JP Morgan sues former executive Jes Staley over Epstein ties

Then-Barclays CEO Jes Staley arrives at 10 Downing Street in London,11 January 2018.
Jes Staley

JP Morgan Chase (JPMC) is suing former top executive Jes Staley over his links to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The Wall Street giant alleges Mr Staley failed to disclose potentially damaging ties to the late sex trafficker.

JPMC is facing lawsuits from the US Virgin Islands and an unnamed woman alleging that it aided Epstein’s sex trafficking by allowing him to remain as one of its clients.

The bank is attempting to make Mr Staley liable for any penalties it might face if it is found to have helped Epstein’s sex trafficking crimes in the two lawsuits.

The lawsuits allege that Mr Staley “personally observed” Epstein abusing trafficked women and “spent time with young girls” he met through the disgraced financier, JPMC said in a Manhattan federal court filing on Wednesday.

“Staley persisted for years – from at least 2006 until his departure from JPMC in 2013 – in protecting Epstein in the face of attempts by JPMC to end the company’s relationship with Epstein, omitted material information, made misrepresentations in the process, and continued to do so,” the firm said.

“As a result of Staley’s faithless service, JPMC is entitled to recover all compensation paid to Staley during the time period of his disloyalty,” it added.

Mr Staley worked in various roles at JP Morgan from 1979 to 2013. From 2001 he was chief executive of the bank’s asset management operation, before heading up its corporate and investment banking business from 2009.

Mr Staley stepped down as the chief executive of UK bank Barclays in November 2021 after an investigation into his ties to Epstein. At the time Mr Staley said he was “shell-shocked, angry and upset” at the findings and that he would contest them.

In February 2022, Barclays suspended millions of pounds in bonus share awards to Mr Staley.

Epstein died in a New York prison cell on 10 August 2019 as he awaited, without the chance of bail, his trial on sex trafficking charges.

It came more than a decade after his conviction for soliciting prostitution from a minor, for which he was registered as a sex offender.

This time, Epstein was accused of running a “vast network” of underage girls for sex. He pleaded not guilty.

Mr Staley has characterised his relationship with Epstein as professional. He said that his contact with Epstein began to “taper off” around 2013 when he left JP Morgan.

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