Lawyers working for Jes Staley have accused JP Morgan of ‘defamatory’ attacks on the former Barclays boss, saying allegations he aided sex trafficking operations run by the late billionaire Jeffrey Epstein were ‘baseless but serious”.
Staley’s attorney made the comments in a Manhattan District Court filing as he urged a judge to give his client more time to review thousands of documents related to JP Morgan’s lawsuit against him, and to separate this case from two lawsuits filed against the US bank for its alleged role in aiding Epstein’s crimes.
The documents argued that the “freakish pace” of the timing of the case, which is due to go to trial on October 23, was “unnecessary and prejudicial” and would give Staley “grossly insufficient time” to defend himself.
“The allegations against him are baseless but serious: Mr. Staley is accused of aiding and abetting Jeffrey Epstein, one of the most notorious criminals in recent American history,” Staley’s attorney said, Brendan Sullivan, in the document, adding that the allegations were also “libelous, and the potential damage is astronomical.”
Two lawsuits targeting JP Morgan claim that Staley – who previously worked for the US bank – “personally observed the victims”, including “visiting young girls in Epstein’s apartments”, and exchanged 1,200 emails with them. the late financier containing photos of young women in seductive poses. and referring to women by the names of Disney Princesses.
Those lawsuits were brought by the US Virgin Islands, where much of the abuse allegedly took place at a home owned by Epstein on a private island, and by a woman known only as Jane Doe 1.
But the US bank is suing Staley in turn, saying he should be held accountable for any penalty the US bank may face as a result of the lawsuits. He is also trying to recoup millions of dollars he was paid while working for JP Morgan.
“The stakes could hardly be higher for Mr. Staley,” Sullivan said in the filing, which asks the court to adjourn the trial until March 2024. “Refuting these false and highly publicized allegations is of paramount importance to him. Yet the planning decisions of this court have seriously compromised his ability to do so,” the lawyer said.
However, a JP Morgan spokesperson opposed the call to separate Staley’s case from his, saying he was “inextricably linked to these cases – it makes no sense to separate him”.
“Jane Doe herself directly accused him of horrific sexual misconduct and if true, he must be held accountable,” he added.
JP Morgan previously said the lawsuits against the US bank were “wrongful and baseless”, adding that “the plaintiffs have made troubling allegations regarding the conduct of our former employee, and if true, he should be held accountable for his actions”.
Staley developed a relationship with Epstein in 2000 while working for JP Morgan’s private bank, which deals with high net worth clients, and stayed in contact with Epstein for seven years after Epstein was convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor in 2008.
However, the banker said their contacts began to dwindle after he left JP Morgan in 2013. He was appointed chief executive of Barclays two years later but unexpectedly resigned in November 2021 following a draft findings of a UK regulatory inquiry into its relationship to convicted sex. offender. However, a formal challenge from Staley means the findings of that investigation have yet to be released.