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 that document, 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, Musk is required to produce any documents 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.”
JPMorgan is being sued by the Virgin Islands for allegedly helping Epstein send young women to his own island where he and others would abuse them.
In a separate ongoing civil action filed in Manhattan federal court by a woman who alleges Epstein sexually assaulted her, JPMorgan refutes the government’s allegations. Beginning on May 26, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, will be deposed in connection with both lawsuits.
The Virgin Islands stated in a court filing on May 4 that the government had sent a similar demand for papers on Google co-founder Larry Page and that it was also having trouble reaching Page.
Additionally, the jurisdiction has already served subpoenas on Page’s fellow Google co-founder Sergey Brin, ex-Disney executive Michael Ovitz, executive chairman of Hyatt Hotels Thomas Pritzker, and billionaire real estate mogul Mort Zuckerman.
The Virgin Islands said in their Monday filing that “Upon information and belief, Elon Musk — the CEO of Tesla, Inc., among other companies — is a high-net-worth individual who Epstein may have referred or attempted to refer to JPMorgan.” Musk not only runs Tesla, but also SpaceX and owns Twitter.
The government claimed that it had contacted one of Musk’s attorneys and hired an investigation firm to try to find an address from him.
According to the complaint, that attorney has waived the necessity of serving him personally with legal documents in prior federal cases.
“The Government contacted Mr. Musk’s counsel via email to ask if he would be authorized to accept service on Mr. Musk’s behalf in this matter but did not receive a response confirming or denying his authority,” the filing said.
Musk did not answer CNBC’s request for comment right away.
Musk did, however, respond to the tweet sent by @unusual_whales on Monday night in response to the CNBC piece.
“This is idiotic on so many levels,” Musk wrote in his Twitter reply. “1. That cretin never advised me on anything whatsoever. 2. The notion that I would need or listen to financial advice from a dumb crook is absurd.”
“3. JPM let Tesla down ten years ago, despite having Tesla’s global commercial banking business, which we then withdrew,” Musk wrote. “I have never forgiven them.”
This is idiotic on so many levels:
1. That cretin never advised me on anything whatsoever.
2. The notion that I would need or listen to financial advice from a dumb crook is absurd.
3. JPM let Tesla down ten years ago, despite having Tesla’s global commercial banking…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2023
After Musk’s comments about taking the firm private prompted an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2018, Epstein told James Stewart of The New York Times that he had been coaching Musk.
A Tesla spokesperson told the Times, “It is incorrect to say that Epstein ever advised Elon on anything.” Tesla has since vehemently refuted the claim. During their conversation, Epstein told Stewart that “everyone at Tesla would deny talking to him or being his friend,” as reported in the story.
From 1998 to 2013, Epstein, a friend of Trump, Clinton, and Britain’s Prince Andrew, was a client of the bank. He was found guilty of soliciting sexual activity from a minor in Florida state court in 2008.
A month after being accused of child sex trafficking, Epstein took his own life in a Manhattan jail in August 2019.