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Jamie Dimon Is Desperate to Pin the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal on Jes Staley; Bloomberg News Is Carrying His Water — Again

Published: February 19, 2024 | Print Friendly and PDF
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After hurling salacious allegations for months against Jes Staley in a federal lawsuit JPMorgan Chase had brought against its former executive, the bank decided last September to quietly settle the case without disclosing the terms.

The bank sued Staley after it had been sued by victims of sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and after it had been sued in a separate lawsuit by the Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned a private island compound that was a frequent venue of Epstein’s sex trafficking of minors. Lawyers for the U.S. Virgin Islands charged that JPMorgan Chase had “actively participated in Epstein’s sex-trafficking venture from 2006 until 2019.” (Both cases were settled last year by the bank, with it paying a whopping $290 million to the victims and $75 million to the U.S. Virgin Islands.)

The bank’s lawsuit against Staley appeared to be a damage control effort to redirect the media’s attention to Staley and away from the man he reported to – Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase who has survived a breathtaking array of criminal charges against the bank while he has sat at its helm. (See JPMorgan’s Board Made Jamie Dimon a Billionaire as the Bank Rigged Markets, Laundered Money, and Admitted to Five Felony Counts.)

While evidence submitted to the court showed Staley was deeply involved with Epstein, the evidence is also overwhelming that more than a dozen other bank personnel, including top executives, facilitated Epstein’s ability to keep his sex trafficking of minors’ scheme alive.

Memorandum of Law filed by the U.S. Virgin Islands made the following points:

“Even if participation requires active engagement…there is no genuine dispute that JPMorgan actively participated in Epstein’s sex-trafficking venture from 2006 until 2019. The Court found allegations that the Bank allowed Epstein to use its accounts to send dozens of payments to then-known co-conspirators [redacted] provided excessive and unusual amounts of cash to Epstein; and structured cash withdrawals so that those withdrawals would not appear suspicious ‘went well beyond merely providing their usual [banking] services to Jeffrey Epstein and his affiliated entities’ and were sufficient to allege active engagement.”

The U.S. Virgin Islands alerted the court to the unfathomable sums of hard cash that Epstein was able to take from the accounts he maintained at JPMorgan Chase without the bank filing the legally mandated Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The U.S. Virgin Islands tallied up the hard cash dispersals as follows:

“Between September 2003 and November 2013, or approximately ten years, JPMorgan handled more than $5 million in outgoing cash transactions for Epstein — ignoring its own policy discouraging large cash withdrawals….”

The U.S. Virgin Islands’ attorneys cite to internal emails at JPMorgan Chase showing that employees at the bank were aware of Epstein’s “[c]ash withdrawals … made in amounts for $40,000 to $80,000 several times a month” while also being aware that Epstein paid his underage sexual assault victims in cash.

On August 25 of last year, JPMorgan Chase filed a document with the court as part of a discovery demand showing that, in addition to Staley, 14 of its executives, private bankers and other staff had made visits to Epstein’s private residences. One of those employees, Justin Nelson, visited Epstein’s residences more times than Staley. Nelson was at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion – a key location of the sex trafficking operation – 12 times and one time at Epstein’s Zorro Ranch in New Mexico – an additional location of the sex trafficking ring. That’s a total of 13 visits to the residence of a sex trafficker. Staley’s visits to Epstein’s residences tally up to 11, according to JPMorgan’s chart. (See pages 3, 4 and 5 at this link.) Eight of Nelson’s visits to Epstein’s residences occurred after 2013, the year that the bank claims it fired Epstein as a client. Disbursements from Epstein accounts were occurring long after 2013 according to court documents, raising questions about just when, or if, Epstein was terminated as a client from the Private Bank or the bank’s brokerage unit, J.P. Morgan Securities. Nelson was dually employed at both units.

Notwithstanding this hard evidence of JPMorgan Chase’s culpability in the Epstein saga, on February 7 of this year – months after the bank had quietly settled its case against Staley and the matter had disappeared from news headlines – Bloomberg News inexplicably decided to put Staley and Epstein back in its headlines. (Paywall.) In an article written by Harry Wilson, Ava Benny-Morrison, and Jason Leopold, one sentence jumps out. It reads: “The bank, which through Staley served Epstein as a client….”

The bank’s own chart, linked above in the ninth paragraph, shows that the following 14 individuals, in addition to Staley, were making visits to Epstein’s private residences while employed at the bank:

Paul Barrett (Managing Director, Private Bank); Mary Casey (Managing Director, Private Bank); John Duffy (CEO, Private Bank); Mary Erdoes (CEO, Asset & Wealth Management); David Frame (Global Chief Executive, Private Bank); Christopher French (Managing Director, Private Bank); Joanna Jagoda (Assistant General Counsel, Legal); Jeffrey Matusow (Managing Director, Private Bank); Thomas McGraw (Managing Director, Private Bank); Paul Morris (Banker, Private Bank); Justin Nelson (Managing Director, Private Bank); Carolyn Reers, Managing Director, Private Bank); James von Moltke (job title not provided by the bank).

If Dimon is fearful of Staley providing evidence against the bank in the Epstein matter to the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice, it would have an incentive to continue to undermine Staley’s credibility in the press.

What was JPMorgan Chase’s incentive to keep such a clearly dangerous man as Epstein as a client? The U.S. Virgin Islands makes a very credible case that the bank was getting lots of profits – both from trading in Epstein’s own accounts as well as his referrals of rich clients to the bank. It tells the court in one filing:

“In 2003, Epstein was, by double, the top revenue generator in the Private Bank, and the source of Google co-founder Sergey Brin (‘one of the largest [relationships] in the Private Bank, of +$4BN’), Glenn Dubin (billionaire founder of Highbridge), and many other ultra-wealthy clients and connections, which would come to include Bill Gates, Leon Black, Larry Summers, the Sultan of Dubai, Prince Andrew, Ehud Barak, Thomas Pritzker, Lord Peter Mandelson, and Prime Minister Netanyahu.”

And what would be the incentive for Bloomberg News to carry water for Jamie Dimon?

Michael Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York, is the majority owner of the publishing and data terminal empire that has, for years, published flattering articles about Jamie Dimon. In 2016, Michael Bloomberg even co-authored an opinion piece with Dimon. The same year, the New York Post reported that JPMorgan Chase was the second largest customer of Bloomberg’s data terminal business with 10,000 leases of Bloomberg’s terminals. At the time, the terminals cost around $21,000 each per lease, per year, or approximately $210 million being forked over by JPMorgan Chase to Michael Bloomberg’s company annually. Bloomberg’s data terminals are the cash cow of the company.

During JPMorgan Chase’s London Whale scandal in 2012 and 2013, where the bank gambled with bank depositors’ money in its federally-insured bank by making exotic derivative trades in London and losing at least $6.2 billion, Michael Bloomberg was Mayor of New York City. Instead of condemning this outrageous risk-taking with federally-insured deposits, Mike Bloomberg was quoted in the Wall Street Journal calling Dimon “a very smart, honest, great executive,” adding “The controls failed. He’ll look at that and fix it.” That statement appeared in May of 2012. The five felony counts brought by the Justice Department and admitted to by the bank, followed from 2014 to 2020.

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