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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

JPMorgan Chase Receives Preliminary Approval for $290 Million Settlement with Jeffrey Epstein’s Victims

The ruling was made by US District Judge Jed Rakoff during a hearing at the Manhattan federal court

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UNITED STATES: JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, has received preliminary approval from a US judge for its $290 million settlement with women who alleged that the late tycoon Jeffrey Epstein mistreated them and that the bank had concealed his sex trafficking activities. The ruling was made by US District Judge Jed Rakoff during a hearing at the Manhattan federal court.

Judge Rakoff commended the size of the settlement, describing it as “very large,” and acknowledged that it would provide compensation to Epstein’s victims. However, he noted that it would not fully compensate them for the harm they suffered. The judge also approved a $75 million settlement with Deutsche Bank, which is similar to a previous agreement reached. Jeffrey Epstein had been a client of JPMorgan from 1998 to 2013.

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The victims allege that JPMorgan ignored warning signs of Epstein’s misconduct and maintained communication with him even after his departure. 

The lead plaintiff, known as Jane Doe 1, is a former ballet dancer. Attorneys representing the victims argue that the proposed settlement, which will be paid entirely in cash, is fair and reasonable considering the potential costs of litigation and JPMorgan’s denial of any involvement in Epstein’s sex trafficking activities.

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JPMorgan expressed regret for any association it may have had with Epstein, who pleaded guilty to a prostitution charge in Florida in 2008 and registered as a sex offender. Despite Epstein’s criminal history, he remained a client of JPMorgan for five years.

During the hearing, Judge Rakoff raised concerns about the lack of a minimum distribution amount for each victim in the JPMorgan settlement, despite the Deutsche Bank settlement stipulating a minimum compensation of $75,000.

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In response, David Boies, the attorney representing Jane Doe 1, argued that many victims involved in the Deutsche Bank case were from Russia or Eastern Europe, and the guaranteed minimum served as an incentive for them to come forward. 

However, Boies explained that such a requirement was unnecessary in the JPMorgan case. Judge Rakoff appointed Simone Lelchuk, a legal professional specializing in managing settlements, to assess the claims and determine the appropriate compensation for both the JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank settlements.

Jeffrey Epstein, a former financier who owned two neighboring islands, is also facing a lawsuit from the US Virgin Islands against JPMorgan. He was accused of sex trafficking and died at the age of 66 in Manhattan. The New York City medical examiner ruled his death a suicide. The trial for the lawsuit is scheduled to begin on October 23.

Also Read: Jeffrey Epstein Threatens Gates for Alleged Affair with Russian Woman


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