JPMorgan’s $290 million settlement has received preliminary approval from a U.S. judge with women who alleged that the late financier Jeffrey Epstein had abused them and that the bank had turned a blind eye to his sex trafficking activities.
JPMorgan’s $290 Million Settlement
Judge Rakoff described JPMorgan’s $290 million settlement as a “really fine settlement” and noted that it, along with a separate $75 million settlement with Deutsche Bank that he approved earlier this month, were substantial amounts that would provide compensation to Epstein’s victims, although they would not fully make up for the abuses they suffered.
According to a published article, Jeffrey Epstein had been a client of JPMorgan from 1998 until 2013 when the bank terminated his accounts.
The victims, led by a former ballet dancer known as Jane Doe 1, argued that JPMorgan had overlooked red flags indicating Epstein’s abusive behavior and had maintained contact with him even after his official departure.
Lawyers representing the victims stated last week that the proposed settlement, which would be paid entirely in cash, was fair and reasonable given the risks associated with further litigation and JPMorgan’s denial of involvement in Epstein’s sex trafficking activities.
Response to JPMorgan’s $290 Million Settlement
In response to JPMorgan’s $290 million settlement, JPMorgan issued a statement acknowledging that any association it had with Epstein was a mistake and expressing regret over it.
During the hearing, it was revealed that despite pleading guilty to a prostitution charge in Florida and being registered as a sex offender in 2008, Jeffrey Epstein continued to maintain a client relationship with JPMorgan for a period of five years.
Judge Rakoff questioned why there was no minimum distribution guaranteed for each victim in the JPMorgan settlement, contrasting it with the Deutsche Bank settlement, which provided a minimum of $75,000 for each victim.
David Boies, the lawyer representing Jane Doe 1, explained that the guaranteed minimum was necessary in the Deutsche Bank case because many victims were from Russia or Eastern Europe and were challenging to reach.
However, he stated that such a provision was not needed in JPMorgan’s $290 million settlement.
Simone Lelchuk, a lawyer specializing in administering settlements, was appointed by Judge Rakoff to review individual claims and determine the payout amounts in both the JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank settlements.
Apart from JPMorgan’s $290 million settlement that JPMorgan reached with the victims, the bank is also confronted with a lawsuit from the U.S. Virgin Islands. This legal action stems from Epstein’s ownership of two neighboring islands in the region.
The trial for that case is scheduled to begin on October 23.
Jeffrey Epstein died at the age of 66 in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges and the medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.