Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, testifies during the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing titled Annual Oversight of the Nations Largest Banks, in Hart Building on Thursday, September 22, 2022.
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JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon can be questioned under oath for up to seven hours over two days in depositions for federal lawsuits accusing his bank of complicity in sex trafficking by its late client Jeffrey Epstein, a judge said Tuesday.
Dimon can be questioned for a combined total of five hours by lawyers for the U.S. Virgin Islands and an Epstein sexual abuse accuser, who are the plaintiffs in two separate suits in Manhattan federal court, Judge Jed Rakoff said during a telephone conference with lawyers.
The JPMorgan CEO can be deposed separately for up to two hours by lawyers for Jes Staley, former chief of investment banking at JPMorgan, Rakoff said, according to a court docket entry.
The judge said he might permit the depositions to go beyond the time he has initially set aside.
JPMorgan has argued that Staley, and not the bank, is legally responsible for the suits related to Epstein. The bank sued Staley last month, alleging he concealed his “inappropriate relationship” with Epstein.
Dimon’s depositions will not take place until May, a source familiar with the case told CNBC. They most likely will occur in New York City, the source said.
The bank contended Tuesday that questioning Dimon would not yield useful information.
“The plaintiffs’ counsel know our CEO has no relevant knowledge, but persist with this media stunt,” JPMorgan said in a statement.
“A review of more than two decades of emails and other documents makes it clear that he had no involvement with Epstein or his accounts. He does not recall ever meeting, speaking or communicating with him,” the bank said.
Rakoff last month rejected JPMorgan’s request to dismiss the lawsuits filed by the Virgin Islands and the Epstein accuser. The litigation alleges the bank knowingly benefited from participating in Epstein’s sex trafficking.
Epstein, a former friend of ex-Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, along with Britain’s Prince Andrew, was a JPMorgan client from 1998 through 2013. He killed himself in a Manhattan federal jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on criminal child sex trafficking charges.
The Virgin Islands’ lawsuit alleges that the bank “facilitated and concealed wire and cash transactions that raised suspicion of — and were in fact part of — a criminal enterprise whose currency was for the sexual servitude of dozens of women and girls in and beyond the Virgin Islands.”
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“Human trafficking was the [principal] business of the accounts Epstein maintained at JP Morgan,” the suit says.
During a March 16 court hearing, a lawyer for the Virgin Islands told Rakoff that both Dimon and Staley had been aware of Epstein’s sex trafficking while he was a customer.
“Jamie Dimon knew in 2008 that his billionaire client was a sex trafficker,” the attorney, Mimi Liu, said at the time. “If Staley is a rogue employee, why isn’t Jamie Dimon?”
“Staley knew, Dimon knew, JPMorgan Chase knew,” Liu said.
A court filing released Wednesday cites a deposition by Mary Callahan Erdoes, who became head of the bank’s asset and wealth management division in 2009.
Erdoes “admitted in her deposition that JPMorgan was aware by 2006 that Epstein was accused of paying cash to have underage girls and young women brought to his home,” according to the filing by lawyers for the Virgin Islands.
Erdoes testified that the bank only dropped Epstein as a client seven years later, after she learned that the tens of thousands of dollars he was routinely withdrawing from his account were for “actual cash.”
— Additional reporting by CNBC’s Eamon Javers.
Correction: Mary Callahan Erdoes became head of JPMorgan’s asset and wealth management division in 2009. An earlier version misstated the year.