JPMorgan Attempts to Disavow Responsibility for Protracted Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein

In a deposition, a bank official said that once James Staley, Mr. Epstein’s major supporter at JPMorgan, resigned, the company severed connections with him. In the extensive case, there were dozens of depositions.

A top executive at the country’s largest lender claimed in a deposition taken in connection with two lawsuits stemming from the institution’s nearly 15-year business partnership with the disgraced financier that JPMorgan Chase’s decision to stop doing business with him became simpler after there was no one at the bank to advocate for him.

The head of JPMorgan’s asset and wealth management business, Mary Erdoes, stated in a March deposition that she chose to dispense with Mr. Epstein as a customer in the summer of 2013 due to worries over frequent big cash withdrawals from his several accounts with the bank.

She said that several months after James E. Staley, a prominent JPMorgan private banker and Mr. Epstein’s major supporter, departed the company in January 2013, an annual review of Mr. Epstein’s accounts was conducted.

Mr. Epstein, who registered as a sex offender after entering a guilty plea to obtaining a minor’s prostitution in Florida in 2008, was described as a “high risk client” by Ms. Erdoes. She said she was unaware of Mr. Epstein’s classification at the time.

Mr. Staley served as Mr. Epstein’s senior relationship manager and champion within the bank, according to Ms. Erdoes. I was leaving Mr. Epstein because no one was present to speak up for him or the circumstances I saw.

Nearly four years after Mr. Epstein committed suicide while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges and ten years after JPMorgan ended its business relationships with him, the question of what executives at the country’s largest bank knew about Mr. Epstein’s abuse of numerous teenage girls and young women is crucial to the lawsuits that the bank is facing.

The two lawsuits allege that JPMorgan disregarded numerous warnings that Mr. Epstein was using funds in his numerous accounts at the bank to finance illegal sexual activity at his residences in New York, Florida, and the Virgin Islands. One lawsuit was brought by attorneys for Mr. Epstein’s victims, and the other was brought by the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to the claims, JPMorgan kept Mr. Epstein as a customer even after he was declared a registered sex offender because he was generating revenue for the institution.

At JPMorgan, there is also a blame game going on. Some claim that Mr. Staley should have known about Mr. Epstein’s sex trafficking at the time and that it was his responsibility to inform others. In an effort to make Mr. Staley accountable for whatever damages JPMorgan may be required to pay, the bank has designated him as a third-party defendant in the litigation.

Mr. Staley, whose deposition is set for as soon as next week, has claimed in court documents that he did nothing improper or unlawful. Requests for comments from his attorneys were not answered.

The top executive of Barclays, Mr. Staley, better known as “Jes” on Wall Street, was forced to step down in 2021 after British authorities looked into how he had described his previous connection with Mr. Epstein.

JPMorgan has consistently denied having any knowledge of Mr. Epstein’s sexual offenses. The bank stated in a statement that while “in hindsight, any association with him was a mistake and we regret it, we did not help him commit his heinous crimes,” they did not assist Mr. Epstein.

According to Ms. Erdoes and other JPMorgan employees, for a while, “they were fully aware of Epstein’s large cash withdrawals and Epstein’s sex trafficking,” according to David Boies, an attorney for the victims suing the bank.
Mary Erdoes motions with her right hand while sporting pearl earrings.
Head of JPMorgan’s asset and wealth management business, Mary Erdoes. She said in a March deposition that she fired Jeffrey Epstein as a customer in 2013 due to worries over frequent, sizable cash transfers from his accounts.Credit…Associated Press/Mark Lennihan
Mary Erdoes motions with her right hand while sporting pearl earrings.

Numerous depositions have already been taken as part of the action, and Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Federal District Court in Manhattan expedited them. JPMorgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, gave several hours of testimony during a deposition on Friday at the bank’s Manhattan headquarters.

How much of Mr. Dimon’s deposition can be made public has been a topic of discussion among attorneys. In a statement released by the bank on Friday, it was said that Mr. Dimon had never spoken to or corresponded through email with Mr. Epstein, did not recall ever hearing about his accounts “internally,” and was not engaged in any decisions pertaining to his account.

Because Mr. Staley, who eventually oversaw the bank’s investment bank, reported to Mr. Dimon directly, his testimony might be quite important.

