Chapter 2: KYC shortfalls: JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank’s onboarding of Epstein

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In 1989, retail magnate Leslie Wexner purchased one of the largest town houses in New York City. It was a puzzling investment, as he never moved in.

“Les never spent more than two months there,” one of Wexner’s financial advisers told the New York Times in 1996.

That adviser, enigmatically described as Wexner’s “protégé,” was none other than Jeffrey Epstein, who ensconced himself in the mansion that year.

It would be another 15 years before the deed to the property was transferred to Epstein. Even more curiously, Wexner empowered Epstein with a power of attorney (POA) in 1991, enabling him to make financial decisions and investments on Wexner’s behalf.

Epstein’s connection to Wexner came into play during his onboarding at JPMorgan Chase. The retail magnate had a pre-established relationship with the bank prior to granting Epstein POA, according to the New York Times. And much like Epstein’s sketchy ownership of the Manhattan town house, the details of Epstein’s onboarding at the bank are murky. Court documents reveal JPMorgan started doing business with Epstein from as early as 1998, though in what capacity—as a client in his own right or as Wexner’s POA—is unclear.

The president of the Wexner foundation did not respond to a request for comment.

However mysterious his induction into the institution, Epstein went on to have a long and flourishing relationship with JPMorgan. During the 15 years he was a client there, the bank opened and serviced 55 accounts for the man, cumulatively worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

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