Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., US, on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
JPMorgan Chase on Wednesday rejected allegations cited in a new report that CEO Jamie Dimon for years discussed the bank’s then-customer Jeffrey Epstein — a sex predator — with Jes Staley, who at the time was a top JPMorgan executive.
“We believe this is false. There is no evidence that any such communications ever occurred — nothing in the voluminous number of documents reviewed and nothing in the nearly dozen depositions taken, including that of our own CEO,” JPMorgan spokeswoman Patricia Wexler said in a statement to CNBC.
“The one person who claims this to be true is currently accused of horrific acts and dishonesty – and hasn’t been deposed,” Wexler said, referring to Staley.
Wexler’s comments came hours after The Wall Street Journal published an article saying that Staley, in legal documents, said that for years he communicated with Dimon about JPMorgan’s business with Epstein.
Epstein was a client of the bank from 1998 to 2013, keeping hundreds of millions of dollars on deposit in multiple accounts.
“In the documents, Staley said that Dimon communicated with him when Epstein was arrested in 2006 and in 2008 when Epstein pleaded guilty” to a sex crime in Florida, The Journal reported.
“Staley also said that Dimon communicated with him various times about whether to maintain Epstein as a client through 2012,” according to The Journal.
Epstein served more than a year in jail for the Florida conviction of soliciting sex from a minor, a case that was widely reported at the time.
The Journal also reported that it had seen documents indicating that Dimon and Staley had a meeting scheduled with Epstein on March 2, 2010. JPMorgan told that newspaper that Dimon did not attend that meeting, and that it was not on the CEO’s calendar.
Dimon was deposed on Friday for two civil lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against the bank accusing JPMorgan of enabling and financially benefitting from sex trafficking by Epstein.
One suit was filed by the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein maintained a residence on a private island. The other complaint was filed by an Epstein accuser who is seeking to make her complaint a class-action suit on behalf of other women.
The suit against JPMorgan by an Epstein accuser alleges that Staley “knew without any doubt that Epstein was trafficking and abusing girls.”
JPMorgan has claimed in a court filing that Staley is the person identified, without being named in that suit, as using “aggressive force” in sexually assaulting an Epstein accuser.
Staley denies wrongdoing and also denies having known about Epstein’s abuse of young women.
Deutsche Bank, which became Epstein’s bank in 2013 after JPMorgan severed ties with him on the heels of Staley’s exit from the bank, earlier this month agreed to settle for $75 million a lawsuit by another Epstein accuser. That deal will benefit other women who were victimized by Epstein during the time he was a Deutsche Bank customer.
JPMorgan, which denies any wrongdoing, has alleged in legal filings that Staley is responsible for any civil liability arising from Epstein’s use of funds he had on deposit at that bank to send young women to the Virgin Islands and elsewhere to be abused by him and others.
Wexler last week said after Dimon’s deposition, “Our CEO reaffirmed after his deposition that, as he has previously said, he never met with him, never emailed him, does not recall ever discussing his accounts internally, and was not involved in any decisions about his account.”
“There are over a million pages of emails and other documents that have been produced in this case and not one comes close to even suggesting that he had any role in decisions about Epstein’s accounts,” Wexler said.
“As we have said, we now know that Epstein’s behavior was monstrous, and his victims deserve justice. In hindsight, any association with him was a mistake and we regret it, but these suits are misdirected as we did not help him commit his heinous crimes.”
Epstein, 66, killed himself in a Manhattan jail in August 2019, a month after federal authorities arrested and charged him with child sex trafficking.
Dimon has expressed regret that JPMorgan did business with Epstein
“I am so sad that we had any relationship to that man whatsoever,” the CEO told Bloomberg in an interview May 11.
“You know, we had top lawyers evaluating, from the [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission] enforcement, the [Department of Justice], you know, and obviously, had we known then what we know today, we would have done things differently,” Dimon said.
–CNBC’s Dawn Giel contributed to this report.
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