JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon talks to reporters as he leaves the US Capitol after an unannounced meeting with US Senate Majority Leader Schumer who reportedly raised the possibility that the United States would not not repay their debt, in front of the United States Capitol in Washington, May 17, 2023.
Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testified in a deposition in New York on Friday that he had no involvement in the accounts of longtime client Jeffrey Epstein, the bank said.
Dimon was being filed for lawsuits accusing JPMorgan of facilitating and profiting from Epstein’s sex trafficking of young women, which he financed with money he had on deposit there.
“During today’s deposition, our CEO repeatedly confirmed that he never met him, never emailed him, did not recall ever discussing his accounts in internal and had not been involved in any decision regarding his account,” a spokeswoman for the bank said. ”There are millions and millions of emails and other documents that have been produced in this case and not one even comes close to suggesting he played a role in the decisions about the accounts. of Epstein. ”
The spokeswoman added: ‘As we said, we now know that Epstein’s behavior was monstrous and that his victims deserve justice. In hindsight, any association with him was a mistake and we regret that, but these prosecutions are misdirected because we did not help him commit his heinous crimes.
Dimon gave his deposition at JPMorgan headquarters in Manhattan. The bank had earlier lost an effort to dismiss lawsuits from plaintiffs – the US Virgin Islands government and an unnamed accuser of Epstein.
The lawsuits claim that JPMorgan, the largest bank in the United States, kept Epstein as a client even after learning he was being investigated for sexually abusing underage girls in Florida and after pleading guilty in a state indictment there in 2008 for paying for the sex of a minor.
The bank is accused in complaints in US District Court in Manhattan of doing so in order to keep Epstein, who kept tens of millions of dollars in accounts there, despite internal concerns about his slimy reputation.
Virgin Islands claims Epstein used frequent cash withdrawals he made from these accounts to pay for young women to travel to US territory so he and others could abuse them at his private island residence that he owned.
“Human trafficking was [principal] business of the accounts Epstein maintained at JPMorgan,” the Virgin Islands lawsuit states.
Dimon’s deposition is taken in private. The questions he is asked and the answers he gives would only become public if they were used in court cases and proceedings, or if they were leaked.
JPMorgan did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
In addition to questioning Dimon under oath, the Virgin Islands has issued a series of subpoenas seeking documents related to Epstein and JPMorgan from a number of senior figures the government suspects Epstein tried to recruit as other bank customers.
They understand You’re here CEO Elon Musk, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, former Disney executive Michael Ovitz, Hyatt Hotels executive chairman Thomas Pritzker and billionaire real estate investor Mort Zuckerman.
Dimon’s deposition comes more than a week after German Bank agreed to pay $75 million to Epstein’s victims to settle a potential class action lawsuit filed by one of his accusers. Deutsche Bank had taken on Epstein as a client after JPMorgan severed ties with him in 2013, having held him as a client for 15 years.
JPMorgan said Dimon did not review Epstein’s accounts when he was a client there from 1998 until 2013, the year JPMorgan severed its relationship with him.
Epstein died six years later of a suicide in a New York prison a month after federal authorities charged him with trafficking girls for sex.
JPMorgan pushes back
JPMorgan, in a related complaint, said any liability it may have for Epstein’s conduct would rest with its former executive Jes Staley, who was a friend of Epstein and his main business contact at the bank.
Staley, who also denies any wrongdoing, earlier this week lost a bid to dismiss JPMorgan’s lawsuit against him, which seeks, among other things, to recover $80 million in compensation from him.
In addition to trying to pin the blame on Staley, JPMorgan this week accused the Virgin Islands in a court filing of being “accomplices in the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein”.
The filing says the Virgin Islands looked the other way as Epstein trafficked young women because he gave money, advice and favors to high-ranking officials there.
The filing specifically states that Epstein paid school fees for the children of John de Jongh and his wife, Cecile, when John served as Governor of the Virgin Islands and Cecile worked for Epstein managing his businesses in the territory.
Cecile also reportedly pushed for student visas for young women linked to Epstein, and was his “main conduit for spreading money and influence throughout the USVI government”.
The Washington Post on Friday released details of a deposition taken earlier from Mary Erdoes, who heads JPMorgan’s asset and wealth management division.
“Oh my God,” Erdoes wrote in a 2011 email to another bank executive after finding out that Epstein’s status as a sex offender following his Florid conviction had been confirmed, reports the Washington Post.
The newspaper said it was “at least the sixth time that Erdoes…has been alerted to Epstein’s criminal or civil legal troubles for sex crimes”.