A federal judge has granted JPMorgan Chase’s settlement of a class action lawsuit. The largest bank in the country will pay $290 million to the victims of Jeffrey Epstein, a disgraced financier who was found guilty of sexual abuse.
Court documents indicate that JPMorgan will pay nearly 200 of Epstein’s victims, because the bank was sued for ignoring warning signs about his sex-trafficking business while Epstein was a client.
A preliminary settlement was reached in June. On Thursday, Judge Jed Rakoff gave the settlement his final approval after a hearing in the afternoon to make sure it was fair to Epstein’s victims.
Concerns were raised by the attorneys general of 16 states and Washington D.C., about some of the language in the settlement because a broad release given to JPMorgan could stop other states from bringing their own sex-trafficking claims under a federal law that lets state governments file civil lawsuits on behalf of sexual abuse victims.
Judge Rakoff, however, said that was just an idea and that the language of the settlement did not bother him. He also said, “This case sent a message through this very substantial settlement that banking institutions have a responsibility.”
The settlement between JPMorgan and Epstein’s victims ends a class action case that more than 40 women filed last year on behalf of themselves. The victim who filed the lawsuit was only known as “Jane Doe 1.”
The victim, who did not want to be named, said that JPMorgan ignored warning signs for years that Epstein sexually abused women and children. After working with the investor for 15 years, the bank cut ties with Epstein in 2013, five years after he was found guilty of getting a child to work as a prostitute.
The case was one of two civil suits that came about because of JPMorgan’s business relationship with Epstein.
In September, the bank agreed to pay the U.S. Virgin Islands $75 million to settle claims that it did nothing to stop Epstein from running a sex business on his private island.
The Epstein case remains controversial to this day, predominately because the subject of the investigation, Jeffrey Epstein, was found dead from strangulation in a jail cell under suspect conditions in August 2019.
“Along with the logs of Epstein’s private plane, released in 2015, the book paints a picture of a man deeply enmeshed in the highest social circles,” New York says in an article.
Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee pressed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday to issue a subpoena for Epstein’s flight logs so that they can find other people who may have been involved in his “horrific conduct.”
“Since we’re in the business of issuing subpoenas now, here are a few more that I’ve filed,” Blackburn told the committee.
“A subpoena to Jeffrey Epstein’s estate to provide the flight logs for his private plane. Given the numerous allegations of human trafficking and abuse surrounding Mr. Epstein, we’ve got to identify everyone who could have participated in his horrific conduct,” she said.