Jeffrey Epstein referred Obama’s White House counsel to JPMorgan

Former White House adviser Kathy Ruemmler speaks during Meet the Press on June 29, 2014 in Washington, DC.

William B. Plowman | NBCUniversal | Getty Images

Sex predator Jeffrey Epstein was involved in building a client relationship with Obama’s White House counsel Catherine Ruemmler. JPMorgan Chase In February 2019, four months before he was arrested on federal child sex trafficking charges, the bombshell lawsuit emerged on Tuesday.

Ruemmler, now his senior adviser Goldman SachsEpstein was pitched to JPMorgan by a personal assistant as an ideal client, the filing shows.

JPMorgan’s offer to take on Ruemmler as a client — which the bank warmly accepted — came nearly six years after JPMorgan said it effectively fired Epstein as a client after internal controls raised repeated red flags about him.

And it came five months before Epstein killed himself in August 2019 in a Manhattan federal prison where he was being held without bail pending trial.

Ruemmler declined to comment through a Goldman Sachs spokeswoman.

CNBC also emailed him to ask how he knew Epstein and what he knew about his 2008 Florida sex crime conviction.

The filing in Manhattan federal court detailing his relationship with Epstein was filed by the government of the US Virgin Islands, which is suing JPMorgan.

The U.S. territory alleges that JPMorgan facilitated and profited from the sex trafficking of young women to the Virgin Islands, where Epstein had a home, from 1998 to 2013.

JPMorgan denies any wrongdoing in the case, in which the area is seeking at least $190 million in damages.

The bank agreed to settle a similar lawsuit by an Epstein accuser in the same court last month, paying her and other Epstein victims $290 million.

The case is scheduled to go to trial at the end of October.

“Even after his termination until his arrest in 2019, JPMorgan continued to work with Epstein,” the Virgin Islands said in its filing.

JPMorgan “was involved in building client relationships with Kathryn Ruemmler, the longest-serving senior counsel in the White House under former President Barack Obama,” the filing said.

In February 2019, Epstein’s aide Leslie Groff suggested that Ruemmler introduce Mary Erdoes, a senior JPMorgan manager, because she wanted to open an account at JPMorgan, and Epstein thought the two would “hook up,” the document said.

“Erdoes stepped up the appeal to Stacey Friedman, JPMorgan’s general counsel, who said, ‘He’s a rock star litigator at Latham … I think he’d be a great client,'” Virgin Islands said.

Ruemmler was working at the law firm Latham & Watkins at the time.

In 2020, he joined Goldman Sachs as a partner and is currently Goldman’s general counsel and general counsel.

The document also said Epstein once referred to a potential JPMorgan client, Nicholas Ribis, a gaming consultant who ran former President Donald Trump’s casinos for decades.

Ribis did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

NBC's archival footage shows Trump hanging out with Jeffrey Epstein in 1992

JPMorgan claims in the lawsuits that the Virgin Islands itself was “complicit in the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein,” providing money, advice and favors to high-ranking government officials in exchange for looking the other way while trafficking young women.

JPMorgan also alleges that former executive Jes Staley, who was friends with Epstein when he was a client of the bank, is liable for any civil liability the bank has for dealing with the sex offender.

The bank’s newly unsealed court documents on Tuesday show that Epstein was the former governor of the US Virgin Islands, John de Jong Jr. After de Jong was arrested on embezzlement charges, he asked her for a loan of $215,000, which was later rejected.

Epstein’s company also paid de Jongh’s wife, Cecile, a $300,000 lump-sum severance payment after Epstein killed himself in federal prison in August 2019 while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges, JPMorgan documents said. He worked for Epstein at the Southern Trust Company.

The documents also say another Epstein employee who worked for him in the Virgin Islands was given a US Customs and Border Protection security seal, which allowed him to “escort” passengers through customs checkpoints.

In other court documents, the bank said Epstein paid for the schooling of the de Jonghs’ children and that Cecile worked to obtain student visas and work licenses for young women associated with Epstein.

A spokesperson for the Virgin Islands Attorney General’s Office told CNBC that Epstein’s loan to former Gov. de Jong occurred after he left office in 2015. Charges against de Jong were dropped by the Virgin Islands Department of Justice in early 2016 after he pleaded guilty. separate cash settlement.

CNBC has reached out to John de Jong for comment through the asset management company where he is a director.

A spokesperson for the Virgin Islands also said that the “US Customs and Border Protection security seal” was issued by the federal government, not the Virgin Islands government. “

The Virgin Islands reported that JPMorgan management kept Epstein as a client for years despite numerous warnings about the bank’s internal cultivation, including payments to young women and a 2008 sex crime conviction in Florida that led to a prison sentence.

In a new court filing on Tuesday, the Virgin Islands said that after JPMorgan’s rapid response team decided to drop Epstein as a client and JPMorgan’s general counsel told Erdoes that Epstein “didn’t exist” between Epstein and Erdoes in July 2011 referred to the e-mail of a man with whom we should do business – period.”

Erdoes and Epstein sent the email after he and the bank agreed to settle JPMorgan’s lawsuit against JPMorgan over money it says it owes JPMorgan’s takeover investment bank Bear Stearns.

“On July 26, 2011, Epstein wrote to Erdoes: ‘Let’s (sic) go ahead, (sic) and make some real money,'” the filing states.

“Onward and upward, on many fronts,” Erdoes replied.

Epstein didn’t leave as a JPMorgan client for another two years.

The new filing by the Virgin Islands states that Staley disclosed in the lawsuit the names of people and companies that Epstein referred to the bank as potential clients. An unsealed portion of Staley’s deposition was made public Tuesday.

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Among the high-powered names listed in the lawsuit are Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem of Dubai, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and television journalist Katie Couric.

Staley, who was the bank’s head of asset and wealth management, testified that he met all of these people at Epstein’s apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

The filing also shows that Staley spoke with JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon in 2006 when Epstein was arrested in Florida on charges of soliciting and soliciting prostitution of minors.

JPMorgan denied the claim. “Staley admits that in 2006, Jamie Dimon contacted him about Epstein’s arrest,” the Virgin Islands said in a filing.

“Staley also testified that on or about July 26, 2006, he spoke with Dimon about the Epstein indictment because Dimon was his boss and the indictment of Epstein, a client of the bank, “was a very public event. “.”

In 2006, Staley answered questions about dating Epstein after the article “Jeffrey Epstein craved big houses, elite friends and underage girls, investigators say” was published.

The article also reported that “two of Epstein’s former employees told investigators that when Epstein was in town, young-looking girls showed up for massages two or three times a day.”

The Virgin Islands filing states: “On July 25, 2006, Staley met with Epstein in person at Epstein’s home. During that visit, Epstein admitted to having ‘sex with young women for money’ – denying only his ‘age.'”

Staley later wrote Erdoes: “I went and saw him last night. I’ve never seen him so shaken up. He’s also adamantly in denial about age,” Staley wrote in Erdoes’ file notes.

In his testimony, Staley was asked: “The conduct he was accused of, he was admitting to doing it. He was just denying that he knew the ages of the victims, right?”

“That’s right,” Staley replied.

“And you reported back to the bank that it was the denied ages, right?” A lawyer for the Virgin Islands said.

“Right,” Staley said.

He later admitted that the bank admitted Epstein had sex with young women for money but denied they were minors.

The attorney then asked, “So when the bank receives this information, they now know what you know, which is the type of behavior our client engaged in, and that’s the only dispute with the allegations. The ages of the victims, right?”

“That’s right,” Staley replied.

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