jeffrey epstein JPMorgan
© Wall Street Journal
Bank's links to sex offender financier deeper than previously known, as it faces lawsuit brought by US Virgin Islands

Senior executives with the global banking giant JP Morgan maintained contact with disgraced financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein for years after dropping him as a client in 2013, six years after he was charged with solicitation of a minor, according to a new report.

The allegation, reported in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, comes as JP Morgan, the world's largest bank by assets, is being sued by an unidentified Epstein accuser and the US Virgin Islands - where Epstein owned a private island - for benefiting from human trafficking by ignoring internal red flags about his behavior.

epstein Mary Erdoes JPMorgan bank
© Reuters
Mary Erdoes (pictured), who is close to the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon, twice visited Epstein in 2011 and 2013 when Epstein was still a client, later exchanging dozens of emails, sources told the WSJ.
According to the Journal, Mary Erdoes, who now runs JP Morgan's $4tn asset and wealth management business, visited Epstein's townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side in 2011 and 2013. Erdoes has previously said through a spokesperson that the only time she remembered "formally meeting" Epstein was the day she fired him as a client.

John Duffy, who ran JP Morgan's private bank, also allegedly visited the townhouse in early 2013 a month before the bank renewed Epstein's borrowing authorizations. A third JP Morgan executive, Justin Nelson, met with the disgraced financier about a half-dozen times between 2014 and 2017, the report said.

Some of those meetings have been characterized as concerning a multibillion-dollar donor-advised philanthropy fund Epstein had pitched to JP Morgan that could help bring wealthy clients in Epstein's orbit to the bank.

But legal filings in the US Virgin Islands lawsuit appear to show that senior JP Morgan executives ignored pleas from compliance officers to cut ties with the financier, arguing that there was "lots of smoke. Lots of questions".

"See below new allegations of an investigation related to child trafficking - are you still comfortable with this client who is now a registered sex offender," one compliance officer wrote in a 2010 email.

The lawsuit alleges that Epstein's behavior was widely known at JP Morgan. In one instance, senior executives made jokes about his interest in young girls. In 2008, two years after Epstein was charged with solicitation of a minor in Florida, Erdoes "received an email asking her whether Epstein was at an event 'with Miley Cyrus,'" then starring in Disney's Hannah Montana.

Other accusations included that JP Morgan knew Epstein "routinely" made $40,000 to $80,000 cash withdrawals several times a month. In a deposition, Erdoes has said that her employer had been aware that Epstein had been accused of paying cash to have "underage girls and young women" brought to his home some seven years before the bank dropped him as a client.
Jes Staley
© Getty Images
Jes Staley
JP Morgan was Epstein's banker for 15 years until 2013. The financier died by suicide in 2019 while awaiting trial on charges that he sex-trafficked underage girls. The flurry of new accusations include claims by JP Morgan against former executive Jes Staley of actively participating in Epstein's crimes.

Staley, who denies the allegations, later served as chief executive of Barclays. He was forced out of the job in 2021 after an internal investigation questioning the accuracy with which he described his relationship with Epstein.

JP Morgan's longstanding chief executive Jamie Dimon is due to be questioned under oath for up to seven hours next month as part of both the US Virgin Islands and the Epstein sexual abuse accuser, and the Jes Staley lawsuits. He has denied having any knowledge of the bank's deliberations over retaining Epstein as a client.