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JPMorgan will pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit in which the U.S. Virgin Islands alleges that the bank benefited from client Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking of young women.
CNBC reported that $10 million will be used to create a fund to provide mental health services for Epstein’s victims.
The settlement comes just months after the banking giant settled with Epstein’s alleged victims for $290 million, – News reported.
Virgin Islands Attorney General Ariel Smith said the agreement settles what is the first enforcement action against a bank for aiding and profiting from human trafficking.
“As part of the settlement, JPMorgan has agreed to implement and maintain meaningful anti-trafficking measures, which will help prevent human trafficking in the future,” Smith said in a statement.
“This settlement is an [sic] historic victory for survivors and for state enforcement, and it should sound the alarm on Wall Street about banks’ responsibilities under the law to detect and prevent human trafficking.”
The Virgin Islands asserted that JPMorgan deliberately turned a blind eye to numerous warning signs indicating Epstein’s involvement in trafficking women to his private island within the territory. This alleged inaction was driven by the bank’s desire to maintain Epstein’s business as well as that of his affluent and influential associates.
These warning signals included Epstein’s 2008 guilty plea in Florida to a state-level charge of soliciting sex from an underage girl, a conviction that resulted in a 13-month incarceration.
In late August, an attorney representing JPMorgan informed Judge Jed Rakoff that, following Epstein’s death, the bank had reported to the Treasury Department that it had, in hindsight, identified more than $1 billion in transactions associated with “human trafficking” dating back 16 years.
“While the settlement does not involve admissions of liability, the firm deeply regrets any association with this man, and would never have continued doing business with him if it believed he was using the bank in any way to commit his heinous crimes,” JPMorgan said in a statement.
The bank also reached a settlement with Jes Staley, a former executive of the bank who vacationed in several of Epstein’s private residences.