Ms. Erdoes asserted in her deposition—parts of which were previously published by The Washington Post—that she thought Mr. Staley had reported to Mr. Dimon directly beginning in 2006 and continuing until he departed the bank. She said that Ms. Erdoes had reported to Mr. Dimon directly since 2009, and Mr. Staley before that.

Ms. Erdoes stated in her statement that although she was unaware of the circumstances behind Mr. Staley’s departure from the bank, she believed “it was a mutual decision.”

Ms. Erodes said in her deposition that she visited Mr. Epstein’s Manhattan residence in the summer of 2013 and personally notified him that she was terminating their working relationship. Only her second in-person encounter with him, according to her, it was.

Ms. Erdoes expressed dissatisfaction with Mr. Epstein’s justification that significant cash withdrawals were only related to his plane trips. However, Ms. Erdoes responded that she was unsure of what Mr. Epstein did with the money when the victim’s attorneys questioned her about whether the withdrawals may have been for payments to “women and girls.”

Ms. Erdoes said that she was “not privy to those discussions” when asked why Mr. Epstein’s prior termination had not resulted from comparable cash withdrawals.
Jamie Dimon is dressed in a suit jacket and an unbuttoned light blue collared shirt as he stands in front of a wall that has the words “Chase Business” on it.

Jamie Dimon is the JPMorgan Chase CEO. On Friday, he gave a lengthy deposition in respect to two cases involving the bank’s 15-year partnership with Jeffrey Epstein.Credit…Reuters/Marco Bello

Jamie Dimon is dressed in a suit jacket and an unbuttoned light blue collared shirt as he stands in front of a wall that has the words “Chase Business” on it.

According to a court document used in the dispute, the bank had been alerted for years by Mr. Epstein’s activities. Several bank employees were engaged in deciding whether suspicious activity reports, or SARs, should be submitted regarding some of Mr. Epstein’s transactions from 2000 to 2019, according to the court filing, which JPMorgan first released publicly but is now under seal.

There were no specifics about the transactions in the paper. In order to notify American regulators of potential money laundering, fraud, or other unlawful activities, banks submit SARs to them.

The same document stated that the bank’s board met twice in the fall of 2019 to talk about “Epstein-related issues.” The meetings, which took place soon after Mr. Epstein’s passing, were not mentioned in the record. The memo stated that, during the course of the bank’s 15-year commercial relationship with Mr. Epstein, the board never convened to discuss such interactions.

The board meetings coincided with news stories being published by many publications, including The Times, about the bank’s association with Mr. Epstein and his close friendship with Mr. Staley.

The case filed on behalf of Mr. Epstein’s victims is up for consideration by Judge Rakoff, who is presiding over both lawsuits. Due to their position, far over 100 women may benefit from any settlement with the bank.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys and Deutsche Bank have already negotiated a tentative $75 million class action settlement. After JPMorgan dropped Mr. Epstein as a customer in 2013, Deutsche Bank served as Mr. Epstein’s main bank. Late in 2018, Mr. Epstein and Deutsche Bank parted ways.

Ms. Erdoes said in her deposition that she had “no recollection of any conversation with anyone at Deutsche Bank about Mr. Epstein” or JPMorgan’s decision to discontinue doing business with him.

Hundreds of Amazon workers protest company’s climate impact, return-to-office mandate

SEATTLE (AP) — Telling executives to “strive harder,” hundreds of corporate Amazon workers protested what they decried as the company’s lack of progress on climate goals and an inequitable return-to-office mandate during a lunchtime demonstration at its Seattle headquarters Wednesday.

The protest came a week after Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting and a month after a policy took effect returning workers to the office three days per week. Previously, team leaders were allowed to determine how their charges worked.

The employees chanted their disappointment with the pace of the company’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint — “Emissions climbing, time to act” — and urged Amazon to return authority to team leaders when it comes to work location.

Wearing a black pirate hat and red coat, Church Hindley, a quality assurance engineer, said working from home allowed him to live a better, healthier life.

“I’m out here because I refuse to just sit idly by while mandates are dictated from above down that don’t make sense and hurt the planet, hurt families and individual lives,” Hindley said. “And just to get us into a seat at the office for their tax incentives.”

In a statement, Amazon said it supported workers expressing opinions.

As of Wednesday morning, organizers estimated more than 1,900 employees pledged to walk out around the world, with about 900 in Seattle. Many participated remotely, but hundreds gathered at the Amazon Spheres — a four-story structure in downtown Seattle that from the outside looks like three connected glass orbs.

