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JPMorgan Chase's relationship with Jeffrey Epstein comes back to haunt bank to the tune of $290 million

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay Jeffrey Epstein's victims nearly $300 million.

Last November, a victim of Epstein filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of victims whom Epstein sexually abused. Many of the victims — a total that may number more than 100 — were teenagers and young adults when the abuse happened.

The bank, the largest in America, provided services to Epstein from 1998 to 2013. The lawsuit claims that JPMorgan Chase maintained its relationship with Epstein, whom the bank designated as a "high risk client," despite rumors that he engaged in human trafficking teenagers and young women for sex. The bank overlooked numerous red flags, the lawsuit alleged, because of Epstein's wealth and his access to powerful people.

In a statement, JPMorgan Chase said:

We all now understand that Epstein’s behavior was monstrous, and we believe this settlement is in the best interest of all parties, especially the survivors, who suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of this man.

Any association with him was a mistake and we regret it. We would never have continued to do business with him if we believed he was using our bank in any way to help commit heinous crimes," the spokesperson added.

JPMorgan agreed to pay the victims $290 million, disclosed David Boies, one of the attorneys representing the victims. The settlement must still be approved by the court.

News of the settlement comes weeks after Deutsche Bank, which succeeded JPMorgan Chase as Epstein's primary banking institution, agreed to pay Epstein victims $75 million.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon sat for a deposition in the case last month. During the interview, he denied knowing about Epstein until his arrest for sex trafficking in 2019. JPMorgan Chase officially blames former executive Jes Staley for ignoring Epstein's red flags and maintaining the bank's relationship with Epstein.

The bank has sued Staley, demanding a return of his compensation from 2006 to 2013, which amounts to as much as $80 million. JPMorgan Chase also wants to make Staley financially liable for damages to which the bank may be liable over its relationship with Epstein.

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