The former boss of Barclays drank white wine in a hot tub on Jeffrey Epstein’s private Caribbean island while the paedophile financier was under house arrest for child sex offences, a lawsuit has alleged.
Jes Staley is said to have written to his close friend and banking client while staying on Little St James in November 2009, when Epstein was confined to his home in Palm Beach, Florida.
In an email to Epstein at the time, Mr Staley is alleged to have said: “Presently, I’m in the hot tub with a glass of white wine. This is an amazing place. Next time, we’re here together. I owe you much. And I deeply appreciate our friendship. I have few so profound.”
The claims were made in a lawsuit brought by the US Virgin Islands (USVI) against Mr Staley’s former employer JP Morgan, which also alleges that the pair held a conversation about Disney princesses” who Epstein was trying to pursue. Mr Stalery is not a defendant and is facing no legal action.
Mr Staley was the financier’s banker when he worked at JP Morgan. He later became chief executive of Barclays in 2015, before being ousted six years later following a regulatory investigation into how he characterised past ties to his former client.
The USVI lawsuit alleges that Mr Staley emailed his client in July 2010, saying: “That was fun. Say hi to Snow White.”
Epstein allegedly replied: “[W]hat character would you like next?”
Mr Staley then wrote “Beauty and the Beast”, to which Epstein answered, “well one side is available”.
The USVI claims the email exchange was referring to young women and girls Epstein was procuring.
It also alleges that Mr Epstein occasionally Mr Staley photos of young women in “seductive poses”.
The new allegations come weeks after a separate lawsuit against JP Morgan by victims of Epstein claimed that the former Barclays boss “personally observed” his client’s abuse of young women.
Mr Staley has repeatedly denied knowledge of Epstein’s sexual abuse.
A lawyer for Mr Staley previously said: “We wish to make it expressly clear that our client had no involvement in any of the alleged crimes committed by Mr Epstein.”
While Mr Staley is not a defendant in the USVI lawsuit or in a separate case brought against JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank by Mr Epstein’s victims, he has been left fighting for his reputation and is appealing the Financial Conduct Authority’s ruling against him.
The USVI lawsuit points to a close friendship between the two men. In December 2009 he allegedly wrote to Epstein saying: “I realise the danger in sending this email. But it was great to be able, today, to give you, in New York City, a long, heartfelt, hug.”
Meanwhile the lawsuit also details payments from Mr Epstein’s JP Morgan account.
It said: “A December 2008 email shows Staley planning to visit Epstein in early January 2009. Around the time of Staley’s scheduled visit, Epstein wired $2,000 from his JP Morgan account to a woman with an Eastern European surname.
“In late August 2009, Staley emailed that he was visiting London; Epstein asked if he needed anything; Staley replied “Yep.”
Soon after, JPMorgan wired $3,000 from an Epstein account to the same Eastern European woman.”
More than 20 of Epstein’s sex trafficking victims were paid through JP Morgan accounts, the lawsuit said. JP Morgan has moved to dismiss both lawsuits, claiming that the allegations concerning Mr Staley are unsupported and that any knowledge on his part can’t be imputed to the bank.
Mr Staley’s lawyer and JP Morgan both declined to comment.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Barclays paid Mr Staley £107,000 to cover the costs of his relocation to the US after he was removed as chief executive.
The bank paid its former boss the repatriation fee last year on top of his fixed pay of around £2m, a pension allowance of £100,000 and other benefits worth nearly £50,000, according to its annual report.
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