New York (CNN) Former Barclays CEO Jes Staley allegedly exchanged sexually suggestive emails with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, some of which included photos of young women, according to recently unsealed passages from a federal lawsuit.
Those email exchanges reportedly continued long after Epstein was convicted of sex crimes in 2008, the U.S. Virgin Islands government wrote in its complaint against JPMorgan Chase, where Staley previously served as its chief executive.
Staley was the person largely responsible for JPMorgan Chase’s 15-year financial relationship with Epstein. He later became CEO of Barclays, but stepped down in 2021 amid investigations into the bank’s Epstein transactions. He is not a defendant in the lawsuit and has not been criminally charged with any activity related to Epstein. A London-based lawyer for Staley declined to comment on the lawsuit or his relationship with Epstein.
The original complaint, filed in December, was heavily redacted. But the amended complaint, released Wednesday by the U.S. Virgin Islands government, supports claims from the earlier filing that between 2008 and 2012, Staley exchanged more than 1,000 emails from his JPMorgan Chase email account, corresponding with Epstein while he was imprisoned, and visited his residence in the Virgin Islands several times.
“This communication demonstrates a close personal connection and ‘deep’ friendship between the two men and even suggests that Staley may have been involved in Epstein’s sex trafficking operation,” U.S. Virgin Islands attorneys said in the amended indictment against JPMorgan Chase.
The lawsuit alleges that JPMorgan Chase “had a more than close-up view of Epstein’s sex trafficking” and “disregarded obvious red flags related to Epstein’s accounts.”
Both JPMorgan Chase and Barclays declined to comment on the newly unsealed passages. But after the U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General sued JPMorgan Chase in December — claiming the bank should have known about Epstein’s activities on Little St. James Island, the island he owned off the coast of St. Thomas — decided the bank to dismiss the lawsuit.
In a filing on Feb. 1, lawyers for the bank wrote: “[The US Virgin Islands’] lawsuit is a masterclass in deflection trying to hold [JPMorgan Chase] responsible for the failure to track down Epstein’s crimes more than a decade ago.”
New details revealed
In the newly unsealed passages, the U.S. Virgin Islands government alleges that Staley sent emails from Epstein’s island in the fall of 2009, when Epstein was incarcerated in Florida.
“So when all hell breaks l[o]ose, and the world comes crashing down, I will come here and be at peace,” Staley reportedly said in the email. ‘Right now I’m in the hot tub with a glass of white wine. This is a great place. Really fantastic. Next time we’ll be here together. I owe you a lot. And I really value our friendship. I have very few that are so profound.”
A month later, Staley reportedly sent another email to Epstein: “I realize the danger of sending this email. But it was great to be able to give you a long heartfelt hug today in New York City .”
Epstein reportedly responded by sending a photo of a young woman, with the image redacted in the lawsuit.
In July 2010, the filing alleges that Staley sent an email to Epstein saying, “Say hello to Snow White.” Epstein replied: “[W]what character would you like next?” When Staley said “Beauty and the Beast,” Epstein replied, “Well, one side is available.” Attorneys of the Virgin Islands claiming that references to Disney princesses were code words for young women.
JPMorgan Chase, according to the lawsuit, did not flag any of the emails between Epstein and Staley related to risk assessments: “In addition, JP Morgan Chase allowed Staley to remain a decision maker on Epstein’s accounts. JP Morgan Chase even instructed Staley to discuss the human trafficking allegations with Epstein.”
Last November, Attorney General Denise George settled the U.S. Virgin Islands lawsuit against Epstein’s estate for more than $105 million, along with an agreement that the estate will sell Epstein’s islands in the area and cease operations there.
Epstein was found dead in his prison cell in 2019. A medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.
When he died, Epstein was awaiting trial on federal charges that accused him of operating a sex trafficking ring at his Manhattan mansion and his Palm Beach estate from 2002 to 2005, and allegedly paying girls as young as 14 to sex.
According to the New York Times, Staley has said in the past that while he was friends with Epstein, he was never aware of the allegations outside of Epstein’s guilty plea.
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