According to a court document filed on Monday, the U.S. Virgin Islands issued a subpoena to Tesla CEO Elon Musk requesting records for the government’s lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase regarding sex trafficking by the bank’s late longtime client Jeffrey Epstein.
According to the filing, there is reason to believe that Epstein “may have referred or attempted to refer” Musk as a client to JPMorgan, and the Virgin Islands has made unsuccessful attempts to serve Musk with the subpoena that was issued on April 28.
In its filing, the U.S. territory requested permission from Manhattan federal court Judge Jed Rakoff to deliver Musk’s subpoena to Tesla’s registered agent.
In response to the subpoena, Elon Musk is required to produce any papers demonstrating interactions between him, JPMorgan, and Epstein as well as “all Documents reflecting or regarding Epstein’s involvement in human trafficking and/or his procurement of girls or women for consensual sex.”
The US Virgin Islands, without the intention of questioning Musk under oath, issued a subpoena to him in the Epstein lawsuit, clarifying that this action does not imply any wrongdoing on his part.
In 2019, Epstein allegedly committed “suicide” in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on charges related to sex trafficking.
According to the New York Times, in 2019, both Elon Musk and Tesla strongly denied any speculation linking Epstein to advising Musk, particularly during a time when Elon Musk faced regulatory challenges after claiming to have secured funding to privatize Tesla. Musk’s spokesperson explicitly stated to the New York Times that Epstein had never provided advice to Elon on any matter.
Interestingly, Elon Musk is not the only tech entrepreneur entangled in the legal proceedings involving the US Virgin Islands. US district judge Jed Rakoff recently ruled that the territory could serve legal documents to Larry Page, co-founder of Google (owned by Alphabet Inc.), although the specific information sought from Page was not specified in the ruling.
In a separate lawsuit brought by Tesla shareholders, Elon Musk testified in January that JPMorgan used to handle all of Tesla’s commercial banking business. However, their relationship deteriorated when the bank failed to support Tesla’s automotive leasing line.
This trial originated from claims by Tesla shareholders that Elon Musk ‘s tweet in 2018, asserting that he had secured funding to take Tesla private, misled investors and resulted in billions of dollars in damages. The jury ultimately found Elon Musk not liable in this matter.
In 2021, JPMorgan filed a lawsuit against Tesla, seeking $162 million in relation to the impact of the “funding secured” tweet, alleging that it caused the repricing of Tesla stock warrants. In response, Tesla countersued JPMorgan last year, accusing the bank of attempting to obtain an undeserved windfall.
Elon Musk strongly dismisses the notion, highlighting multiple reasons why the claims are misguided:
- It’s absolutely ludicrous to suggest that individual ever provided me with advice of any kind.
- The idea that I would seek or heed financial advice from a foolish criminal is utterly absurd.
- JPMorgan disappointed Tesla a decade ago, even though they held our global commercial banking business at the time. We made the decision to sever ties, and I have never forgotten their letdown.
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