JPMorgan Chase has sued former executive Jes Staley, the ex-Barclays boss, over his links to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The Wall Street bank filed two complaints at a New York court that sought punitive damages for “outrageous” conduct.
They seek to hold Mr Staley personally liable for any financial penalties that JPMorgan may have to pay in two related cases and force him to pay back wages he earned at the bank during the time he was allegedly aware of Epstein‘s sexual abuse.
Mr Staley had been head of private banking at JPMorgan before leaving to become chief executive at Barclays from 2015.
He resigned his post at the UK-based bank in 2021 to contest the findings of a report by UK regulators on his dealings with Epstein.
Mr Staley has said that their business relationship ended when he moved to Barclays and acknowledged having been friendly with Epstein, who killed himself while in prison in 2019, but denied knowing about the financier’s sex crimes.
JPMorgan alleged in its court filing that Mr Staley did know about Epstein’s abuse and “personally observed” his behaviour on multiple occasions.
“In light of Staley’s intentional and outrageous conduct in failing to disclose pertinent information and abandoning (JPMorgan’s) interests in favor of his own and Epstein’s personal interests, (the bank) is entitled to punitive damages,” the bank said.
A lawyer for Staley had no comment on the lawsuit.
JPMorgan’s case was filed after the bank was sued by the government of the US Virgin Islands, as well as by an unidentified woman allegedly abused by Epstein.
Those lawsuits claim JPMorgan should have seen evidence of Epstein’s sex trafficking and knowingly benefited from it.
Barclays revealed last month that share awards, currently worth around £22m to Mr Staley, remained frozen pending the outcome of the investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority of the Bank of England.