JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has stated during a deposition at the bank’s headquarters in Manhattan that he was not aware of internal reviews concerning Jeffrey Epstein’s illegal activities and his account with the bank while they were taking place.
Dimon made these remarks in response to lawsuits against the bank, which claim it had involvement in Epstein’s sex trafficking offenses.
According to a redacted transcript obtained, Jamie Dimon sat for a deposition that lasted approximately eight hours last Friday.
During the deposition, attorneys representing various parties involved in the lawsuits against JPMorgan, including a victim of Epstein, who is working towards initiating a class action suit, the government of the US Virgin Islands, and former JPMorgan executive James “Jes” Staley, questioned Jamie Dimon about his personal knowledge of Epstein’s activities throughout the bank’s long-standing relationship with him. The relationship between JPMorgan and Epstein ended in 2013.
JPMorgan Chase has filed a lawsuit against James “Jes” Staley, who is known to have been a friend of Epstein. The lawsuit holds Staley responsible for the bank’s 15-year association with Epstein. Staley, however, has refuted all accusations of wrongdoing made in the lawsuits.
During his testimony, Dimon affirmed that he had never personally met or had any phone conversations with Epstein.
Despite having been in executive leadership for more than two decades, the CEO stated during the testimony that he did not have real-time knowledge of the bank’s compliance evaluations regarding Epstein’s account and criminal activities dating back to 2006.
During his testimony, Dimon stated that he did not have a significant awareness of Epstein’s criminal history and his connection with the bank until he came across news stories in 2019, which coincided with Epstein’s arrest on federal charges in New York.
According to the deposition transcript, Dimon acknowledged that there were individuals within JPMorgan who were aware of Epstein’s criminal charges and his inclusion on an internal compliance list of high-risk clients dated October 2006.
The list indicated that Epstein was considered high-risk due to newspaper articles outlining his indictment in Florida on charges related to soliciting underage prostitutes. Furthermore, the transcript mentioned that bank personnel made the decision to retain Epstein as a client.
During the deposition, it was revealed that JPMorgan’s compliance personnel and legal team conducted multiple evaluations of Epstein’s client status and consistently approved his account year after year.
Dimon testified that the bank’s general counsel would have had the final authority to sever ties with a client like Epstein. In a 2011 email reviewed during the deposition, JPMorgan’s then-general counsel, Steve Cutler, expressed his view that Epstein was not an honorable person and should not be a client. Dimon stated that he was not aware of the lead attorney’s sentiments towards Epstein at the time.
During the ongoing litigation, it was revealed in a deposition that Jes Staley and Mary Erdoes, who were responsible for overseeing JPMorgan’s asset and wealth management unit, made the decision to keep Epstein as a customer, as stated in the transcript. However, according to Dimon’s testimony, Staley and Erdoes did not have the power to override the decision of the general counsel. Dimon stated that Mr. Cutler held the ultimate authority to terminate Epstein’s relationship with the bank if he believed it had reached that point. Dimon further mentioned that Cutler had delegated reputational decisions to someone else.
While maintaining that the bank had not engaged in any criminal activities, Dimon expressed his willingness to apologize to Epstein’s victims. He expressed his horror at the appalling treatment these women endured and the prevalence of human trafficking. Dimon stated that he would personally apologize to the victims, not because the bank believed it was responsible or had committed the crimes, but in recognition of any potential ways in which the bank could have played a small role in alleviating or expediting the situation, including aiding in its detection, facilitating law enforcement involvement, or prompting a quicker response from law enforcement.
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