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No separate trial for former JPMorgan executive in Epstein case

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By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – A U.S. judge rejected calls to drop the lawsuit filed by JPMorgan Chase & Co, accusing former executive Jes Staley of hiding what he knew about Jeffrey Epstein from two related lawsuits about his work for the deceased sex offender.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff’s decision on Monday in Manhattan is a setback for Staley, who said an Oct. 23 trial in all three cases left him too little time to defend himself against JPMorgan’s “slanderous” allegations .

It is also a defeat for the women who say they were sexually abused by Epstein and are suing the largest US bank.

They alleged that JPMorgan sued Staley as a means to “harass and intimidate” them into disclosing private medical records and communications in their case.

Epstein was a client of JPMorgan from 2000 to 2013. The US Virgin Islands, where the financier had a home, is also suing JPMorgan.

In a separate decision, Rakoff denied JPMorgan’s request to stop the U.S. Virgin Islands from expanding its lawsuit by adding an obstruction charge and a claim that bank executives joked about Epstein’s interest in the girls.


Staley, 66, is a former JPMorgan private banking chief who later spent six years as chief executive of Barclays Plc before stepping down in November 2021.

In dismissing a separate trial for JPMorgan v. Staley’s lawsuit, Rakoff called Staley a “forefront target” of all three cases and noted how his Washington law firm Williams & Connolly calls itself one of the “major” law firms around the world.

“None of Staley’s grievances remotely justify either a separation or a change in the joint trial date,” Rakoff wrote.

The judge also said Epstein’s accusers “cannot have been blind” to their need to disclose sensitive information.

Brendan Sullivan, a lawyer for Staley, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Brad Edwards, a lawyer for the accusers, said in an email: “The decision is in accordance with the law. The survivors we represent are strong and will not stoop to bullying by the banks, so we will continue to demonstrate what is a strong case.”


JPMorgan declined to comment on Rakoff’s decisions.

In a court filing on Monday evening, the New York-based bank denied the substantive claims it faces and said it was unaware that force, threats of force, fraud or coercion would be used to promote Epstein’s abuses.

The US Virgin Islands are seeking unspecified damages, while Epstein’s accusers are seeking potentially billion-dollar damages.

JPMorgan sued Staley last month to have it cover its losses in both suits and waive eight years of compensation.

Staley expressed regret over her amicable relationship with Epstein and denied having knowledge of his alleged crimes.

He was also accused of exchanging sexually suggestive messages with Epstein about young women and of committing sexual assaults himself.

Epstein committed suicide at age 66 in August 2019 in a Manhattan prison while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.

The cases before the United States District Court, Southern District of New York are: Jane Doe 1 v. JPMorgan Chase & Co, no. 22-10019; US Virgin Islands Government v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, no. 22-10904; and JPMorgan Chase Bank NA v Staley, in nos. 22-10019 and 22-10904.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Richard Chang)