JPMorgan’s Epstein Settlement Sets No Cap or Minimum on Claims

The proposed $290 million settlement between JPMorgan Chase and Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse victims would include a fee for each individual, according to a plan filed in federal court on Thursday. There is no minimum or maximum payout, and that determination rests with a claims manager appointed to oversee the process.

If approved by a federal judge, the proposed deal with JP Morgan will be the largest in the nation in November in federal court in Manhattan on behalf of women who allege they were sexually abused by Epstein when they were teenagers or young. It will settle a class action lawsuit filed against a hand bank. woman. The decision to entrust the amount of each payment to an administrator would give that person greater authority over a settlement fund covering Epstein’s abuses from 1998 to 2019.

More than 200 women may be eligible to apply for the settlement fund, judging by the number of claims filed with a separate victims compensation fund set up by Epstein’s estate. The foundation created a reparation fund shortly after Epstein’s suicide in August 2019 while he was awaiting trial in a Manhattan prison on sex trafficking charges.

According to court filings, the proposed settlement with JP Morgan did not bar women who received payments from the foundation’s compensation fund from receiving additional recoveries under their contract with JP Morgan. The bank served as Mr. Epstein’s primary financial institution for about 15 years before finally dissolving the relationship in 2013.

Suing Wall Street giants that do business with Epstein has proven a successful strategy to gain additional financial relief for Epstein’s victims. This litigation strategy also generates significant fees for lawyers filing lawsuits.

The same group of lawyers who sued JP Morgan recently also negotiated a $75 million tentative settlement with Deutsche Bank, Epstein’s main banker after JP Morgan fired him. The draft agreement with Germany specifically states that eligible victims of Epstein’s abuse between 2013 and 2019 are entitled to compensation ranging from $75,000 to $5 million. .

The most significant difference between the two settlements is that the JPMorgan deal does not include any scope for damages to victims.

In both cases, the victims’ attorneys, led by David Boyes and Brad Edwards, demanded attorneys’ fees of up to 30 percent of the settlement. Lawyers said the fees were justified by taking more than two dozen depositions and examining dozens of witnesses in preparation for the lawsuits, according to court filings in both lawsuits.

In the settlement, JP Morgan denied that it had in any way supported Epstein’s sex trafficking campaign. The bank has repeatedly called Epstein’s activities “atrocious” and “in retrospect, it was a mistake to engage with him.”

JPMorgan continued to do business with Epstein for five years after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting prostitutes for teenage girls in Florida.

According to court filings, the bank and the victims’ attorneys worked out their respective settlements with the help of mediators.

Manhattan U.S. District Judge Jed Lakoff, who is overseeing the cases against the banks, still has to approve the fee claim. A judge last week gave provisional approval to a settlement agreement between the victims and Germany.

Attorneys for the victims and J.P. Morgan asked Judge Rakov to approve Simone K. Lerchuk. As a Settlement Claims Administrator. Mr. Lerczyk, a lawyer with expertise in mediation, has already been approved to oversee the settlement distribution process on the German side. She also oversaw the process of assessing settlement claims by victims of defamed film producer Harvey Weinstein. Court filings say fund managers should consider the extent of the alleged harm, the duration of the abuse, and the victim’s willingness to cooperate with law enforcement when considering a victim’s claim. .

The agreement with JP Morgan also requires the administrators to take into account any awards victims may receive from the German Settlement Fund. But that doesn’t prevent victims from recovering from the banks’ settlement if the abuses overlap during the years the two institutions had Mr. Epstein as a client.

Any money left over at the end of the process will be donated to a charity agreed upon by the victim’s attorney and JP Morgan.

Together, the settlements with the two banks more than double the roughly $150 million in compensation that Epstein’s estate paid out to more than 125 victims.

A settlement between JPMorgan and Epstein’s victims isn’t the end of every lawsuit.

The bank is seeking damages from James E. Staley, a former JPMorgan executive who had close ties to Epstein and lobbied to keep him as a client. JP Morgan is also being sued by the U.S. Virgin Islands government, from which Epstein had a private residence on the island for nearly two decades and operated from it. The Virgin Islands lawsuit is led by attorneys from Motley Rice Law Firm. retainer contract with American territory.

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