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JPMorgan reaches $290 million settlement with Jeffrey Epstein victims

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to settle with victims of Jeffrey Epstein over claims the bank overlooked the deceased financier's sex trafficking and abuse because it wanted to profit from a banking relationship with him. 

The lawsuit, filed in November by an unnamed victim of Epstein's on behalf of herself and other victims, claimed that Epstein would have been unable to engage in his sex-trafficking operation without the support of JPMorgan. 

The settlement amount wasn't disclosed in the statement, which was issued jointly by JPMorgan and an attorney representing Epstein's victims. But a source familiar with the matter said JPMorgan will pay $290 million to settle the suit. 

Litigation remains pending in a separate case filed in the U.S. Virgin Islands against JPMorgan Chase, which also alleges that the bank ignored evidence of human trafficking to profit from its business with Epstein.

According to the lawsuit, JPMorgan loaned money to Epstein and regularly allowed him to withdraw large sums of cash from 1998 through August 2013, even though it knew about his sex-trafficking practices. The settlement comes after JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon testified that he never heard of Epstein and his crimes until the financier was arrested in 2019, according to a transcript of the videotaped deposition released last month.

"We regret it"

In a statement emailed to CBS MoneyWatch, JPMorgan called Epstein's behavior "monstrous."

"Any association with him was a mistake and we regret it," it said. "We would never have continued to do business with him if we believed he was using our bank in any way to help commit heinous crimes."

It added, "[W]e believe this settlement is in the best interest of all parties, especially the survivors, who suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of this man."

JPMorgan's settlement comes less than a month after Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit claiming that the German bank "knowingly benefited" from Epstein's sex trafficking, profiting from doing business with him. 

With reporting by the Associated Press.

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