JPMorgan Chase executives allegedly joked about Jeffrey Epstein’s interest in young girls while the disgraced financier was a client of the US banking giant, lawyers for the US Virgin Islands have claimed in a new court filing.
The accusation is part of an expanding lawsuit brought by the USVI, where Epstein had a home, which accuses JPMorgan of benefiting from his sex trafficking operation while he was a client of the bank until 2013. Lawyers for JPMorgan have previously described the claims as meritless.
In an amended complaint filed in New York on Monday, the USVI alleged that Epstein’s behaviour “was so widely known at JPMorgan that senior executives joked about Epstein’s interest in young girls”.
The filing refers to a 2008 email to Mary Erdoes, the contents of which are redacted. Erdoes, a 27-year JPMorgan veteran, runs the asset and wealth management division where Epstein was a client.
JPMorgan declined to comment on the filing. In a statement last month, the bank said Erdoes “always acted with the highest levels of integrity and professionalism” and had “informed this client 10 years ago that his relationship with our firm was being terminated”.
JPMorgan is facing two lawsuits regarding its dealings with Epstein, one from the USVI and another brought by an alleged Epstein victim known as Jane Doe. The two cases have been combined for pre-trial purposes, with a provisional trial date set for October.
Erdoes was questioned under oath as part of the pre-trial proceedings. Last week, the Financial Times reported that longstanding chief executive Jamie Dimon will in May also be deposed, despite attempts by the bank to prevent him from having to testify.
The USVI’s complaint contains an internal communication which references a “Dimon review”, into the relationship with Epstein, of which the bank says it has no record.
Jes Staley, a former senior executive for JPMorgan, whom the bank has sued claiming he withheld details of his relationship with Epstein and knowledge of the disgraced financier’s sex crimes, will in April also be deposed. Staley went on to lead Barclays bank in the UK, and left following a regulatory investigation into the way in which he had characterised his relationship with Epstein. Staley has previously denied having any involvement in Epstein’s crimes or misrepresenting their relationship.
Last week, the USVI also issued subpoenas for documents to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, as well as Thomas Pritzker, the chair of Hyatt Hotels, as part of the evidence-gathering process in the case against JPMorgan, a person directly involved said.
News of the subpoenas, which were also sent to real estate and media mogul Mortimer Zuckerman and Hollywood super-agent Michael Ovitz, were first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Ovitz and Brin did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Representatives for Hyatt did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Pritzker’s behalf, nor did a representative for one of Zuckerman’s philanthropic organisations.
The purpose of the subpoenas is unknown. The USVI’s complaint has alleged that as well as depositing his own money at JPMorgan, Epstein helped introduce wealthy clients to the bank.