon also repeatedly denied having spoken with Staley about Epstein.

A trial covering all of the lawsuits is scheduled for October 23.

World News


With a Bachelor's Degree in English, Jenn has plenty of experience writing and editing on different topics. After spending many years teaching English in Thailand, Jenn has come to love writing about Thai culture and the experience of being an ex-pat in Thailand. During long holidays, she travels to North of Thailand just to have Khao Soi!

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