JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank have each been hit with a lawsuit that claims the banks enabled Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking operations and financially benefited from doing so. The suits, brought by anonymous female plaintiffs who accused Epstein of sex abuse, are seeking class-action status and unspecified damages. The Hill and Bloomberg report the suits allege the banks "knowingly benefited and received things of value for assisting, supporting, facilitating, and otherwise providing the most critical service for the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking organization to successfully rape, sexually assault, and coercively sex traffic" women.
The suits allege Epstein's sex trafficking operations were only possible because he had "the assistance and complicity" of the banks, which knew "they would earn millions of dollars" from the relationship and "chose profit over following the law." The Wall Street Journal offers more on the individual suits, reporting the unnamed woman suing JPMorgan is a former ballet dancer who alleges she was abused by Epstein and his friends from 2006 to 2013 and that hefty sums of cash were withdrawn from the bank in order to pay her and other women for the sex acts. The woman who is suing Deutsche Bank claims she was abused for a 15-year period and echoes the allegations about cash withdrawals.
The BBC reports Deutsche Bank has said it made a "critical mistake" in allowing Epstein to be a client, though a rep for the bank on Thursday said, "We believe this claim lacks merit and will present our arguments in court." JPMorgan has not commented. The lawsuits were filed on the first day of a one-year window opened in New York under the state's Adult Survivors Act, which sets aside statute of limitations parameters related to filing sex-crime lawsuits. (Former President Trump was sued minutes after the new law kicked in on Thursday.)