“Today looks like it might be the start of a new chapter in Amazon’s history, when tech workers coming out of the pandemic stood up and said, ‘We still want a say in this company and the direction of this company,’” said Eliza Pan, a former Amazon corporate employee and a co-founder of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, a climate change advocacy group founded by Amazon workers.

Amazon, which relies on fossil fuels to power the planes, trucks and vans that ship packages all over the world, has an enormous carbon footprint. Amazon workers have been vocal in criticizing some of the company’s practices.

In an annual statement to investors, Amazon said it aims to deploy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030 and reach net-zero carbon by 2040. But activists say the company must do more and commit to zero emissions by 2030.

“While we all would like to get there tomorrow, for companies like ours who consume a lot of power, and have very substantial transportation, packaging, and physical building assets, it’ll take time to accomplish,” Brad Glasser, an Amazon spokesperson, said in a statement.

Since more employees returned to the office, Glasser said, there has also been a good energy on the company’s South Lake Union campus and at its other urban centers. More than 20,000 workers, however, signed a petition urging Amazon to reconsider the return-to-office mandate.

In a February memo, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the company made its decision to return corporate employees to the office at least three days a week after observing what worked during the pandemic. Among other things, he said senior leadership watched how staff performed and talked to leaders at other companies. He said they concluded employees tended to be more engaged in person and collaborate more easily.

In a note asking Amazon employees to pledge their participation in the walkout, organizers said the company “must return autonomy to its teams, who know their employees and customers best, to make the best decision on remote, in-person, or hybrid work, and to its employees to choose a team which enables them to work the way they work best.”

Pamela Hayter, a project manager at Amazon, started an internal Slack channel called “Remote Advocacy” after the company announced its return-to-office policy. Its 33,000 members share stories about how the return-to-office policy impacted their lives.

“I cannot believe that a company in this day and age, a company that claims to be an innovative leader in its space, would do that to one of its most precious resources — its employees,” Hayter said during the protest in Seattle, drawing applause from the crowd.

The walkout follows widespread cost-cutting at Amazon, where layoffs have affected workers in advertising, human resources, gaming, stores, devices and Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud computing division.

Like other tech companies, including Facebook parent Meta and Google parent Alphabet, Amazon ramped up hiring during the pandemic to meet the demand from homebound Americans who were increasingly shopping online to keep themselves safe from the virus.

Amazon’s workforce, in warehouses and offices, doubled to more than 1.6 million in about two years. But demand slowed as the worst of the pandemic eased. The company last year began pausing or canceling warehouse expansion plans and has cut 27,000 jobs since November.

Stocks decline as investors await the House decision on the debt ceiling; yet, the Nasdaq rose about 6% in May.

In the final trading day of May, investors watched the Washington discussion around the federal debt ceiling and stocks dipped on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 32,908.27 after trading 134.51 points, or 0.41%, lower. At 4,179.83, the S&P 500 lost 0.61% of its value. the Nasdaq Composite index

slid 0.63% and came in at 12,935.29.

The agreement, which was struck over the weekend by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, passed a crucial test Tuesday night and was then approved on the House floor by a vote of 7-6. The floor vote is anticipated to happen Wednesday night. GOP debt deal negotiator Rep. Patrick McHenry stated on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday: “I think we have the votes to pass this today.”

Before the United States would default, a debt ceiling agreement would probably be passed, according to Sam Stovall, chief investment analyst at CFRA Research. However, investors are unsure of if further revisions and time are required before an official agreement can be reached. After a bill is passed, he predicted that market participants’ attention will turn to the Federal Reserve policy meeting in June.

According to Stovall, “some investors are concerned that the loud, dissenting fringes may ultimately result in this vote failing and requiring some adjustments before it ultimately passes.” Prior to tonight’s election, “people are taking whatever profits they can.”

With Wednesday’s close, the trading month of May came to an end. The Nasdaq Composite ended the month 5.8% higher thanks to a surge in firms tied to artificial intelligence and other technology names. The S&P 500 increased by almost 0.3% in the month, after briefly giving up its month-to-date gains on Wednesday. Nike, Walt Disney, Walgreens, 3M, Chevron, and Dow, Inc. all experienced May losses of more than 10%, which contributed to the Dow’s over 3.5% monthly decline.

Correction: On Tuesday, Nvidia’s market cap temporarily exceeded $1 trillion. The date in the previous edition was incorrect.