Jes Staley, the former JPMorgan Chase executive who is being sued by the bank for allegedly failing to disclose his involvement in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes, is to stand trial alongside his former employer, a New York judge has ruled.
Staley on Monday lost his bid to sever the bank’s claims from two lawsuits brought against JPMorgan by an alleged victim of Epstein and the US Virgin Islands, where the late pedophile had a home.
JPMorgan’s claims against Staley were “closely related” to those made in the other civil lawsuits, Judge Jed Rakoff said, adding that Staley was a “key figure” in the claims against the banks. Rakoff said the trio of complaints would be heard together in October as scheduled.
The lawsuits against JPMorgan accuse the bank of profiting from human trafficking by keeping Epstein as a client for 15 years despite numerous internal warnings about his illegal behavior.
Staley, who was for a time Epstein’s private banker at JPMorgan, was sued by the bank last month after lawyers for the lender said new details of the two men’s relationship emerged during an interview. an interview with the alleged victim of Epstein. They said the new details included allegations that the 66-year-old banker had sexually assaulted the woman in question.
The bank called the claims against it “baseless” and asked the court to hold its former manager liable for any damages that may be attributed to him. He’s trying to salvage tens of millions of dollars from Staley’s salary.
“The facts about [Staley] will therefore be at the center of the trial of the underlying case,” Rakoff wrote Monday, adding that it would make “no sense” to accept Staley’s attorneys’ request to sever JPMorgan’s case against the executive of both against the bank.
“None of Staley’s whining remotely justifies a separation or a change in the joint trial date,” Rakoff wrote.
Lawyers for Epstein’s victim suing JPMorgan had also argued for the cases to be split. They said the bank’s countersuit against Staley was intended to “harass and intimidate” her because her private medical records and intimate communications would now be shared with one of her alleged attackers.
The judge said the “right way” to resolve these issues was to keep the evidence gathered by the attorneys confidential, as JPMorgan had previously agreed.
A lawyer for Epstein’s alleged victim did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A lawyer for Staley declined to comment. The former banker, who left JPMorgan in 2013, is expected to be questioned under oath by the bank’s lawyers later this month.
Rakoff agreed to extend the pre-trial procedural deadline by seven weeks after Staley’s attorney argued that his client would need more time to review tens of thousands of documents related to the case.
The judge’s Monday rulings came after Staley broke his silence last week to say, via his attorney, that the allegations against him were “baseless, but serious” and to accuse JPMorgan of slandering him.
After JPMorgan and a stint at a hedge fund, Staley became chief executive of UK bank Barclays in 2015. He stepped down after six years following a UK regulatory probe into how he characterized his relationship with Epstein.
Separately on Monday, in a response to the lawsuit filed against the bank by Epstein’s alleged victim, JPMorgan denied that longtime chief executive Jamie Dimon knew of Staley’s “personal involvement” with Epstein.
In the new filing, the bank also denied that Dimon knew Epstein was arrested for solicitation in Florida in 2006 or subsequently registered as a sex offender in the state. Dimon is expected to be deposed in May.
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