US Virgin Islands launches lawsuit accusing JPMorgan Chase of facilitating Epstein's child sex crimes

"Human trafficking was the principal business of the accounts Epstein maintained at JPMorgan."

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC
A lawsuit by the US Virgin Islands' attorney general accuses JPMorgan Chase of "turning a blind eye" to the crimes committed by infamous child predator Jeffrey Epstein.

The suit, which was launched on Wednesday, accuses JPMorgan Chase of "knowingly providing and pulling the levers through which recruiters and victims were paid." The complaint was filed in Manhattan District Court, reports the Daily Mail.

USVI AG Denise George alleges that JPMorgan Chase ignored Epstein's actions and turned a blind eye to his 2008 conviction in Florida for procuring a child for prostitution, to keep him as a client.

The New York Times reports that the bank, which has not made a public statement on the suit, maintained a relationship with Epstein from 1998 to 2013 before cutting ties with the sex trafficker.

Epstein, who had his own private island in the US Virgin Islands called Little St. James, was found dead in 2019 from what was called a suicide. He was awaiting trial on sexual abuse charges.

George writes in the suit that Epstein's Little St. James home was used for sex crimes. In June of this year, Epstein's partner in crime and former beloved Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for child sex trafficking.

Epstein became a client of the bank in 1998. It has been alleged in the past that the bank kept Epstein due to his connections with the rich and powerful. 

The lawsuit reads, "Human trafficking was the principal business of the accounts Epstein maintained at JPMorgan."

George said that the suit was filed to help bring accountability to those who worked with Epstein. It accuses Chase of concealing "wire and cash transactions that raised suspicion of a criminal enterprise whose currency was the sexual servitude" of minors. 

A figure on damages being sought is not made clear in the suit.

Epstein's victims sued Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase in November in a separate suit, alleging that banks helped Epstein in his sex trafficking endeavors. Epstein would take out large amounts of cash to pay his victims. 

Bradley Edwards, a lawyer in the case against Deutsche Bank, told the Wall Street Journal: "The time has come for the real enablers to be held responsible, especially his wealthy friends and the financial institutions that played an integral role.

"These victims were wronged by many, not just Epstein. He did not act alone."

Both lawsuits are class action cases. 

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