Ghislaine Maxwell and Elon Musk attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.
Kevin Mazur | vf14 | Wireimage | Getty Images
A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the U.S. Virgin Islands can serve a subpoena for Elon Musk to his electric car company Teslaas part of the government’s lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase over the bank’s ties to dead sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
The ruling came days after USVI government attorneys told Judge Jed Rakoff they could not personally serve the Tesla CEO with the subpoena demanding documents related to Epstein and JPMorgan.
The Virgin Islands are suing JPMorgan in US District Court in Manhattan for allegedly enabling and financially benefiting from Epstein’s sex trafficking of young women. The late financier and sex offender was a client of the bank from 1998 to 2013. JPMorgan denies any wrongdoing.
On April 28, the USVI issued a subpoena to Musk on suspicion that Epstein “may have referred or attempted to refer Musk as a client to JPMorgan,” according to a court filing filed Monday.
That subpoena requires Musk to turn over all documents showing communications involving himself, JPMorgan and Epstein, as well as “any documents reflecting Epstein’s involvement in human trafficking and/or his procurement of girls or women for consensual sex or related to it.”
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The USVI said in a court filing Monday that an investigative firm it hired could not find Musk to personally deliver the subpoena, as is customary.
The filing also states that one of Musk’s attorneys did not respond to a request that the attorney accept the subpoena on his client’s behalf.
In his Wednesday order, Rakoff authorized the USVI to “proceed alternative service of his subpoena for documents by serving Elon Musk via service on Tesla Inc.’s registered agent.”
Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The USVI has also issued similar subpoenas for documents related to Epstein and JPMorgan Google Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, former Disney exec Michael Ovitz, Hyatt Hotels CEO Thomas Pritzker and Mort Zuckerman, the billionaire real estate investor.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is set to be fired May 26 over the lawsuit and a related lawsuit filed against the bank by a woman who alleges Epstein sexually abused her.
In a tweet on Monday evening, Muks sharply criticized the idea of a subpoena in the case.
“This is idiotic in a lot of ways,” Musk wrote on Twitter, which he bought and made private last year.
“That idiot never gave me any advice,” he wrote, citing Epstein.
“The idea that I need financial advice from, or listen to, some stupid scammer is preposterous,” Musk added. “JPM abandoned Tesla ten years ago, even though we had Tesla’s global commercial banking business, which we then retired. I have never forgiven them.”
In 2018, Epstein told the New York Times that he had advised Musk after the Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation into Musk’s comments about Tesla’s privatization. A Tesla spokesman told The Times, “It is wrong to say Epstein ever advised Elon on anything.”
Epstein took his own life in August 2019, a month after federal authorities arrested him on child sex trafficking charges. He previously pleaded guilty in Florida in 2008 to soliciting sex from an underage girl.
Before Epstein fell from grace, Epstein and his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell associated with many wealthy and powerful people, including former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, and Britain’s Prince Andrew, brother of King Charles III.
Maxwell, a British socialite, was convicted in federal court in Manhattan in late 2021 of inciting underage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein. Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison in June 2022.
Musk responded to a Twitter post in July 2020 that posed for a photo next to a smiling Maxwell.
“I don’t know Ghislaine at all,” Musk wrote. “She took a picture of me at a Vanity Fair party a few years ago. The real question is why VF invited them in the first place.”
The New York Times, in a 2022 article detailing this photo, reported that a Vanity Fair contributor, who had stood next to Maxwell and Musk at the party, said that “the couple were talking.”
“Ms. Maxwell asked Mr. Musk if there was a way to take himself off the internet and encouraged Mr. Musk to destroy the internet; Mr Musk declined,” the Times reported, citing the staffer who shared contemporaneous footage of the encounter.
“Ms. Maxwell then asked Mr. Musk why extraterrestrials had not yet made contact with humanity, to which Mr. Musk replied that all civilizations eventually perish – including Maxwell’s hypothetical extraterrestrial civilization – and raised the possibility of humans living in a simulation. “