JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive Jamie Dimon affirmed under oath that he never met the bank’s former client Jeffrey Epstein, nor was involved in any internal decisions to retain the disgraced late financier after concerns were raised about his sex crimes, the company said on Friday.
During sworn testimony on Friday, “our CEO repeatedly confirmed that he never met with [Epstein], never emailed him, does not recall ever discussing his accounts internally, and was not involved in any decisions about his account”, the bank said in a statement.
“There are millions and millions of emails and other documents that have been produced in this case and not one comes close to even suggesting that he had any role in decisions about Epstein’s accounts.”
The statement came after the 67-year-old was deposed for seven hours by lawyers for an unnamed Epstein accuser and the US Virgin Islands, where Epstein had a home, as part of two lawsuits in which JPMorgan is accused of profiting from human trafficking by providing financial services to the late sex offender over a 15-year period.
However, a lawyer for the unnamed accuser, Brad Edwards, accused the bank of giving a “cherry-picked self-serving quote to the press”.
“Rather than mislead anyone about what was or was not said, why don’t they just agree to release the whole transcript? . . . Then the world can put their comment in context and decide for themselves what they thought of Mr Dimon’s testimony as a whole,” Edwards added.
JPMorgan later clarified Dimon had merely “reaffirmed after his deposition” that he did not know Epstein.
The sworn deposition of Dimon, one of the most powerful figures on Wall Street, marked one of the biggest moments to date in the Epstein-related lawsuits filed last year, which have shone an unflattering light on JPMorgan’s internal compliance processes and embarrassed key executives.
While evidence gathered in the past few months revealed several senior managers at the bank were involved in discussions about Epstein’s crimes, there was a single reference in an email to Dimon potentially needing to review the sex offender’s accounts.
JPMorgan has denied such a review ever took place.
Earlier on Friday, a federal judge in New York heard arguments from representatives of the Epstein accuser, who contend that potentially hundreds of women should be entitled to compensation from the bank.
Sigrid McCawley, a lawyer for Jane Doe, told the court there was “clear evidence in the record that the bank knew of Epstein’s conduct . . . starting in the early 2000s” and argued that his crimes necessitated JPMorgan, which had Epstein as a client from 1998 to 2013, turning a “blind eye”.
Lawyers for JPMorgan argued that alleged victims had “very different experiences” and should thus not be allowed to sue as a single group. It has denied liability and countersued its former executive Jes Staley, whom it accuses of misleading the bank about Epstein’s actions.
Staley has disputed the bank’s claims.
Judge Jed Rakoff said he would rule on the motion to certify the case as a class action by June 20.