Court Rules JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank Must Face Lawsuits Over Ties to Jeffrey Epstein• by Katabella Roberts
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank will face lawsuits over claims they enabled disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to traffic his victims, a New York federal judge ruled on March 20.
Two women referred to as "Jane Doe" filed federal class-action lawsuits against the banks in November last year, and the U.S. Virgin Islands filed its lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co. in December.
In his four-page order (pdf), U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said the women can try to make a case on claims that the defendants "knowingly benefited from participating in a sex-trafficking venture," "obstructed enforcement of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act," and "negligently failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent physical harm."
They can also pursue a claim that the banks "negligently failed to exercise reasonable care as a banking institution providing non-routine banking," the judge said. However, all other claims are dismissed from the lawsuits.
With regard to the lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co. by the U.S. Virgin Islands, the judge ruled that the defendants can pursue the claim that the bank "knowingly benefited from participating in a sex-trafficking venture."
Some of the other claims were dismissed.
The judge's opinion explaining the reasons for his rulings is set to be published soon.
In their lawsuits, the two women had claimed that Epstein sexually abused them, and also accused the banks of aiding his sex trafficking operation by maintaining a financial relationship with him because he was a high-profile client.