JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank have been accused of profiting from and facilitating the sexual abuse of young women and girls by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein. That follows from two lawsuits filed Thursday, the latest attempt to target the people and institutions surrounding Epstein in New York’s opening of a one-year window for adult sex abuse victims to file cases normally considered too old to be followed up.
The lawsuits, filed in New York federal court on behalf of two different unnamed women who accused Epstein of sexual abuse, allege that Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase profited from Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking and looked the other way “to siphon off profits.”
JPMorgan Chase profited from Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking from 1998 to August 2013, the lawsuit says, after which the bank retained Epstein as a customer after he registered as a lifelong sex offender in 2008, despite bank executives recommending cutting ties, because he “also” is valuable” to let go.
Deutsche Bank “played a significant role” in Epstein’s sex trade from around 2013 to 2018, according to the other lawsuit, which alleges the bank “knowingly participated” by enabling Epstein to pay victims.
Deutsche Bank ultimately made millions by helping Epstein’s alleged sex trade, the lawsuit states.
Both lawsuits are seeking unspecified damages and class action status.
JPMorgan Chase declined to comment on the matter and Deutsche Bank said so forbes She believes the lawsuit is “baseless” and will take her case to court.
The cases draw attention to Epstein’s network and the sprawling human trafficking operation he is said to have spearheaded. Such cases have come into renewed focus after the financier’s 2019 suicide in a New York prison while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, offering insights into his actions that would otherwise be unattainable in the face of his death. Epstein’s network was diverse, influential and famous, ranging from senior British royals Prince Andrew to former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton to financial and business elites. The role of Wall Street institutions in Epstein’s alleged operations has come under repeated scrutiny. In late 2021, Barclays boss Jes Staley resigned from his position at the bank after UK regulators investigated his relationship with Epstein while he was at JPMorgan.
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend, is one of the more high-profile cases linked to the late financier’s abuse to reach court. Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison after multiple convictions for sex trafficking and grooming girls for Epstein. Maxwell’s legal team argued that she should not be tried as Epstein’s “representative,” and she has pleaded innocent after pleading not guilty.
What to look out for
The New York Adult Survivors Act went into effect on Thursday. It allows adult victims of sexual abuse to file sex crimes charges for one year, waiving the normal time limits and deadlines for such cases. Hundreds of cases are expected. Former President Donald Trump has already been sued through this window by writer E. Jean Carroll.
Trump sued for rape in new E. Jean Carroll lawsuit as New York law set to spark spate of sexual assault lawsuits (Forbes)