Elon Musk subpoenaed in Jeffrey Epstein litigation as case embroils another billionaire

Billionaires

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been subpoenaed to turn over documents in the U.S. Virgin Islands’ lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase over the banking giant’s former relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein—becoming the latest billionaire asked to turn over information in the high-profile case.
Elon Musk. Image: Getty
Key Takeaways
  • The Virgin Islands has been attempting to serve Musk with the subpoena since April 28, according to a court filing on Monday, and is now trying to deliver the subpoena to Musk through Tesla’s registered agent.
  • The subpoena shows that lawyers for the territory believe Epstein “may have referred or attempted to refer (Musk) to JPMorgan”; Epstein was a JPMorgan client from 1998 through 2013.
  • The lawsuit from the Virgin Islands alleges the bank “turned a blind eye” to red flags indicating Epstein was operating a sex-trafficking ring on Little St. James and that they failed to report his suspicious activities and continued to give him services reserved for high-wealth clients after he was convicted of soliciting a minor for prostitution in 2008 in Florida.
  • Forbes reached out to Musk for comment.
Key Background

The lawsuit against JPMorgan originated late last year, with the territory arguing the bank enabled and benefited from Epstein’s abuse of women on his private island, Little St. James, as one of Epstein’s banks where he withdrew money to pay the young women he was sex trafficking.

JPMorgan attempted to get the case thrown out, but a judge denied that request and determined that the bank could be held liable for benefitting from Epstein’s actions. Since then, court filings have suggested bank employees shared concerns for years about Epstein being a client. Previous court filings also showed JPMorgan executives were so aware of Epstein’s “interest in young girls” that they allegedly “joked” about it.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon—who is set to testify in the case later this month—said last week in an interview with Bloomberg that he is “so sad” the bank had a business relationship with Epstein, but that they aren’t legally liable for their client’s sex trafficking. JPMorgan has repeatedly insisted its executives were largely unaware of allegations against Epstein, with the exception of former investment banking executive Jes Staley, whom the bank has accused of concealing a personal relationship with Epstein, suggesting he may have even been a participant in the sex trafficking operation.

Staley has denied wrongdoing.

Epstein died in his New York jail cell in 2019 while awaiting a trial on sex trafficking charges.

Surprising Fact

Billionaires including Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Hyatt Hotels executive chairman Thomas Pritzker and real estate mogul Mortimer Zuckerman have also been subpoenaed in the case.

Tangent

Musk has distanced himself from Epstein in the past after reports surfaced he may have given Epstein a tour of a SpaceX facility. “To the best of our knowledge, he never toured SpaceX. Don’t know where that comes from,” the billionaire tweeted in 2020. He also denied knowing Ghislaine Maxwell, who allegedly helped Epstein run the sex trafficking ring after a photo of the two of them at a party appeared together; Musk’s ex-wife supported him, saying Musk did not know Maxwell and they just stood near each other at a party.

Billionaires including Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Hyatt Hotels executive chairman Thomas Pritzker and real estate mogul Mortimer Zuckerman have also been subpoenaed in the case.

This story was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.


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