JPMorgan Chase has reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit with victims of financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein was arrested in 2019 on a federal indictment accusing him of paying underage girls hundreds of dollars in cash for massages and then molesting them at his homes in Florida and New York. He was found dead in prison on 10 August this year at the age of 66. A coroner ruled his death a suicide.
The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court in November, sought to hold JPMorgan financially liable for Epstein’s decades of abuse of teenage girls and young women. A similar lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
“We all now understand that Epstein’s conduct was egregious, and we believe this settlement is in the best interests of all parties, particularly the survivors who suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of this man,” JPMorgan Chase said in a written statement early Monday.
The lawsuit between the US Virgin Islands and JPMorgan Chase, as well as JPMorgan Chase’s claims against former chief executive Jes Staley, are still pending.
According to the lawsuits, JPMorgan extended credit to Epstein and regularly allowed him to withdraw large amounts of cash from 1998 to August 2013, even though the company knew of his sex trafficking practices.
“Any association with him was a mistake that we regret,” the bank said in a prepared statement. “We would never have continued to do business with him if we believed he was in any way using our bank to commit heinous crimes.”
Both lawsuits were filed after New York state passed a temporary law in November allowing adult victims of sexual abuse to sue others for the abuse they suffered, even if the abuse occurred long ago.
The bank has denied the allegations and sued Staley for allegedly concealing Epstein’s crimes to keep him as a client.
JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon has testified that he never heard about Epstein and his crimes until the financier’s arrest in 2019. This is according to a transcript of the video interrogation released last month.
The settlement must still be approved by the court.
JPMorgan shares rose slightly before the stock market opened.