The head of JPMorgan Chase says he never met Jeffrey Epstein, who kept millions at the bank for 15 years


JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was ousted last week by lawyers for plaintiffs suing the bank over its alleged role in enabling Epstein’s sex trafficking.

The head of JPMorgan Chase said he had never met disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and had never heard of him until Epstein’s arrest in 2019, and that he was unaware of the bank’s internal investigation into its relationship with Epstein, which he kept much of his fortune. in the bank for 15 years.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was ousted last week by lawyers suing the bank over its alleged role in enabling Epstein’s sex-trafficking, as well as a lawyer for a former Chase executive who the nation’s largest bank accuses of extending her ties to Epstein. Epstein, who pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution in 2008, killed himself in prison in 2019 after being rearrested and charged with human trafficking.

During the deposition, Dimon said he “didn’t remember knowing anything about Jeffrey Epstein until the stories broke sometime in 2019,” adding that he was “surprised that I didn’t even know, never heard of the guy, pretty much , and how involved he was with so many people,” according to the minutes.

When a lawyer asked if he had ever heard “the name Jeffrey Epstein” before his arrest in 2019, Dimon replied, “I don’t remember.”

Chase is being sued by the U.S. Virgin Islands and an Epstein victim identified as “Jane Doe 1” over its ties to Epstein, who held money at the bank from 1998 to 2013. The financial institution has denied the responsibility.

“JPMorgan’s banking relationship with Epstein was known at the highest levels of the bank,” the U.S. Virgin Islands alleged in its complaint, citing an August 2008 internal email that states, “I would consider Epstein’s assets a potential outflow for in ’08 ($120mm or so?) as I can’t imagine it staying (pending Dimon’s review).”

But according to the transcript, Dimon testified that he was not informed by anyone at the bank that Epstein had pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor in Florida in 2008. Dimon also said he was unaware that in 2008 the bank had considered whether Epstein should to remain a client of JPMorgan Chase because of his appeal.

At one point, Dimon argued that the bank’s former general counsel, Steve Cutler, was the “ultimate decision maker” in keeping Epstein as a client and “had the ability to override” the decisions of other executives at the bank. He said Cutler “had the absolute authority to fire him if he thought he had gone that far.”

Cutler joined JPMorgan Chase in 2007 and served as general counsel for nine years. As general counsel, he led the company’s legal and compliance activities worldwide and reported to Dimon.

In 2011, Cutler sent an email about Epstein to Mary Erdoes, now head of wealth and asset management at JPMorgan Chase, and Jes Staley, then head of JPMorgan Chase’s private bank, which was dedicated to wealthy clients such as Epstein.

Cutler said Epstein was “not an honorable person in any way” and “should not be a client,” the transcript showed. A lawyer for the Virgin Islands read the email to Dimon during his questioning.

Dimon responded that he was “not aware at the time” of the email.

Cutler “testified under oath that Jess Staley and Mary Erdoes made the decision to keep Epstein as a client of the bank,” the Virgin Islands attorney told Dimon, he showed the transcript.

The same lawyer also asked Dimon if “as a CEO of a private bank or asset and wealth manager, Mary Erdoes could have decided to terminate Jeffrey Epstein as a client, as a client of JPMorgan, is that right?” according to the transcript.

Damon replied, “Generally I would say that’s true, yes.”

Dimon said he trusted and respected Cutler and Erdoes and that he thought “they were both trying to do the right thing.”

“Had the firm believed he was involved in an ongoing sex-trafficking enterprise, Epstein would not have been retained as a client,” a JPMorgan Chase spokesman said in a statement Wednesday night. “In hindsight, we’re sorry he was ever a customer.”

Cutler did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment. Through a Chase spokesman, Erdoes declined to comment.

The bank sued Staley in March, saying he repeatedly “thwarted” its efforts to sever ties with Epstein during his time at the bank. In May, a federal judge denied Staley’s motion to dismiss the complaint filed by the bank.

During Dimon’s testimony, he repeatedly denied that he had spoken to Staley about Epstein. David Boies, Jane Doe’s attorney, asked Dimon about a 2010 text to Epstein from an aide asking about food preferences for a date night with “Jes and Jamie,” the transcript showed.

“I never had a date with Jeff Epstein,” Dimon said. “I have never met Jeff Epstein. I never knew Jeff Epstein. I never went to Jeff Epstein’s house. I never had lunch with Jeff Epstein.”

Dimon did testify that there was “a possibility” that Staley knew about Epstein’s misconduct.

Staley worked at JPMorgan Chase for more than 30 years, and left to work at Barclays. In 2021 he resigned as chief executive of Barclays following an investigation into his relationship with Epstein. Staley has previously expressed regret about his relationship with Epstein.


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