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JPMorgan sues former executive Jes Staley over ties to Jeffrey Epstein

JPMorgan Chase is suing its former executive Jes Staley, alleging that he aided in hiding Jeffrey Epstein's yearslong sex abuse and trafficking in order to keep the financier as a client. The lawsuit also accuses Staley of sexually assaulting a woman under Epstein's auspices. 

The New York bank seeks to hold Staley personally liable for any financial penalties that JPMorgan may have to pay in two related cases. It is also seeking to force Staley to repay his compensation during an 8-year period he was employed by the bank and was allegedly was aware of the abuse and "personally observed" Epstein's behavior on multiple occasions.

Staley departed JPMorgan in 2013 to become CEO of London-based bank Barclays, a role he resigned from last year following a report by British regulators into his past links with Epstein.

JPMorgan's lawsuit, filed Wednesday, comes after the bank was sued by the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as by a woman identified as Jane Doe, who was allegedly abused by Epstein. Those lawsuits claim JPMorgan should have seen evidence of Epstein's sex trafficking and knowingly benefited from it.

"In light of Staley's intentional and outrageous conduct in failing to disclose pertinent information and abandoning (JPMorgan's) interests in favor of his own and Epstein's personal interests, (the bank) is entitled to punitive damages," the bank said in its lawsuit.

A lawyer for Staley had no comment on the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that an unnamed woman alleged that "one of Epstein's friends used aggressive force in his sexual assault of her" and claimed that "he had Epstein's permission to do what he wanted to her."

"Upon information and belief, Staley is this person, who she described as a "powerful financial executive" she had historically been afraid to identify," the lawsuit alleges. 

Hundreds of emails, texts

Previous lawsuits have shown Staley and Epstein exchanged hundreds of emails and text messages over the years, and they were seen to have a close relationship that went beyond the professional relationship a banker would have with a wealthy client.

The bank continues to deny the allegations in its lawsuit. 

Epstein was arrested in 2019 on federal charges accusing him of paying underage girls hundreds of dollars in cash for massages and then molesting them at his homes in Florida and New York. He was found dead in jail on Aug. 10 of that year, at age 66. A medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.

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