The US Virgin Islands has been granted permission to mail a subpoena to the former Victoria’s Secret boss Les Wexner over his ties to the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, after a security guard allegedly prevented the billionaire from being served at his home.
A New York judge issued the order on Tuesday, after the US Virgin Islands said it had been frustrated in seeking documents from Wexner as part of its civil suit against JPMorgan Chase.
The US Virgin Islands said it had tried to serve Wexner in person at his home in Ohio on February 8 and February 11, as well as at his charitable foundation, of which Epstein was once a trustee, but was blocked from doing so on all occasions.
The territory has accused the US bank of “knowingly, recklessly and unlawfully” facilitating human trafficking by failing to block transactions to Epstein’s victims, as well as recruiters for the convicted sex offender, who had a home on a private island within the US Virgin Islands.
The US Virgin Islands, which is seeking more than $100mn in damages from JPMorgan, also alleged the bank allowed money from accounts belonging to Epstein’s “purported charitable organisations”, including one called Enhanced Education, to be transferred for non-charitable purposes.
“Epstein and/or his representative used the Enhanced Education fund to pay $124,232 to Leslie Wexner,” the territory claimed, adding that the two men had a “longstanding business and personal relationship”.
Wexner was Epstein’s only known client for decades, and even gave Epstein control of his personal finances and power of attorney.
He has since said he was embarrassed by his connection to Epstein and accused his former friend of “misappropriating vast sums of money”.
Wexner relinquished his dual roles as chief executive and chair of L Brands, the then owner of Victoria’s Secret, in 2020.
A partially unredacted complaint by the US Virgin Islands, filed last week, revealed extensive and warm email exchanges between Jes Staley — who held several senior roles at JPMorgan before going on to lead Barclays — and Epstein, over the course of four years.
It also alleged that the bank had processed more than $1mn worth of payments to some of Epstein’s victims, who were “trafficked and abused during different intervals between at least 2003 and July 2019, when Epstein was arrested and jailed”.
Epstein pleaded guilty to one count of solicitation of prostitution with a minor in 2008 and was registered as a sex offender in the Virgin Islands soon after. JPMorgan ended up severing ties with Epstein in 2013.
JPMorgan declined to comment. Lawyers for the bank have previously characterised the complaint as “meritless” in court filings.
A lawyer who previously represented Wexner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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