On Thursday, a federal judge approved a historic settlement of $290 million in a class-action lawsuit brought by victims of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein against banking giant JPMorgan Chase. The lawsuit, which also named Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as a mutual business associate of Epstein, shed new light on the extent of Epstein’s influence and his connections to powerful individuals.
Epstein, who was convicted in 2008 for soliciting a minor, had a close relationship with Gates through JPMorgan executive James E. “Jes” Staley, who introduced the two men. According to court documents, Gates flew on Epstein’s private jet, met with him multiple times, and even visited his home on at least three occasions. These revelations were cited by Gates’s ex-wife, Melinda, during the couple’s high-profile divorce proceedings earlier this year.
JPMorgan itself has come under scrutiny for its role in facilitating Epstein’s illegal activities. The bank agreed to pay an additional $75 million, bringing the total settlement to $365 million, to settle another lawsuit related to its established banking relationship with Epstein. The lawsuit revealed that the bank had admitted to facilitating over $1 billion in transfers related to “human trafficking” by Epstein.
One of Epstein’s victims and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where the pedophile financier maintained a residence, were among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against JPMorgan. The victims accused the bank of enabling Epstein’s illegal activities, and the settlement will provide compensation for their trauma.
“Bill Gates business partners jointly agree to a $365 million settlement with Jeffrey Epstein victims”
— MarRutt (@mar_rutt) November 12, 2023
The litigation also exposed former JPMorgan executive Jes Staley, who is now the CEO of British banking giant Barclays. According to court documents, Staley allegedly used “aggressive force” in his sexual assault of one of Epstein’s victims and informed her that he had Epstein’s permission to do so. Staley, who has denied any knowledge or involvement in Epstein’s crimes, settled with JPMorgan for an undisclosed amount earlier this year.
The JPMorgan lawsuit also shed light on the bank’s global health investment fund, which was formed in partnership with Gates and his close associate Boris Nikolic, the science adviser to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A photo obtained by the New York Times showed Gates flanked by Staley and Nikolic at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion in 2011, around the time the global health investment business was being established.
Interestingly, Nikolic was appointed as the executor of Epstein’s estate. However, after Epstein’s arrest and subsequent death in 2019, Nikolic declined the role. It is worth noting that the $1 billion “human trafficking” transfers that JPMorgan admitted to facilitating were linked to Epstein’s accounts, which could potentially reveal other individuals on Epstein’s so-called “client list.”
With the settlement now approved, it is yet another chapter in the ongoing scandals surrounding Jeffrey Epstein and his powerful associates. The settlement not only provides some form of closure and compensation for his victims but also highlights the extent of Epstein’s vast network of influence and the complicated relationships he maintained with powerful individuals like Bill Gates and Jes Staley.