JPMorgan sues Jes Staley for damages related to Epstein lawsuits
JPMorgan Chase is suing Jes Staley, a former top executive, in an attempt to offset penalties the US bank will have to pay if it is found to have facilitated Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking crimes in two high-profile lawsuits.
Staley, who is alleged in the lawsuits to have “personally observed” Epstein abuse women and “spent time” with young girls at the disgraced financier’s home, did not disclose this to JPMorgan, the bank said in a Manhattan federal court on Wednesday.
He did not disclose these disclosures “despite having a fiduciary duty” to tell JPMorgan and despite the bank “asking him to express his opinion as to whether [it] should retain Epstein as a client,” the lender claimed.
In the complaint, JPMorgan lawyers say the lender was misled by Staley, who allegedly protected Epstein’s relationship with the bank, violating the bank’s code of conduct.
“Staley repeatedly abandoned his interests [the bank] pursuing his own and Epstein’s personal interests and benefits,” the complaint states.
Kathleen Harris, an attorney for Staley, declined to comment on JPMorgan’s lawsuit.
The JPMorgan lawsuit is the latest escalation in an increasingly contentious legal battle over the Wall Street bank’s ties to Epstein, who killed himself in 2019 while awaiting trial on federal charges that he sexually trafficked underage girls.
JPMorgan’s complaint insists the underlying allegations are “incorrect and without merit,” but argues that if the lender is found liable, Staley should be held liable for any damages. It also asks the court to order Staley to pay restitution for what the bank called a “period of his disloyalty,” from at least 2006 to 2013.
“Plaintiffs have made troubling allegations about the conduct of our former employee, Jes Staley, and if true, he should be held accountable for his actions,” JPMorgan said in a statement. “At the time, we could not have imagined that any of our employees would engage in the kind of behavior they are alleging.”
The detailed allegations against Staley first emerged in two separate civil cases against JPMorgan, one by an alleged Epstein victim and the other by the U.S. Virgin Islands, where the late financier had a home. Staley is not a defendant in any of the lawsuits.
Staley, 66, an American, met Epstein while managing his money at JPMorgan, where he worked for more than 30 years until 2013 – the same year the bank ended its relationship with Epstein.
Staley became chief executive of Barclays in 2015 but resigned six years later following a UK regulatory investigation into the characterization of his relationship with Epstein.
Last month, some of the 1,200 emails exchanged between Staley and Epstein were released as part of the lawsuits, in which the two men made oblique references to Disney princesses and Staley discussed the “dangerous” feelings she had with Epstein. .
The partially redacted complaint also alleged that Epstein twice sent Staley images of young women, though the images were not made public.