J.P. Morgan seeks documents from Manhattan DA in Epstein case

Former U.S. President Trump indicted by Manhattan grand jury, in New York City

NEW YORK (Reuters) -JPMorgan Chase & Co is seeking documents from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as part of a lawsuit against the bank by women who say they were abused by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, court records showed on Thursday.

A lawyer for Bragg took part in a May 16 telephone conference in the case alongside lawyers for the victims, the bank, former JPMorgan private banking chief Jes Staley and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein had a home, the Manhattan federal court records showed.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff instructed Bragg to provide JPMorgan with a privilege log - or a description of documents the bank was seeking that he says he is not required to turn over - by Friday.

A spokesperson for JPMorgan did not immediately respond to a request for comment."

A spokesperson for Bragg said: "A protective order is in place, so we cannot comment on the nature of the requested documents."

JPMorgan's request came to light after Deutsche Bank AG agreed to pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit by women who accused the German bank of facilitating Epstein's sex trafficking.

Rakoff has said JPMorgan could be liable if the women can show that Staley, who had been friendly with Epstein, had first-hand knowledge that the financier ran a sex-trafficking venture. Staley's lawyer has called allegations against him "slanderous." His lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

JPMorgan is separately suing Staley - who led its asset management business from 2001 to 2009 and its corporate and investment bank from 2009 to 2013 - to cover its losses in the two lawsuits it faces, and make him forfeit eight years of pay.

Staley has asked Rakoff to dismiss the bank's case, accusing JPMorgan of using him as a "public relations shield" to deflect blame for its own failures in working with Epstein.

In its lawsuit accusing JPMorgan of enabling Epstein's abuses, the U.S. Virgin Islands said Epstein and Staley swapped sexually suggestive messages about young women, including an email that Rakoff quoted where Staley said: "That was fun. Say hi to Snow White."

Epstein died by suicide in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Additional reporting by Nupur Anand; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Daniel Wallis)