JPMorgan Chase is suing former high-level executive Jes Staley over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, naming him as the official involved in a sexual assault case against the firm, court filings showed.
The financial services giant was facing legal proceedings in cases brought forward by the US Virgin Islands and an unnamed woman who said she was a victim of Epstein’s sex-trafficking scheme, which involved a JPMorgan employee.
The defendant, known only as Jane Doe 1, alleged that Epstein’s scheme had been aided by the firm providing him with financial services while knowing — through the employee — about his criminal activities.
In a New York federal court filing on Wednesday, the Wall Street behemoth identified Staley — whom it employed from 1979 to 2013 — as the representative in question. Staley later became CEO of Barclays before resigning from the British bank in 2021.
The original lawsuit alleges that Staley “personally observed Doe as a sex trafficking and abuse victim at times including through his departure from JP Morgan in 2013.”
While JPMorgan (JPMC) does not admit to any of the charges in the original filing, its lawsuit would make Staley directly liable for any penalties if the firm is held responsible.
“At all times during his employment, Staley had a duty of loyalty to JPMC, and he was required to act in good faith in JPMC’s best interests,” the firm said, adding that this included disclosing any facts that could damage the company “financially or reputationally.”
Staley affirmed this by signing an annual code of conduct, the firm said.
“To the extent that Staley knew of, participated in, or witnessed sexual abuse associated with Epstein and did not report it to, actively concealed it from, or misrepresented his knowledge to JPMC, Staley, not JPMC, is responsible for any injuries Epstein may have caused to Doe,” the firm said.
Staley stepped down as CEO of British bank Barclays in 2021 following a probe into his links with Epstein.
An attorney for Staley declined comment to AFP.
Barclays suspended £22 million of bonuses owed to its former chief executive but stressed that watchdogs have made no findings that he saw or was aware of Epstein’s crimes.
Staley has previously said his last contact with Epstein was in 2015.
The presiding judge in the litigation, US District Judge Jed Rakoff, on Thursday ordered JPMorgan to produce documents regarding JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon’s response to the case sought by the Virgin Islands.
Epstein was convicted in Florida in 2008 of paying young girls for massages, but served just 13 months in jail under a secret plea deal.
Later facing charges of trafficking underage girls for sex, he killed himself in a New York jail in August 2019.