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Jes Staley says JPMorgan using him as “shield“ for Epstein failures

2023-04-25T03:29:41Z

Then-Barclays’ CEO Jes Staley arrives at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain january 11, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

The former JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) executive who befriended Jeffrey Epstein urged a U.S. judge to throw out the bank’s lawsuit against him, accusing JPMorgan of using him to deflect blame for its own failures in working with the late sex offender.

In a Monday night filing in Manhattan federal court, Jes Staley said the largest U.S. bank had no viable claims against him stemming from its relationship with Epstein, a client from 1998 to 2013.

Staley said there were no allegations he had decision-making authority over Epstein’s accounts or saw any suspicious account activity, and JPMorgan could not plausibly allege that he was solely at fault.

“What is certain is that the bank cannot treat Mr Staley as its public relations shield by asserting claims that lack any legal (or factual) basis,” Staley said.

JPMorgan did not immediately respond to requests for comment after business hours.

The New York-based bank faces two lawsuits over its work for Epstein, which were filed by women who accused the financier of sexual abuse, and by the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned the private island Little St. James.

JPMorgan has been accused of repeatedly transferring cash to pay Epstein’s victims, ignoring warnings from compliance and other employees to cut ties with him, and working with Epstein even after dropping him as a client.

The bank wants Staley to cover its losses in both lawsuits and forfeit eight years of compensation.