JP Morgan Settles Its US Virgin Islands lawsuit for $75 million. It already settled with Epstein's survivors for $290 million.

September 27, 2023
John Richmond

The law says companies that benefit from doing business with traffickers can be guilty of human trafficking. Jeffery Epstein's survivors and the US Virgin Islands both sued JP Morgan for sex trafficking because it financed Epstein's exploitation of women and girls. The lawsuits alleged that JP Morgan knew about the trafficking operation or recklessly disregarded the fact to maximize its profits.

Yesterday, JP Morgan settled with the US Virgin Islands for $75 million and months ago it settled with the survivors for $290 million. The "on the eve of the trial" settlements prevented a public airing of JP Morgan's role in the sex trafficking venture and JP Morgan admitted nothing.  

The numbers, however, are revealing. These two settlements totaling $365 million represent 7.9% of JP Morgan's annual net profit of $46.056 billion. It is hard to claim a lawsuit is "frivolous" or the allegations are "baseless" and then settle for hundreds of millions of dollars equalling almost 8% of net income. Every dollar of the settlements reduces shareholders' value or JP Morgan passes the cost along to everyday banking customers. Under the glare of this light, the bank's slogans, "The Right Relationship Means Everything" and "What Matters Most" seem to take on new meanings.

If we are going to protect current and future sex trafficking victims, we must hold businesses that rake in profits while turning a blind eye to modern slavery accountable. Whether they are hotels, financial platforms, massage parlors, nail salons, internet companies, factories, fishing boats, or mines, businesses that benefit from human trafficking are on notice. No individual or entity should treat inherently valuable people as disposable commodities. To effectively affirm human dignity, we must be unified around a strategic framework to stop human traffickers.

By John Richmond
Atlas Free Chief Impact Officer