JPMorgan ignored Epstein’s ‘nymphettes,’ US Virgin Islands says

JPMorgan says US Virgin Islands was also to blame for allowing Epstein’s sexual abuse of young women and girls.

JPMorgan Chase has been accused of turning a blind eye to Jeffrey Epstein's abuse of young women and girls [File: Mark Lennihan/AP]

The United States Virgin Islands has unveiled new accusations against JPMorgan Chase over the bank’s ties to former client Jeffrey Epstein, including executives discussing how the disgraced late financier surrounded himself with “nymphettes”.

JPMorgan has countered that the US Virgin Islands was also to blame for allowing Epstein’s sexual abuse of young women and teenage girls, saying the territory used its powers to enable his crimes.

The bank accused the territory of facilitating visas that allowed Epstein to bring victims, and of “looking the other way” whenever Epstein arrived at local airports accompanied by young women and girls.

Both sets of accusations were made in dueling Monday night filings in Manhattan federal court.

The US Virgin Islands is suing JPMorgan for at least $190m, saying the bank ignored red flags about Epstein because he was a wealthy and lucrative client from 1998 to 2013.

Ahead of a scheduled October 23 trial, the US Virgin Islands wants a judge to declare that JPMorgan participated in Epstein’s sex trafficking and obstructed law enforcement.

Its filings include many new details about the New York-based bank’s alleged conduct, including more than $25m of payments to Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to Epstein’s victims.

They also quoted a September 2012 email from a senior JPMorgan executive to Mary Erdoes, now the bank’s asset and wealth management chief, comparing another client’s house with Epstein’s.

“Reminded me of JE’s house, except it was more tasteful, and fewer nymphettes,” the executive wrote. “More like the Frick [museum]. Art was fabulous.”

“Wow,” Erdoes responded.

JPMorgan, in contrast, wants the judge to declare that the US Virgin Islands’ should not be able to seek monetary relief, and that the territory’s claim the bank obstructed law enforcement be denied.

The bank has already faulted the US Virgin Islands for having a cozy relationship with Epstein, where top officials gave him tax breaks and waived sex-offender monitoring requirements in exchange for cash and gifts.

Epstein had owned two private islands within the territory, and allegedly bought the second to keep people from spying on his sexual abuses on the first.

The US Virgin Islands has already received more than $105m from Epstein’s estate, and reached a settlement with billionaire Leon Black, a former Epstein friend.

JPMorgan agreed last month to pay $290m to settle a separate lawsuit by dozens of Epstein accusers.

Epstein died by suicide in August 2019 in a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.

Source: Reuters