JPMorgan Chase reportedly told the U.S. government about over $1 billion in transactions related to "human trafficking" by Jeffrey Epstein dating back to 2003, according to a lawyer for the Virgin Islands.
The financial juggernaut apparently reported the "suspicious" activity to the Treasury Department in 2019 after Epstein allegedly died by suicide. The transactions associated with Epstein took place for over 16 years, according to a transcript of a recent hearing, per NBC News.
Mimi Liu, a lawyer for the Virgin Islands, said that "Epstein's entire business with JPMorgan and JPMorgan's entire business with Jeffrey Epstein was human trafficking."
"The only reason that JPMorgan finally after 16 years reported the billion dollars in suspicious transactions for Jeffrey Epstein is because he was arrested, and then he was dead."
The allegation reportedly drew attention during oral arguments over whether the judge should move forward with a summary judgment against the financial institution before the case goes to trial, which is set to begin in October.
The Virgin Islands is requesting that the judge find the bank liable for enabling Epstein's sex trafficking endeavors while he was a client from 1998 to 2013.
The Virgin Islands sued JPMorgan Chase last year, seeking a minimum of $190 million in damages.
However, the bank claims not to be liable, saying that any association it had with Epstein was a "mistake and we regret it." Additionally, the institution has claimed the Virgin Islands had a close relationship with Epstein, but the territory maintains that it did nothing wrong.
JPMorgan Chase recently settled with Epstein victims for $290 million in June.
Liu suggested that the bank had handled $9 million in transfers to girls and women, many with Eastern European names. She also mentioned that there had been suspicious cash withdrawals from accounts owned by Epstein.
During the hearing, she divided the $9 million by a couple hundred dollars, which is how much Epstein was known for paying victims and recruiters. She suggested that this could have resulted in over "20,000 unlawful sex acts facilitated by JPMorgan."
“JPMorgan was a full-service bank for Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking,” she added.
However, JPMorgan's lawyer Felicia Ellsworth claimed that the Virgin Islands offered "not a scintilla" of evidence that it had violated sex trafficking laws.
She went on to say that the financial institution had notified the Treasury Department six times as early as 2002 about suspicious activity, but the department did not respond and took no action.
Ellsworth suggested that summary judgment before the trial is not appropriate, given that many employees at the bank had no knowledge of Epstein's sex trafficking enterprise.
The judge said that a decision about summary judgment would be given by the end of the month.
The report stated that JPMorgan Chase and the Treasury Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment when asked about the situation.
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