JPMorgan sues ex-banker Jes Staley over links to Jeffrey Epstein09 March, 2023 4:16 PM
JPMorgan Chase has sued its former investment banking chief Jes Staley over his relationship with disgraced ex-financier Jeffrey Epstein, alleging Staley would have no legal consequences from the two lawsuits against the bank.
The company filed a lawsuit against Staley on Wednesday, seeking to recover his compensation for the past eight years at JPMorgan and hold him liable for potential payouts in the lawsuit facing the New York-based bank. The total amount of compensation alone exceeds $80 million.
The legal maneuver is the latest twist in cases involving America's largest state.
Bank by asset. Late last year, the US Virgin Islands and a group of alleged Epstein victims sued the bank, alleging it facilitated the sex offender's crimes. JPMorgan kept Epstein as a private client until 2013, in part because Staley vouched for him, despite internal concerns following Epstein's 2008 conviction for a sex crime.
As pressure mounts on the bank, JPMorgan has shifted in recent weeks from defending its former chief executive to blaming him for any fallout from Epstein.
mentioned in an internal email released in the latest lawsuit that a review of the Epstein account should be carried out by JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon; the bank said it had seen no evidence that a review had taken place. The plaintiffs attempted to cross-examine Dimon in the case, but the bank refused to do so.
"So long as Staley knew of, participated in, or witnessed Epstein-related sexual abuse and did not report it to JPMorgan or willfully conceal it from JPMorgan," it was Staley, not the bank, that was not not responsible for the harm of Epstein JP Morgan said in its Wednesday indicated in the document submitted.
JPMorgan also identified Staley as a 'powerful financial executive' accused of sexually assaulting an alleged victim in one of the cases Epstein faced.
Staley's attorney, Kathleen Harris of Arnold & Porter, declined to comment. Staley, who left JPMorgan in 2013 and became chief executive of Barclays before resigning from the London bank in 2021, has denied knowledge of Epstein's crimes. Epstein died of an apparent suicide in 2019 while in prison awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges in the United States.
Still, JPMorgan said in its filing that it does not accept that the accusations made by the two plaintiffs were accurate, calling the lawsuits "misplaced and baseless" in a statement.
"The plaintiff has made disturbing allegations about the conduct of our former employee, Jes Staley, for which, if true, he should be held accountable," a JPMorgan spokesperson said.
“We expect all employees at all levels of the company to act with honesty and integrity,” she added. "If these allegations against Staley are true, he breached that duty by placing his personal interests above those of the company."