Jamie Dimon Says He Never Discussed Jeffrey Epstein’s Accounts at JPMorgan

JPMorgan over the years managed dozens of Jeffrey Epstein-related accounts containing hundreds of millions of dollars, according to lawsuits.
JPMorgan over the years managed dozens of Jeffrey Epstein-related accounts containing hundreds of millions of dollars, according to lawsuits.


  • Former JPMorgan executive Jes Staley said he and Dimon discussed whether to keep Epstein as a client; JPMorgan says that is false

A former top JPMorgan Chase executive said in legal documents that for years he communicated with Chief Executive Jamie Dimon about the bank’s business with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein—setting the stage for a conflict with his former boss, who maintains he had no such conversations.

Jes Staley’s statements, made in documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal that haven’t been made public, are his first remarks to emerge about conversations between him and Dimon regarding Epstein. The bank on Tuesday said Staley’s statements are false.

The documents are part of the discovery process for a legal fight over JPMorgan’s connections to Epstein.

In the documents, Staley said that Dimon communicated with him when Epstein was arrested in 2006 and in 2008 when Epstein pleaded guilty. Staley also said that Dimon communicated with him various times about whether to maintain Epstein as a client through 2012.

Epstein was accused of sexually abusing girls in 2006 and pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution. He subsequently spent time in a Florida jail and registered as a sex offender.

Dimon was deposed Friday in the legal fight. The CEO said that he had no recollection of reading news stories about Epstein or discussing Epstein’s accounts. He said other executives, including the bank’s general counsel, should have reviewed Epstein’s activity and had the authority to end the bank’s relationship with Epstein, according to a transcript of his deposition that was unsealed Wednesday.

“I don’t recall knowing anything about Jeffrey Epstein until the stories broke sometime in 2019," Dimon said. “And I was surprised that I didn’t even—had never even heard of the guy, pretty much, and how involved he was with so many people."

Dimon doesn’t believe such conversations with Staley ever happened, a JPMorgan spokeswoman added.

“There is no evidence that any such communications ever occurred—nothing in the voluminous number of documents reviewed and nothing in the nearly dozen depositions taken, including that of our own CEO," said the spokeswoman. “The one person who claims this to be true is currently accused of horrific acts and dishonesty."

A lawyer for Staley, who left JPMorgan in 2013, declined to comment.

The statements arose as part of a pair of lawsuits against the bank in a federal court in Manhattan. The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands and an unnamed woman, who said she was abused by Epstein, sued JPMorgan last year, claiming that the bank facilitated Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking.

The bank has sought to pin the bulk of the relationship on Staley and sued him claiming he misled executives about Epstein. The bank in its lawsuit identified Staley as the “powerful financial executive" accused of sexual assault by the woman who is suing JPMorgan. Staley’s lawyers have said the allegations against him are baseless.

Epstein was arrested in 2019 on federal sex-trafficking charges. He died in jail later that year while awaiting trial.

JPMorgan has said that the lawsuits have no merit and that it didn’t know about Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking before he was arrested in 2019. Staley has denied he knew about Epstein’s alleged trafficking and said he regrets his friendship with Epstein.

Epstein became a JPMorgan client around 1998, and, over the years, the bank came to manage dozens of Epstein-related accounts containing hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the lawsuits.

Epstein formed a close bond with Staley, who ran the private bank that catered to the firm’s wealthiest clients and later oversaw its investment bank, according to the lawsuits.

In August 2008, a few weeks after Epstein’s guilty plea, a JPMorgan employee sent an email that suggested Dimon would review the Epstein relationship, according to the U.S. Virgin Islands lawsuit. The email states, “I would count Epstein’s assets as a probable outflow for ’08 ($120mm or so?) as I can’t imagine it will stay (pending Dimon review)."

The bank has said that there is no record of such a review and that Dimon doesn’t recall one.

Epstein had one meeting scheduled with both Dimon and Staley, on March 2, 2010, according to documents viewed by the Journal. The JPMorgan spokeswoman said that the meeting wasn’t on Dimon’s calendar and that Dimon didn’t attend.

In his deposition, Dimon said that it was General Counsel Stephen Cutler’s job to approve or terminate Epstein as a client and that other JPMorgan executives, including Mary Erdoes, could have also terminated the bank’s relationship with Epstein.

Lawyers asked Dimon about an email from 2011 in which Cutler wrote that the bank should not do business with Epstein. “This is not an honorable person in any way. He should not be a client," Cutler wrote.

When asked why Epstein remained a client, Dimon said, “I have the utmost respect for Steve Cutler. He’s one of the finest individuals and lawyers I know. He had the ability to override it. If he allowed them to make that judgment, it’s because he didn’t step in and say, you have to go. But he could have done that."

Dimon also said he thought Cutler and Erdoes were “trying to do the right thing," and that he trusts both.

Cutler, whose office was next to Dimon’s for several years and left JPMorgan in 2018, declined to comment through a lawyer. Erdoes declined to comment through a spokeswoman.

“Conveniently, each banker points a finger at the other, claiming this hot potato was someone else’s fault," said Brad Edwards, a lawyer representing the woman suing JPMorgan. “Regardless how unbelievable the finger-pointing or purported lack of knowledge is, responsibility rests with the bank."

Epstein remained a client of JPMorgan after his guilty plea, and top executives continued to meet with Epstein as JPMorgan’s compliance department pressured the bank to drop Epstein, the Journal has reported. JPMorgan has said it cut off Epstein’s accounts in 2013, shortly after Staley left the bank.

Staley was at one point a close ally of Dimon. At that time, he was viewed as a leading candidate to one day succeed Dimon at the helm of JPMorgan.

After Staley left JPMorgan, he later took over London giant Barclays. Staley resigned from Barclays in 2021 amid a regulatory investigation into whether he had fully disclosed his ties to Epstein.

In his deposition, Dimon was asked why he asked Staley to leave the bank: “I thought he was not doing a good job running the investment bank," he answered.

Dimon said he felt remorse for the women who have accused Epstein of abuse. “I think what happened to these women is atrocious, and I’m horrified at the amount of human trafficking that takes place," he said.

Dimon said that he doesn’t believe the bank was responsible but that he was willing to apologize to the women for whatever role the bank could have played to help report Epstein sooner. “I would apologize to them for that, yes," he said.

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