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US states object to JPMorgan’s settlement with Epstein accusers, raising concerns over the agreement.

JPMorgan’s Settlement with Jeffrey Epstein’s Accusers Faces Objection from U.S. States

JPMorgan Chase’s $290 million class-action settlement with Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers has drawn objections from several U.S. states, who argue that the agreement could hinder their ability to seek compensation for sexual abuse victims.

Attorneys general from 16 states and Washington, D.C., expressed their concerns in a public letter filed in Manhattan federal court. They objected to the settlement language, which prohibits “any sovereign or government” from pursuing damages related to sex trafficking committed by Epstein and his associates.

The attorneys general argue that this language, if included without their consent, would discourage them from seeking justice for sex trafficking victims, not just those associated with Epstein, under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act. They also point out that Deutsche Bank’s $75 million settlement with Epstein’s accusers did not contain such restrictive language.

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“Jeffrey Epstein’s surviving victims deserve full compensation for the immense harm they have endured,” emphasized New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez. “However, the current settlement agreement inappropriately seeks to release claims for victim-specific relief made by the states.”

Joining Torrez in the objection letter are attorneys general from the states of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont.

JPMorgan has not yet responded to requests for comment, and lawyers representing Epstein’s accusers have also remained silent.

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Concerns to be Addressed by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff

The settlement’s approval is contingent upon the decision of U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, who has instructed both JPMorgan and Epstein’s accusers to address the states’ objections by November 6. A hearing for final approval is scheduled for November 9, as per court records.

The settlement resolves allegations that JPMorgan turned a blind eye to Epstein’s sex trafficking activities due to his substantial financial contributions as a client between 1998 and 2013, when his accounts were finally terminated.

Last month, JPMorgan separately agreed to pay $75 million to settle related claims made by the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned a residence.

Epstein died in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking. The New York City medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.

The case is officially known as Doe 1 v JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:) and is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, under case number 22-10019.

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