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Business News/ Companies / News/  US Judge approves JPMorgan Chase $290 million settlement with Epstein accusers
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US Judge approves JPMorgan Chase $290 million settlement with Epstein accusers

After settlement, JPMorgan Chase's proposed settlement of $290 million with Epstein accusers won preliminary approval from a US Judge on Monday

FILE PHOTO: A sign of JP Morgan Chase Bank is seen in front of their headquarters tower in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky/File Photo (REUTERS)Premium
FILE PHOTO: A sign of JP Morgan Chase Bank is seen in front of their headquarters tower in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky/File Photo (REUTERS)

In a major update in the Jeffrey Epstein sex traffick case, a preliminary settlement was approved by a US judge on Monday by JPMorgan Chase, to sex traffick victims. The court granted preliminary approval to its $290 million settlement to the victims in the Jeffrey Epstein abuse case.

JPMorgan Chase was accused of turning a blind eye to its leading client Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking network and avoiding red flags raised by the women who were abused by the late financier.

The approval was issued by the US District Judge Jed Rakoff at a hearing in Manhattan federal court.

"This is a really fine settlement," Rakoff said.

The accord and a similar $75 million agreement with Deutsche Bank approved by the judge approved earlier this month were "very large settlements" that would compensate Epstein's victims though not make up for abuses they suffered, added US Judge Jed Rakoff.

Epstein remained a JPMorgan client for five years after he pleaded guilty in 2008

Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of running a sex scandal, remained a JPMorgan client from 1998 to 2013. Later, the bank terminated his accounts. Victims, led by a former ballet dancer called Jane Doe 1, accused the bank of staying connected with Epstein even after his official departure.

Notably, Epstein continued to be a JPMorgan client for as long as five years after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to a Florida prostitution charge and registered as a sex offender.

Last week, lawyers handling representing the victims agreed that the proposed all-cash settlement was “fair, adequate, reasonable". Till now, JPMorgan has denied involvement in Epstein's sex trafficking. JPMorgan, in its official statement, had made it clear that its association with Epstein “was a mistake and we regret it."

Florida court orders administration of individual claims settlement in JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank cases

The victims of Epstein's case also won their case against Deutsche Bank which allowed a settlement of at least $75,000. At Monday's hearing, Rakoff asked Jane Doe 1's lawyer, David Boies, why there was no minimum distribution for each victim, noting that the Deutsche Bank settlement, which Boies also negotiated, guaranteed each at least $75,000.

To this, Boeis answered that many victims in the Deutsche Bank case are from Russia or Eastern Europe and are difficult to contact. This has made the guaranteed minimum an incentive to come forward. He underlined that the situation in the JPMorgan case is different.

Rakoff also appointed Simone Lelchuk to consider individual claims and determine payouts in the JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank cases. Simone is a lawyer who specializes in administering settlements.

Another case JPMorgan is facing over Epstein by the US Virgin Islands is up for hearing on October 23. In this lawsuit, the financier owned two neighboring islands.

Jeffrey Epstein died at the age of 66 in a Manhattan jail cell. He was waiting for trial on sex trafficking charges. As per New York City's medical examination, the death of the financier was a suicide.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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Published: 27 Jun 2023, 07:32 AM IST
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