NEW YORK (AP) – The government of the United States (US) Virgin Islands is trying to subpoena billionaire Elon Musk for documents in its lawsuit seeking to hold JPMorgan Chase liable for sex trafficking acts committed by businessman Jeffrey Epstein. Musk has never been publicly accused of any wrongdoing related to Epstein, who killed himself in 2019 as he awaited sex trafficking charges in a federal jail in Manhattan.
But over the years, there had been unconfirmed speculation – encouraged by Epstein himself – that Epstein had advised Musk on certain business matters.
Spokespeople for Musk have denied those reports, but the government of the US Virgin Islands said in a court filing that it believes Epstein may have referred or tried to refer Musk to JPMorgan as a potential client. The Virgin Islands, where Epstein had an estate, sued JPMorgan last year, saying its investigation has revealed that the financial services giant enabled Epstein’s recruiters to pay victims and was “indispensable to the operation and concealment of the Epstein trafficking enterprise”. Lawyers for JPMorgan did not immediately return messages seeking comment on Monday.
In the past, they have said victims are entitled to justice but litigation attempting to blame the financial institution for Epstein’s actions were legally meritless, directed at the wrong party and should be dismissed. Authorities alleged that Epstein recruited and sexually abused dozens of underage girls at his mansions in New York and Palm Beach, Florida, in the early 2000s. He had pleaded not guilty.
Lawyers for the Virgin Islands told a federal judge on Monday that they haven’t been able to locate Musk to serve him with the subpoena. They asked the court to serve Tesla, his electric vehicle company, instead.
They said they hired an investigative firm to search public records databases for possible addresses for Musk and reached out to one of his lawyers by e-mail, but received no response.
A message sent to a lawyer for Musk seeking comment on Monday was not immediately returned.
The subpoena – one of several sent to prominent business figures – sought documents from January 1, 2002, to the present reflecting communications between Musk and JPMorgan or Musk and Epstein regarding Epstein or Epstein’s role in Musk’s accounts, transactions or financial management. It also sought all documents reflecting or regarding Epstein’s involvement in human trafficking and his procurement of girls or women for commercial sex.
And it sought information about fees Musk might have paid to Epstein or JPMorgan and any documents concerning communications between Musk, Epstein and JPMorgan regarding accounts, transactions or the relationship at JPMorgan.