JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon speaks with reporters as he exits the US Capitol after an unannounced meeting with Senate Majority Leader Schumer outside the US Capitol in Washington May 17, 2023 reportedly concerned the possibility of a US default.
Evelyn Hockstein Reuters
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was set to be fired at his bank’s New York headquarters on Friday over lawsuits alleging the company facilitated and profited from the sex trade of its longtime client Jeffrey Epstein.
Dimon and JPMorgan, which denies any wrongdoing and liability in the cases, previously lost an attempt by plaintiffs – the US Virgin Islands government and an anonymous Epstein accuser – to dismiss the lawsuits.
The lawsuits allege that JPMorgan, the largest bank in the United States, retained Epstein as a customer even after learning he was being investigated for sexually abusing underage girls in Florida and after he committed suicide there in 2008 pleaded guilty to state charges of paying for sex a minor.
The bank is accused in the lawsuits in the US District Court in Manhattan of doing so to keep Epstein, who had tens of millions of dollars in accounts there, despite internal concerns about his sleazy reputation.
The Virgin Islands say Epstein used frequent cash withdrawals from those accounts to pay young women to travel to American territory so he and others could abuse them at his residence on a private island he owned.
“Human trafficking was that [principal] “Dealing with the accounts that Epstein maintained at JPMorgan,” the Virgin Islands lawsuit reads.
Dimon’s testimony will be kept confidential. The questions he was asked and the answers he gave would only become public if they were used in court records and proceedings, or if they were leaked.
JPMorgan did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
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In addition to questioning Dimon under oath, the Virgin Islands has issued a series of subpoenas demanding documents related to Epstein and JPMorgan from a number of high-level individuals whom the government suspects Epstein is trying to recruit as fellow clients of the bank .
they include Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, former Disney executive Michael Ovitz, Hyatt Hotels CEO Thomas Pritzker and Mort Zuckerman, the billionaire real estate investor.
Dimon’s testimony comes more than a week later Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $75 million to Epstein victims to settle a potential class action lawsuit filed by one of his accusers. Deutsche Bank had taken on Epstein as a client after JPMorgan cut ties with him in 2013 after keeping him as a client for 15 years.
JPMorgan said Dimon did not review Epstein’s accounts when he was a client there from 1998 to 2013, the year JPMorgan severed ties with him.
Epstein died of complications by suicide in a New York prison six years later, a month after federal authorities charged him with girl sex trafficking.
JPMorgan is fighting back
JPMorgan has said in a related complaint that any civil liability that would result from Epstein’s conduct would be the responsibility of its former chief executive Jes Staley, who was a friend of Epstein’s and his main business contact at the bank.
Staley, who also denies any wrongdoing, earlier this week lost an attempt to dismiss JPMorgan’s lawsuit against him, which seeks, among other things, to recover $80 million in damages from him.
In addition to attempting to shift the blame onto Staley, in a court filing this week, JPMorgan accused the Virgin Islands of “complicity in the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein.”
The filing says the Virgin Islands looked the other way when Epstein trafficked young women because he gave money, advice and favors to senior officials there.
The filing specifically states that Epstein paid tuition for the children of John de Jongh and his wife Cecile when John was serving as Governor of the Virgin Islands and Cecile was working for Epstein and running his businesses in the area.
Cecile also allegedly sought to secure student visas for young women associated with Epstein and was his “principal agent to spread money and influence throughout the USVI government.”
The Washington Post on Friday published details of an earlier statement by Mary Erdoes, who heads JPMorgan’s wealth and asset management division.
“Oh man,” Erdoes wrote in an email to another bank executive in 2011 after finding out that Epstein’s sex offender status had been confirmed based on his conviction in Florida, The Washington Post reported.
The newspaper said that this was “at least the sixth time Erdoes … has been brought to the attention of Epstein’s criminal or civil sex crimes problems.”