JPMorgan must hand over CEO Dimon's records in Jeffrey Epstein lawsuit

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By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) -A U.S. judge on Thursday ordered JPMorgan Chase & Co to hand over more documents concerning Chief Executive Jamie Dimon to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the territory's lawsuit accusing the bank of aiding in Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said the bank must turn over requested documents from 2015 to 2019, a period after JPMorgan had dropped Epstein as a client. Rakoff did not explain his reasoning in his one-sentence order.

JPMorgan declined to comment.

The U.S. Virgin Islands is seeking damages from JPMorgan for allegedly aiding in Epstein's sex trafficking by keeping him as a client, and missing red flags about his misconduct on Little St. James, a private island he owned.

Epstein had been a JPMorgan client from 2000 to 2013. He killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

The U.S. Virgin Islands has called Dimon "a likely source of relevant and unique information" about why JPMorgan kept Epstein on, and discussions on Epstein's referrals of prominent and wealthy potential clients.

JPMorgan countered by accusing the U.S. Virgin Islands of going on a "fishing expedition" after having obtained a "massive trove" of information in litigation in which the territory recovered more than $105 million from Epstein's estate.

Lawyers for the U.S. Virgin Islands did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Rakoff scheduled a March 16 conference in the case.

JPMorgan also faces a proposed class action over its ties to Epstein by Jane Doe 1, a former ballet dancer who said Epstein abused and trafficked her from 2006 to 2013.

On Wednesday, the bank filed two lawsuits accusing former private banking chief Jes Staley of "intentional and outrageous conduct" in concealing information about Epstein, with whom he had been friends.

JPMorgan wants Staley to reimburse it for damages it might incur in the other lawsuits, and return eight years of compensation.

Its lawsuits attempt to portray Staley as a "bad apple" solely at fault for the bank's relationship with Epstein, said Alison Taylor, a corporate governance professor at New York University's Stern School of Business.

The case is Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands v JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-10904.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Lananh Nguyen and Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Leslie Adler and Daniel Wallis)