Jamie Dimon In Hot-Seat As Sworn Deposition Looms In Epstein Lawsuits
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon will be in the hot seat, as he is expected to be deposed under oath regarding his bank’s decision to keep deceased pedophile sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein as a client despite public knowledge of his status as a registered sex offender, the Financial Times reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
The sworn deposition – the latest development in two combined high-profile cases, is expected to take place in May behind closed doors.
The lawsuits claim that JPMorgan, which banked Epstein for 15 years from 1998 to 2013, benefited from human trafficking and ignored several internal warnings about their client’s illegal behaviour. The lender has described the claims as meritless.
The pre-trial process unearthed communications between JPMorgan employees that contained a reference to a “Dimon review” into the bank’s relationship with Epstein. The bank has denied that Dimon had any knowledge of such a review. -FT
The US Virgin Islands and a group of Epstein victims claim Dimon had knowledge of Epstein’s activities based on emails exchanged between the late sex offender and former executive Jes Staley using his JPMorgan email address.
“Jamie Dimon knew in 2008 that his billionaire client was a sex trafficker,” argued US Virgin Islands attorney Mimi Liu during a March hearing in front of Manhattan US District Judge Jed Rakoff, referring to the year Epstein was first criminally charged with sex crimes, CNBC reports.
“If Staley is a rogue employee, why isn’t Jamie Dimon?” Liu said during the hearing to discuss the bank’s efforts to have the USVI lawsuit against the bank dismissed.
“Staley knew, Dimon knew, JPMorgan Chase knew,” Liu continued, noting that there were several cash transfers and wire transfers made by the prolific pedophile (Epstein), including several hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to several women which should have been flagged as suspicious.
“They broke every rule to facilitate his sex trafficking in exchange for Epstein’s wealth, connections and referrals,” said Liu, adding “This case was not just Jes Staley … there will be numerous documents that go far beyond his office to the executive suite.”
That said, a person familiar with the bank’s internal probe into what Dimon knew says there are no records of any direct communications with Epstein, or records of discussions related to retaining him as a client.
Last week Judge Rakoff denied JPMorgan’s request to dismiss the lawsuits, and allowed several claims to proceed against the bank. He also ordered JPMorgan to hand over documents between Dimon and former general counsel Steve Cutler from before 2006, the year Epstein was first arrested.
Dimon’s looming deposition comes after other senior figures at the bank, including Mary Erdoes, the head of the bank’s $4tn asset and wealth management business, were scheduled to be interviewed by plaintiffs’ lawyers as part of the lawsuits.
Former JPMorgan executive Jes Staley is also set to be deposed by his former employer’s lawyers in April, after the US bank countersued him for any potential damages. JPMorgan’s complaint claims Staley witnessed and participated in sex crimes at Epstein’s residences, and alleges he did not disclose this “despite having a fiduciary duty” to do so. -FT
Staley, who emailed Epstein to say “That was fun … say hello to Snow White,” has denied all knowledge of Epstein’s activities.
The US Virgin Islands disagrees, saying that Staley “visited Epstein’s properties in the Virgin Islands and elsewhere,” and “exchanged hundreds of messages with Epstein from his JPMorgan email account in full view of JPMorgan, including some with photos of young women, discussed Epstein’s provision of services to him during his travel on dates that closely corresponded with Epstein’s payments to the same young woman from his JPMorgan accounts, and discussed young women or girls procured by Epstein using the names of Disney princesses.”
Recall, Staley’s lawyers said “Snow White” was not a “code word” when @sjhmorris and @carolinebinham first broke the story in 2021https://t.co/HrKR7l5SS2 pic.twitter.com/ym5KEY3Dwn
— Robert Smith (@BondHack) February 16, 2023
Epstein and Staley exchanged more than 1,200 emails over several years, however up until now their contents had never been disclosed. Staley – who left JPMorgan to become CEO of Barclays two years later, stepped down from the latter in 2021 following a UK Financial Conduct Authority probe into his relationship with the pedophile financier.