Jes Staley must face JPMorgan’s Epstein claim, judge rules

Jes Staley faces allegations that she misled JPMorgan Chase about her relationship with Jeffrey Epstein after a New York judge denied the banker’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit brought by her former employer.

The 66-year-old, who spent more than 30 years at JPMorgan before being fired in 2013, was sued by the bank in March to hold Staley liable for any damages awarded in two separate lawsuits over JPMorgan’s decision to retain Epstein . customer for 15 years.

The lawsuits against JPMorgan were filed late last year, one by an unnamed Epstein accuser and another by the U.S. Virgin Islands, where the disgraced financier had a home.

They allege that JPMorgan profited from people-trafficking by continuing to provide banking services to Epstein despite numerous internal tips about his arrest and search for a minor in Florida, and reports that he used cash to pay off sexual assault victims.

Epstein’s accuser also claimed that Staley raped her and that she witnessed Staley being assaulted — claims that Staley vehemently denied.

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JPMorgan said that if the allegations are true, Staley, who was Epstein’s private banker for a time, breached his fiduciary duties.

The lender also said Staley, who vouched for Epstein at the bank, may have misrepresented his relationship with the disgraced financier, which allegedly included multiple visits to Epstein’s properties and emails in which they exchanged photos of young women.

In communications entered into evidence as part of the case against JPMorgan, Staley said she owed Epstein “a lot” and said few of her friendships were “deep.”

In addition to holding Staley liable for damages, JPMorgan is seeking to recover a portion of Staley’s salary.

Staley headed Barclays Bank in Britain before resigning after scrutiny of how he characterized his relationship with Epstein. JPMorgan called the allegations “defamatory” and “baseless but serious”. His lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday’s decision.

Staley’s legal team tried to have JPMorgan’s lawsuit dismissed, arguing that the bank’s case “totally lacks” specific claims.

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“They have to press charges.” . . they have to say what’s true and what’s not,” Staley’s attorney, Stephen Wohlgemuth, said in court last week.

“This is the alleged guarantee. . . it would have been for JPMorgan employees,” Wohlgemuth said, adding that the bank could provide a full account of what happened. “What does the bank say? Was there a credit? What Mr. Staley Really Said. . . Who did he say this to and why did they rely on him?”

JPMorgan declined to comment on the decision. The bank released a statement last week: “Staley is accused of unspeakable acts that form the basis of claims against the bank. If that is true, then he is responsible for all the damage he has caused not only to the bank, but to these women as well.”

Judge Jed Rakoff, who is overseeing the case, said he would explain the denial of Staley’s motion to dismiss at a later date. The cases are scheduled to go to trial in New York in October.

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If JPMorgan succeeds in trying to sue Staley, the executive could be liable for millions of dollars in damages. Last week, Deutsche Bank, which had Epstein as a client for five years, set aside $75 million to settle a separate claim by an unnamed victim on behalf of dozens of women.