JP Morgan has agreed to pay $290 million to settle a class-action lawsuit with the victims of Jeffrey Epstein, a former financier and convicted sex offender. The plaintiffs accused JP Morgan of laundering money, enabling sex trafficking, and aiding Epstein while he was still a client of the bank. The largest bank in the United States and victims’ attorneys issued a joint statement on Monday, stating that an “agreement in principle” had been reached to settle the lawsuit related to Epstein’s crimes. The settlement is subject to court approval and will not require JP Morgan to admit liability in the case.
The settlement will allow more than 100 women to receive compensation for Epstein’s abuse. According to David Boies, one of the victims’ attorneys, more victims who filed through the Epstein Victims’ Compensation program are likely to receive compensation following similar settlements with two other banks. The victims’ lawyers hailed the settlement as “life-changing and historic,” as it marks a major financial institution participating in shutting down sex trafficking. Sigrid McCawley, Managing Partner at Boies Schiller Flexner, said that “money, which for far too long flowed with impunity between Jeffrey Epstein’s global sex trafficking enterprise and Wall Street’s leading banks, is decisively being used for good.”
Bitcoin and Financial Crime
Critics of Bitcoin have often pointed to the blockchain as a lawless landscape enabling money laundering, sanctions violations, and terrorist financing. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke claimed that Bitcoin has no underlying value besides “ransomware, or something like that.” However, data from Chainalysis shows that the proportion of Bitcoin transactions used to facilitate financial crime is declining over time.
Furthermore, while illicit crypto volume appears to be rising in absolute terms, the US Treasury Department has confirmed that the dollar remains king when it comes to money laundering. These findings suggest that fears over Bitcoin’s role in financial crime may be overstated.
JP Morgan has reached a $290 million settlement with Jeffrey Epstein’s victims to resolve a class-action lawsuit. The bank was accused of laundering money and enabling sex trafficking on behalf of Epstein while he was still a client. The settlement will allow more than 100 women to receive compensation for Epstein’s abuse, and the victims’ lawyers hailed the agreement as “life-changing and historic.” The settlement shows a major financial institution participating in shutting down sex trafficking. Meanwhile, data from Chainalysis suggests that the proportion of Bitcoin transactions used to facilitate financial crime is declining over time.