JPMorgan Chase & Co. bank building with sign (l) Jeffrey Epstein in front of grey background (r)

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock State of Florida Sex Offender Registry (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

Epstein victims’ fund says JP Morgan’s discovery demands cost it $1.5 million—and the bank used it to try and dismiss civil case

The information shared raises concerns among victims.

 

Marlon Ettinger

Tech

A court filing in a class action suit against JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) has revealed the existence of a massive spreadsheet with comprehensive information about Jeffrey Epstein’s hundreds of accusers, as well as names of associates, witnesses to abuse, and the names of those who introduced Epstein to his victims.

Epstein, a billionaire financier who was convicted by a Florida state court of procuring a child for prostitution in 2008, died in federal custody in 2019 ahead of a prosecution for child sex crimes and human sex trafficking, setting off a chain of civil claims against his estate by victims.

The spreadsheet was produced by the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program (EVCP), a court-appointed body from a previous civil case against Epstein’s estate tasked with handling claims by victims of Epstein. 

The filing reveals that redacted information in the spreadsheet was handed over to lawyers for JPMC and Deutsche Bank as part of their defenses in separate cases where they were accused of knowingly providing financial services to Jeffrey Epstein’s criminal enterprise. Both those cases were settled this summer, with Deutsche Bank agreeing to a $75 million payout, and JPMC accepting a $290 million agreement.

One claimant, who received a settlement from the fund, told the Daily Dot they were disturbed at the idea that personal information they’d disclosed to the administrators was being used by banks in their legal arguments.

“That makes me have anxiety if it were publicly out,” they said. “We had to go in with a great deal of trust to even share these stories … these stories should only come out to the degree that we are comfortable sharing them; a survivor should always be protected from being able to share what they want to share.

According to the letter, one motion where JPMC claims that Epstein not only abused his victims, but that he also facilitated their abuse by associates, is based on data from the spreadsheet. That motion references two heavily redacted footnotes citing exhibits produced by the Epstein Victims Compensation Program.

The information about the spreadsheet came in a non-party letter filed last Friday by the Madison Avenue legal firm Quinn Emanuel on behalf of EVCP administrator Jordana Feldman.

In the letter, the EVCP petitioned the court for $1.5 million in compensation for work the fund had completed in compliance with the subpoena requests from JPMC and Deutsche Bank. According to EVCP, they undertook a “herculean effort” to “collect, analyze, redact, and produce responsive documents and information to the Banks on a highly compressed timetable.” 

Quinn Emanuel didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Before it shut down operations in April 2022, the fund paid out around $125 million dollars from Epstein’s estate to 136 accusers, according to reporting by Insider. Feldman fielded applications from claimants and conducted interviews to determine whether applicants were eligible for compensation. 

To receive the money, applicants had to sign a broad release from further litigation against Epstein’s estate and associates.

Last November, lawyers from the New York-based law firm Edwards Pottinger (now Edwards Henderson Lehrman) representing Epstein accusers filed a class-action suit against JP Morgan Chase, who they allege knowingly acted as the banking service for Epstein’s criminal enterprise. 

“What has become clear is that Epstein could not have run his sex trafficking operation without the valuable assistance of JP Morgan Chase,” Bradley Edwards, a managing partner at Edwards Pottinger who pursued Epstein through the civil courts for a decade before his death, told the Washington Post in April.

A related case originated by the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) against the bank was merged with the class action case in December—filings in that case revealed an internal summary of emails detailing a close personal and professional relationship between Epstein and JPMC executive Jes Staley. 

The emails also referred to meetings Staley helped organize between Epstein and Bill Gates, email exchanges with hotel magnate Tom Pritzker, and the prominent British Labour Party politician Peter Mandelson, among other powerful figures.

In recent court filings, the USVI allege that “JP Morgan had virtually every financial detail of Epstein’s venture—from payments to young women in Lithuania and Russia, to transfers for the purchase of a helicopter by [Ghislaine] Maxwell, to a ‘revoked’ credit card for an alleged recruiter who talked to the police.” 

According to the EVCP, JPMC’s attempts to have the case dismissed “relied heavily on EVCP’s production,” long after the fund shut down operations in April 2022.

Subpoenas came from the banks in February 2023, EVCP said, seeking “an exceedingly broad scope of documents from EVCP, including the claims, allegations, and supporting evidence of each applicant.”

In May, the court had previously reprimanded JPMC’s conduct in the discovery process, asserting they were “not moving more expeditiously to produce responsive documents.” And lawyers representing the class also complained that JPMC was dumping huge numbers of documents on them in response to discovery requests right before key witness depositions.

In March, Judge Rakoff denied parts of JPMC’s request for documents from EVCP, but approved others. 

The underlying request is still under seal, but Rakoff ruled that EVCP had to produce documents showing the number of applicants to the EVCP who got payouts, as well as the total number of applicants who were denied. 

EVCP wouldn’t be obligated to show documents related to the reasons for its approval or denial of any application.

One document EVCP says they produced was a “massive, reader-friendly spreadsheet containing over 50,000 datapoints on 361 individuals” who submitted claims to the program.

The spreadsheet originally contained a variety of data JPMC was interested in accessing, including aggregate medical information, which in one early legal strategy, the Court explicitly excluded from the Order. It also had “consistent, anonymized pseudonyms for…associates of Mr. Epstein…individuals who introduced claimants to…Epstein…[and] witnesses to the abuse.” 

One piece of information JPMC sought was details about the broad releases claimants signed. Early on before deciding to settle, lawyers for the bank tried to disqualify the class-action nature of the suit by arguing that signing these releases gave JPMC immunity from future claims, but the court rejected this argument.  

“I understand everybody’s need to get at the associates and the abusers, I get it,” the claimant said. “But our confidentiality should have been upheld by that victim’s compensation program.”

In the court’s motion certifying the class, Judge Jed Rakoff referenced some of the data compiled by the EVCP.

“18 applicants to the EVCP had experienced food insecurity,” Rakoff wrote, “13 had experienced homelessness, 17 had experienced other types of financial insecurity, and many had little income prior to their recruitment by Jeffrey Epstein.”

“Doesn’t it set a troubling precedent for survivors in the future,” asked the claimant. “You share your experience confidentially but it can be used in other cases without your knowledge???”

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