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Lawyers for JPMorgan in talks with USVI officials about former First Lady’s dealings with Jeffrey Epstein

by | Jul 10, 2023 | United States Virgin Islands | 0 comments

In a court filing last month, lawyers for the national bank, JP Morgan Chase, alleged that the government of the United States Virgin Islands was complicit in the criminal activities of deceased sex trafficker Jeffery Epstein. This marks another move by the bank in its ongoing legal battle with the US Virgin Islands. This follows the islands’ claim that bank executives failed to report suspicious transactions as mandated by the federal anti-sex trafficking law.

The Attorney General of the US Virgin Islands, Ariel Smith, is currently fighting the case in the southern district of New York. To maximize resources, his office has partnered with the private law firm Motley Rice. Although filed under former Attorney General Denise George, the case has finally reached its discovery process under Smith. With the latest phase, lawyers for JP Morgan Chase are now questioning the role of the Virgin Islands’ former First Lady, Cecile de Jongh.

Her husband, John de Jongh Jr., served as the governor of the Virgin Islands from 2007-2015. During this period, JP Morgan Chase argues, Epstein and his associates maintained deep ties to the local Democratic party and its administration. The lawyers argue that during Epstien’s 20 years of residence in the islands, the government not only ignored but facilitated his sex trafficking crimes. The allegations even go as far as to say that under the USVI Economic Development Authority, Epstein was awarded over $300 million in tax exemptions.

And it’s Cecile de Jongh, the case alleges, who masterminded this connection with the Virgin Islands government. She previously worked for the Southern Trust Company, a corporation that Epstein supposedly utilized for his sex-trafficking operation. She also served on one of Epstein’s charitable foundations. As filings from the bank write, de Jongh managed Epstien’s various corporations “despite her public role and official duties.”

According to documents from the discovery process, de Jongh also served as an advisor to Epstein, instructing on local matters such as which political candidates to support and charitable causes to contribute to. In fact, Epstein had donated to the Antilles School, The University of the Virgin Islands, and many other local organizations. Most of them stopped accepting donations following his conviction.

As the discovery process continues, depositions of both high-ranking bank officials and members of the US Virgin Islands Government have been conducted. Those from the US Virgin Islands who’ve been deposed include Governor Albert Bryan Jr. and their delegate to Congress, Stacey Plaskett. Both of these officials were associated with the Economic Development Authority around the time when Epstein allegedly received tax breaks.

With attorneys on both sides alleging misconduct, it’s hard to gain a full understanding of what’s circumstantial and what’s not. However, as the discovery process moves forward, it’s a matter of time before even more evidence is revealed to the public, and each side (the US Virgin Islands and JPMorgan) begins talks to either settle or move to trial.



Chitvan Singh

Chitvan Singh

While originally from Wisconsin, Chitvan is currently a sophomore at Lambert High School in Suwanee, Georgia. At school, he serves as the president of the Mock Trial team as well as a member of the National Latin Honor Society and the Cross Country team. Chitvan works with other organizations such as law firms and private companies in positions related to legal matters and communication. He plans to major in either business studies or public policy and later attend law school. Chitvan is a former US Virgin Islands Affairs Intern Correspondent at Pasquines.


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