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JP Morgan Pays $290 Million Settlement For Serving Jeffrey Epstein

AA News - Andrew Throuvalas 2023-06-13 08:45

JP Morgan has agreed to pay $290 million to settle a class-action lawsuit from the victims of Jeffrey Epstein – the famous American financier and sex offender. 

The plaintiffs claimed that JP Morgan laundered money and thereby enabled sex trafficking on behalf of Epstein while he was still a client of the bank.

JP Morgan Aiding Money Laundering?

A joint statement from the largest bank in the United States and victims’ attornies said on Monday that both groups had “reached an agreement in principle to settle the putative class action lawsuit related to Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes.”

The agreement is subject to court approval, and will not involve JP Morgan admitting liability in the case. “The parties believe this settlement is in the best interests of all parties, especially the survivors who were the victims of Epstein’s terrible abuse,” read the statement. 

According to CNN, David Boies – one of the victims’ attornies – said that over 100 women are expected to receive compensation for Epstein’s abuse. More victims who filed through the Epstein Victims’ Compensation program are likely to be compensated following similar settlements with two other banks. 

Victims’ lawyers called the settlement “life-changing and historic” given how a major financial institution is participating in shutting down sex trafficking. 

“Money, which for far too long flowed with impunity between Jeffrey Epstein’s global sex trafficking enterprise and Wall Street’s leading banks, is decisively being used for good,” said Sigrid McCawley, managing partner at Boies Schiller Flexner.

Epstein’s victims reached a $75 million settlement deal with Deutsche Bank, with which there is expected to be an overlap with JP Morgan in the victims it helps compensate, according to Boies. 

How Does Bitcoin Compare?

Bitcoin’s loudest critics often point to the blockchain as a lawless landscape enabling money laundering, sanctions violation, and terrorist financing. Last year, ex-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke claimed that Bitcoin has no underlying value besides “ransomware, or something like that.”

However, data from Chainalysis shows that the proportion of Bitcoin transactions being used to facilitate financial crime is falling over time. Furthermore, though illicit crypto volume appears to be rising in absolute terms, the U.S. Treasury Department has confirmed that the dollar remains king when it comes to money laundering. 

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