Newly revealed emails shed fresh light on JPMorgan’s cozy ties with Jeffrey Epstein, suggesting that top bankers at the Wall Street giant bent over backwards to accommodate the dead pedophile as he helped them line up lucrative clients — including Google and its co-founder Sergey Brin.
The US Virgin Islands filed explosive court papers on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court to bolster its allegation that Epstein played a key role as an investment “advisor” to the Silicon Valley search giant and Brin, whose personal portfolio of over $4 billion was among the bank’s largest.
In an email from 2006 that was unsealed Tuesday, Mary Erdoes — a star banker who is now the CEO of JPMorgan’s asset and wealth management division — urged colleagues to set up a team in New York rather than in San Francisco, where Google and Brin are based, to manage the accounts, according to the court documents.
Erdoes wrote in the email, which had the subject line “google”: “This is NOTHING to do with the abilities of the SF team. This is solely because of our need to have a NY team cover a NY person, Jeffrey Epstein (as the advisor to the partners).”
That same day, Ann Borowiec — then a managing director at JPMorgan’s NJ Private Bank — shared a message with the subject line “big new business oppy,” informing colleagues that a New York-based team had been picked “to work with Jeffrey Epstein (advisor) on business oppy associated with GRATS that are terminating for Google founders,” the filing showed.
Borowiec was seemingly referring to Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, which JPMorgan describes on its site as “an efficient way to transfer wealth with little or no gift tax liability.”
Also that day, Borowiec emailed several other JPMorgan employees, informing them: “We are setting up a conference call. …It is to get the necessary background on the potential investment mgt opportunity associated with Jeffrey Epstein (advisor) to the trusts set up on behalf of the Google founder’s kids.”
It’s unclear if Borowiec was referring to Brin, though banker Robert A. Keller wrote in a memo when Brin became a JPMorgan client: “We work very closely with the Sergey Brin family office … and communicate with them at least 1 x per day.”
Brin, a 49-year-old father-of-three, is now No. 11 on the Forbes list with a net worth of $104.2 billion.
JP Morgan responded to the lawsuit’s allegations today, saying, “Rather than account for its own failures to investigate and monitor this criminal under its jurisdiction, USVI blames a bank that did not have USVI’s authority to enforce any law.”
“Any association with Epstein was a mistake and in hindsight we regret it, but we did not help him commit his heinous crimes,” a JPMorgan spokesperson added. “We would never have continued to do business with him if we believed he was engaged in an ongoing sex trafficking operation.”
Google and Brin didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Another email exchange included in the bombshell documents revealed that JPMorgan’s current chief executive, Jamie Dimon, worked with a team of other executives as well as Epstein on the bank’s acquisition of investment management firm Highbridge.
The so-called “Project Alpha” group included Jes Staley — who would later become CEO of UK banking giant Barclays before he was toppled by the Epstein scandal in 2021 — Dimon, who hadn’t yet taken over as the bank’s chief executive, billionaire Highbridge co-founder Glenn Dubin and Epstein, among others.
Once JPMorgan completed its Highbridge purchase in 2004, Staley requested that an email be sent to Dimon and Dubin with Epstein blind-copied, according to the court papers.
He asked that the email say: “You’ve done an amazing job of bringing our businesses together and delivering numbers…that will earn the envy of our industry. Thanks for the partnership. We are well on our way to resume our position as one of the most respected asset and wealth managers.”
Though the US Virgin Islands alleged that Dimon and Epstein worked on this acquisition together, Dimon testified in a deposition in May that he never had any dealings with Epstein, and didn’t even know the sex offender was a JPMorgan client until his 2019 arrest.
Epstein, who committed suicide while awaiting trial in 2019, was a JPMorgan client from 1998 to 2013.
Dimon has called the bank’s relationship with Epstein a “terrible mistake” but says he was unaware of it at the time, instead pointing the finger at Staley, who was the CEO of JPMorgan’s Asset Management division in 2004, when Dimon first joined the bank.
Staley, however, has contradicted the claim, saying that he and Dimon did, in fact, communicate about Epstein in 2006, when Epstein was first arrested, and again in 2008, when he pleaded guilty to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution.
The recent filing is the latest in a back-and-forth legal battle between JPMorgan and the US Virgin Islands, in which the US territory is seeking at least $190 million to settle the suit that claims JPMorgan benefitted from Epstein’s infamous sex-trafficking ring while ignoring his sordid misdeeds.
The Virgin Islands’ counsel at Motley Rice declined to comment.
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