Women who accused Jeffrey Epstein of sexual assault sued Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase on Thursday, accusing the megabanks of enabling the late billionaire’s alleged “commercial enterprise in sex trafficking”.
The lawsuits, filed in New York and first reported by the Wall Street Journalalleging that the institutions overlooked several “suspicious” withdrawals and payments from Epstein’s bank accounts to profit from his alleged sex crimes — and to preserve the business of wealthy clients associated with Epstein.
“Knowing that they would make millions of dollars facilitating Epstein’s sex trafficking, and from her relationship with Epstein, Deutsche Bank chose profit over following the law,” said one of the lawsuits.
Deutsche Bank issued a statement to The Daily Beast saying the lawsuits were “baseless”, adding that they plan to fight the allegations in court. JPMorgan representatives did not respond to a request for comment.
Both banks have been charged with violating the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 – a federal law passed to provide tools to combat human trafficking both globally and domestically.
The lawsuit against Deutsche Bank regularly cites a 2020 investigation by the New York State Department of Financial Services into the bank’s ties to the disgraced financier, which found that Deutsche was not doing enough to control Epstein’s financial activities. They were fined $150 million to settle the case.
“Deutsche Bank also knew that Epstein would use force, threats of violence, fraud, abuse of legal process, exploitation of power imbalances and a variety of other forms of coercion to induce young women and girls to engage in commercial sex acts. the lawsuit said.
The lawsuits, which run more than 75 pages each, also shed light on specific sex crimes allegedly committed by Epstein and his posh friends.
One of the unnamed women, identified as Jane Doe 1, claimed she was transported to Florida “to have commercial sex” with Epstein at his Florida residence while he was on so-called “work release” from prison.
The lawsuit also alleges Jane Doe 1 was sexually assaulted by a “powerful finance executive,” whom she refused to name out of fear.
“During some of these massages, she was violently and sexually assaulted against her will by Epstein’s friends she was supposed to massage.”
— ‘Jane Doe 1’ suit
“There came a time when Epstein forced Jane Doe 1 to give massages to his powerful friends,” the complaint reads. “During some of these massages, she was sexually assaulted, violently and against her will, by Epstein’s friends she was supposed to massage.”
The lawsuit alleges that at least one of Epstein’s friends used “aggressive force” while assaulting Jane Doe 1, and that Epstein gave him permission “to do whatever he wanted with her.”
The Jane Doe 1 lawsuit alleges that JPMorgan executive Jes Staley was instrumental in Epstein’s scheme and that the men had a “symbiotic” relationship. She claimed that large amounts of money had been taken from JPMorgan’s accounts to pay her and other victims.
“Epstein agreed to bring many ultra-wealthy clients to JPMorgan, and in return Staley would use his influence within JPMorgan to make Epstein untouchable,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit alleges that Epstein created a cash cow for JPMorgan, which meant the bank would keep Epstein as a client “at any cost,” including trafficking “numerous young women.”
One of Epstein’s alleged facilitators was Les Wexner, another wealthy businessman who also banked at JPMorgan. The lawsuit against JPMorgan states that Epstein threatened to sever the bank’s ties with other billionaires if they ever broke up with him — a demand that JPMorgan is complying with, according to the lawsuit.
“Epstein made it clear to Staley that if JPMorgan ever decided to end its relationship with Epstein…the bank would lose Wexner and the other wealthy connections Epstein had promised JPMorgan.
“Staley was enamored with Epstein and driven by greed, making Epstein one of JPMorgan’s most coveted clients.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Epstein introduced Staley to his boyfriend, billionaire Glenn Dubin. (An Epstein sex ring survivor, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, accused Dubin of sexually assaulting her, which the hedge funder has adamantly denied.)
“This arrangement was profitable for both Staley and JPMorgan, and further incentivized JPMorgan to ignore the suspicious activity in Epstein’s accounts.”
“It has been reported through Epstein’s connection that Staley arranged for JPMorgan to buy a majority stake in the fund from Dubin, resulting in a significant profit for JPMorgan,” the lawsuit said. “This settlement was profitable for both Staley and JPMorgan, and further incentivized JPMorgan to ignore the suspicious activity in Epstein’s accounts.”
The complaint also details a friendly relationship between Epstein and Staley, who reportedly visited the financier in Florida when he was imprisoned for sex offenses.
Another unnamed accuser, who is suing Deutsche, said she was sexually assaulted by Epstein between 2003 and 2018 and trafficked, during which time she was paid in cash. Her lawsuit alleges Deutsche ignored several “red flags,” including multiple payments to young women and significant cash withdrawals.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs, Edwards Pottinger LLC, are seeking unspecified damages from the banks. It is the same Florida-based law firm that has represented former Epstein accusers since his 2019 arrest.
In a statement to The Daily Beast, Brittany Henderson, a partner at the firm, urged other possible victims of Epstein to come forward.
“If you have ever been victimized by Jeffrey Epstein, or any of his friends, give us a call. If you were around Epstein, helped him in any way unknowingly, or have information that could help us bring those responsible to justice,” Henderson said in a statement.