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JPMorgan Chase announced Tuesday that it would pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Virgin Islands, which claimed that the banking juggernaut had facilitated and benefited from sex trafficking carried out by Jeffrey Epstein.
Though the American bank did not admit to any wrongdoing, it is prepared to provide $55 million to Virgin Islands charities and the territory's anti-trafficking mission, according to CNBC. The outstanding $20 million will reportedly go toward attorney's fees that were incurred by the Virgin Islands as part of the litigation process in federal court.
The American territory said that the deal included "several substantial commitments by JPMorgan Chase to identify, report, and cut off support for potential human trafficking, including establishing and implementing comprehensive policies and procedures.”
The report noted that the Virgin Islands would be using $10 million from the settlement to provide mental health services to victims who were exploited by Epstein and those around him.
Official release of JPMorgan Chase's settlement with the U.S. Virgin Islands
The territory also reached a settlement with Jes Staley, who was a friend of Epstein and a former executive at the bank. Staley has denied any claims of wrongdoing, including an accusation that he sexually assaulted a woman only identified as "Jane Doe."
However, the terms of the agreement remain confidential.
The bank said that it "deeply regrets" its dealings with Epstein, who was a client of the bank from 1998 to 2013. Epstein ultimately died in prison on August 10, 2019.
In a statement to the media, the bank's managing director of corporate communications, Patricia Wexler, said the following:
The Settlement Agreement recognizes that "JPMC remains committed to previous and ongoing efforts to fight human trafficking through its anti-money laundering (“AML”) program" and lists a number of processes we previously committed to. There are no new commitments. Our controls, compliance, risk, and other functions are always improving, and we are continually investing to become even better. We have always worked closely with law enforcement to help combat human trafficking, and we will continue to look for ways to invest in advancing this important mission.
Ariel Smith, Virgin Islands attorney general, stated the agreement reached was the first enforcement action against a bank for facilitating and benefiting from human trafficking, per CNBC.
“As part of the settlement, JPMorgan has agreed to implement and maintain meaningful anti-trafficking measures, which will help prevent human trafficking in the future,” Smith said.
“This settlement is an historic victory for survivors and for state enforcement, and it should sound the alarm on Wall Street about banks’ responsibilities under the law to detect and prevent human trafficking.”
JPMorgan Chase to settle Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking suit by U.S. Virgin Islands for $75 millionwww.youtube.com
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