Even for the master and ace of communication that he is, it is bad publicity that he could have done without.
Because there is publicity that smells of sulfur and can destroy even the best reputations. This is the exception that all publicity is good.
Elon Musk finds himself in one of those unenviable situations. The name of the billionaire has just appeared in the resounding Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
A woman, whose identity has not been released, and the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, sued JPMorgan in late 2022, alleging that the bank facilitated the actions of Jeffrey Epstein, accused of sexual crimes against minors.
JPMorgan denies these accusations.
“The Government brought this civil action against defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“JPMorgan”) as part of its ongoing effort to protect public safety and to hold accountable those who facilitated or participated in, directly or indirectly, the trafficking enterprise of Jeffrey Epstein,” the U.S. territory said in the court documents unsealed on May 15.
It added that its investigation has revealed that JPMorgan “knowingly, recklessly, and unlawfully provided and pulled the levers through which Epstein’s recruiters and victims were paid and was indispensable to the operation and concealment of the Epstein trafficking enterprise.”
Musk Is Not Accused of Wrongdoing
As part of this process, the U.S. Virgin Islands have issued a subpoena to Musk, according to the same court documents, because they allege that their investigation “revealed that JPMorgan financially profited from the deposits made by Epstein and Epstein controlled entities located in the Virgin Islands and from the business opportunities referred to JPMorgan by Epstein and his co-conspirators in exchange for its known facilitation of and implicit participation in Epstein’s sex trafficking venture.”
Basically, the U.S, territory wants to establish that JPMorgan turned a blind eye to Epstein’s activities, because the bank had a lot to gain by keeping him as a client. He could thus recommend the bank to his billionaire acquaintances.
Musk “is a high-net-worth individual who Epstein may have referred or attempted to refer to JPMorgan” as a client, the U.S. territory said in the documents. As a result, it issued a subpoena to the billionaire for documents on April 28, 2023.
The subpoena asked the serial entrepreneur to produce several documents, such as “electronically stored information, or objects, and to permit inspection, copying, testing, or sampling of the material.” The U.S. Virgin Islands also want to search Musk’s premises.
Musk is not accused of any wrongdoing.
Alex Spiro, a lawyer for Musk, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Musk Is Nowhere to Be Found
The problem is that the Virgin Islands have been trying to serve the subpoena to Musk or one of his legal representatives but have been unsuccessful. The U.S. territory said it tried to serve Musk at Tesla’s offices but was not able to locate him.
They also hired private detectives to obtain the address of the billionaire but also without success. Faced with these unsuccessful attempts, the Virgin Islands is asking the judge to allow them to serve the subpoena to Tesla or to a legal representative of the electric vehicle maker.
The U.S. Virgin Islands “has made good-faith efforts to obtain an address for Mr. Musk and to serve a subpoena upon him personally,” it wrote. “Moreover, the fact discovery end date is at the end of this month. In these circumstances, the court should in the interest of securing just and expeditious resolution authorize the government to arrange alternative service of its subpoena to produce documents by serving Mr. Musk via service upon Tesla Inc.’s registered agent.”
Epstein was sentenced to 13 months in prison in 2008 for leading young girls into prostitution in Florida, according to a secret agreement with a prosecutor, allowing him to escape federal prosecution.
Charged and arrested in 2019 for having organized, for several years, a network made up of dozens of young girls under his influence and with whom he had sexual relations in his numerous properties, he committed suicide in prison a few weeks later, before his trial.
JPMorgan kept him as a client until 2013.