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Major banks could be held responsible for Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking: judge

Written by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Two major banks and a bank executive could be responsible for Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking, a judge has ruled.

The headquarters of JPMorgan Chase in New York City on April 17, 2019. (Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)

The plaintiffs have presented enough evidence that JPMorgan Chase, JPMorgan executive Jes Staley and Deutsche Bank could be liable for Epstein’s sex trafficking, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said on May 1 when he rejected the motions to dismiss the cases filed against Staley and the institutions.

Plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts to support their allegations that JP Morgan had … knowledge of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking enterpriseeither directly or without regard to what was clearly seen,” Rakoff, a Clinton appointee, wrote in a 54-page decision.

One of the plaintiffs, a woman who says she was abused by Epstein and his associates, has also admitted “sufficient facts to support her allegation that Deutsche Bank knew or recklessly ignored that Jeffrey Epstein ran a sex trafficking,” the judge also said. .

The ruling came in cases brought by several alleged victims of Epstein and the government of the US Virgin Islands against JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank. It also covers a claim brought against Staley by JP Morgan.

The banks are accused of violating federal law that prohibits child sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, with a section of the law allowing punishment for people who knowingly benefit financially from participating in an enterprise of sex trafficking

The defendants have argued that they did not participate in Epstein’s venture because they offered only typical banking services. Participation in an enterprise requires “specific conduct that furthered the sex-trafficking enterprise” or conduct that is “more than mere passive facilitation,” previous rulings have indicated. But the plaintiffs have presented evidence that the two banks structured the voluminous cash withdrawals that Epstein enacted in ways that concealed how suspicious they were, the judge said, as well as delaying or failing to file reports of suspicious activity.

The plaintiffs have noted that Epstein pleaded guilty to a sex crime in Florida in 2008 and that news articles and lawsuits filed before and after the plea accused Epstein of sexual offenses, including abusing underage girls . They have released internal correspondence showing JPMorgan officials questioning whether the bank should cut ties with Epstein in light of the allegations.

The ruling means the cases are due to go to trial later this year.

Former executive

Staley was the head of JPMorgan’s private banking division in 2000 when it began servicing Epstein’s accounts. Emails indicate the two became friends.

I deeply appreciate our friendship. I have few that deepStaley, who has left the company, said in a statement.

Staley visited homes owned by Epstein on several occasions.

A day after Staley went to Epstein’s home in New York, Epstein emailed to say “you were with Larry, and I had to put up with…”, attaching a photo of a young woman posing ‘a sexually suggestive manner. In another missive, Epstein didn’t write a word but just sent a photo of a different girl.

Plaintiffs say Staley not only saw one of the alleged victims while visiting Epstein, but abused several girls himself.

Staley wrote to Epstein after a visit: “It was fun. Say hello to Snow White.” Epstein asked, “Which character would you like next?” Mr. Staley replied, “Beauty and the Beast.”

“If the allegations in the plaintiffs’ complaints are found to be true, Mr. Staley had first-hand knowledge that Epstein conducted a sex-trafficking enterprise,” Rakoff said in the new ruling.

Staley, who was brought into the lawsuits by JPMorgan, has said he was not in charge of Epstein’s accounts.

“The third-party complaints, while creating provocative media fodder, never explain how an employee who is not alleged to have had decision-making authority over Epstein’s accounts, and who is not alleged to have seen any suspicious activity from account that other JPMorgan employees ignored caused the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries,” he said in a filing.

Staley has asked the court to dismiss the bank’s claim against him, arguing that the bank is trying to “treat Mr. Staley as its public relations shield by asserting claims that have no legal (or factual) basis.” This motion is still under consideration.

The Epoch Times has reached out to JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank for comment.

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