Manhattan DA must hand over documents to JPMorgan for lawsuit over Epstein ties

By Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Manhattan District Attorney’s office must give JPMorgan Chase & Co documents relevant to a lawsuit against the bank over its ties to late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, a U.S. judge ruled on Friday.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said the privileges and statutes invoked by the office of District Attorney Alvin Bragg did not apply to documents sought.

Spokespeople for Bragg and JPMorgan declined to comment.

JPMorgan is being sued by a woman who said she was abused by Epstein, and accused the largest U.S. bank of enabling his sex trafficking by keeping him as a client from 1998 to 2013, the last five years after he pleaded guilty to a Florida prostitution charge.

The New York-based bank in turn sued former senior executive Jes Staley, who was friendly with Epstein, with allegations that he concealed what he knew about his crimes.

Staley has expressed regret for befriending Epstein, but denied any knowledge of his offences.

On March 7, JPMorgan subpoenaed the Manhattan DA’s office for statements made by the woman, known as Jane Doe, or by people who identified Staley as a witness to or perpetrator of a sex crime.

Staley’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The DA’s office has said it could avoid the subpoena because of several legal privileges, and New York state laws guaranteeing grand jury secrecy.

Later on Friday, Rakoff has scheduled a hearing over whether or not to certify Epstein’s victims as a class, which would allow them to sue JPMorgan jointly.

Epstein died in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. New York City’s medical examiner called the death a suicide.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; editing by Grant McCool)

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