The U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against banking giant JPMorgan Chase, accusing the Wall Street corporation of turning a “blind eye” toward the conduct of the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George said in a complaint filed in a Manhattan District Court that JPMorgan Chase facilitated the trafficking of minors for sexual abuse at the hands of Epstein.
The bank knowingly “provided and pulled the levers through which recruiters and victims were paid,” George wrote.
George further alleged in the complaint that the banking giant ignored red flags for years as it provided banking services to Epstein and his affiliated companies and entities, often benefiting from deposits into accounts.
The attorney general said JPMorgan Chase was “indispensable to the operation and concealment of the Epstein trafficking enterprise.”
“Upon information and belief, JP Morgan turned a blind eye to evidence of human trafficking over more than a decade because of Epstein’s own financial footprint,” George alleged, “and because of the deals and clients that Epstein brought and promised to bring to the bank.”
The attorney general’s office filed three counts against the banking firm, including a charge of participating in sex trafficking, and is asking for a jury trial.
A spokesperson for JP Morgan Chase declined to comment because of pending litigation.
Separate lawsuits were filed by two anonymous women last month who have also alleged JPMorgan and another banking giant, Deutsche Bank, enabled and benefitted from Epstein’s abusive conduct.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Virgin Islands announced a $105 million settlement against the estate of Epstein and 10 affiliated entities.
Epstein, who died in 2019 as he was awaiting a trial on charges of human trafficking and sexual abuse of minors in New York, owned a secluded private island, Little St. James, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The attorney general’s office said Epstein used the private island to traffic and abuse his victims for years.
Epstein was a client of JPMorgan for about 15 years before he was dropped in 2013.
Previous news reports have alleged that banking executives with JPMorgan sought to keep Epstein as a client despite his known abusive misconduct because he helped bring in other ultrawealthy clients.
Over the summer, Epstein’s former associate Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for assisting with the trafficking of minors as young as 14 years old.
Updated: 5:45 p.m.