February 18, 2020
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Bowdoin College trustee under investigation for his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Students walk near the chapel on the Bowdoin College campus in Brunswick is this March 9, 2016, file photo.

A Bowdoin College trustee is under investigation in the United Kingdom for his relationship with convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in a Manhattan jail cell last year.

CNN reports that the Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority have launched separate inquiries into James “Jes” Staley, the CEO of London-based Barclays.

The authority’s investigation centers around how Staley characterized his relationship with the disgraced financier to Barclays and how the bank then described it to regulators, according to CNN.

After its own internal review, Barclays said Staley “retains the full confidence of the board” and has been recommended for re-election as its next annual meeting, CNN reports.

The probes come after emails between Staley and Epstein were handed over to United Kingdom regulators from U.S. authorities, the Guardian reports. The existence of those emails was first reported by the Financial Times.

Staley, who graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick in 1979, was listed Friday on the college’s website as a member of its board of trustees.

Bowdoin spokesman Scott Hood said in a statement to the Bowdoin Orient that the board of trustees decided after a “thorough review” that “nothing in Jes Staley’s actions or behavior that warranted the Board taking any action.”

Hood added that the board of trustees will examine any new revelations from the U.K. regulators’ investigations.

Staley has run Barclays since 2015, and before that, he worked for JP Morgan for more than 30 years, according to CNN.

Staley characterized his relationship with Epstein, which began during his tenure at JP Morgan, as “professional.” He said that relationship “tapered off quite significantly” after Staley left JP Morgan, according to CNN.

The Guardian reports that Staley last visited Epstein in 2015, when Staley sailed his yacht to Epstein’s private Caribbean island. Staley had maintained that his last contact with Epstein was in middle to late 2015 before he took his post at Barclays, according to the newspaper.

Epstein, who sexually abused numerous teenage girls, in 2008 pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting and procuring a person under 18 for prostitution as part of a deal overseen by then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, who later resigned as labor secretary under President Donald Trump, that drew renewed scrutiny in 2019.

Federal prosecutors out of New York arrested Epstein last July on sex trafficking charges that could have put in him prison for 45 years. The financier — whose relationships with high-profile business leaders and politicians, including Trump, former President Bill Clinton and former Maine Sen. George Mitchell, have attractive widespread criticism and scrutiny — was found dead in a cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York last August in an apparent suicide. That followed an earlier apparent suicide attempt.

Two officers tasked with monitoring Epstein have been charged with falsifying records to make it appear they had checked him every 30 minutes as required when, in fact, he had been left unattended for eight hours, and the acting director of the Bureau of Prisons, Hugh Hurwitz, was relieved of his post and reassigned.

In an interview with the Associated Press last November, Attorney General William Barr described Epstein’s death as the result of “a perfect storm of screw-ups.”

 


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