U.S. banking giant JPMorgan Chase has agreed to settle a lawsuit with the US Virgin Islands which claimed that the bank directly benefitted from sex trafficking carried out by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
JPMorgan will pay $75 million for the settlement, but has not admitted any wrongdoing. The agreement will see $30 million given to local sex trafficking charities in the Virgin Islands, and $25 million will go to law enforcement to aid sex crime investigations.
The settlement averts a trial, which was expected to begin next month in New York.
It follows a similar settlement by the bank for $290 million with Epstein’s victims.
Epstein was fired as a client by JPMorgan in 2013, but the bank allegedly ignored red flags about the financier for years. The decision to part ways with him followed the departure of a top bank executive, Jes Staley, who was an ally of Epstein’s.
The bank has said it regrets its associations with Epstein, who was convicted in 2008 of soliciting sex from a minor. He was arrested again in 2019 for allegedly sex trafficking minors, and died by suicide in a New York jail while awaiting trial.
The settlement is less than half of the $190 million in damages that the Virgin Islands was seeking from the lawsuit.