JPMorgan says U.S. Virgin Islands complicit in Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes

U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. speaks at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in National Harbor, Maryland, May 2, 2023.

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JPMorgan in a court submitted to us on tuesday The Virgin Islands “Complicit in Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes,” alleging the sexual predator offered money, advice and favors to senior officials there in return for his trafficking young women to be abused at his island resort.

“For two decades, long after JPMC withdrew from Epstein as a client, the entity that most directly failed to protect public safety and most actively promoted and benefited from Epstein’s continuing criminal activities is the plaintiff in this case— The USVI government itself,” the bank said in filings in Manhattan federal court.

“Instead of stopping him, they helped him,” JPMorgan said, citing the millions of dollars in tax breaks and other benefits the district provided Epstein.

The claim comes as JPMorgan defends itself against a civil lawsuit filed against the Virgin Islands alleging the bank knowingly facilitated Epstein’s sex trafficking while it was a client of Epstein from 1998 to 2013 and benefit from it.

Attorneys for the U.S. Virgin Islands government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest allegations.

A spokesman for the Virgin Islands Attorney General’s Office told Reuters on Tuesday that the document was “clearly intended to deflect responsibility from JPMorgan, which is legally obligated to report evidence it has of Epstein’s human trafficking, but Failed to do so.

The filing Tuesday asked Judge Jed Rakoff to deny a motion from the Virgin Islands that would have blocked JPMorgan from pursuing certain so-called affirmative action defenses to the lawsuit.

“USVI’s motion is intended to strike only those specific defenses that would expose its ties to Epstein,” the filing said.

In a footnote, the document says the Virgin Islands have had three governors in the past 16 years: John de Jong, Kenneth Mapp and the current governor, Albert Blaine Jr.

“As detailed here, Epstein had close ties to each of them,” the footnote said.

Earlier Tuesday, another court document showed for the first time that brian He is due to be deposed on June 6 due to litigation. A source familiar with the situation told CNBC that JPMorgan has asked Blaine, who has served as governor since 2019, to testify.

CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon He is scheduled to be deposed in a lawsuit in New York on Friday.

Rakoff last week authorized the Virgin Islands to tesla CEO Elon Musk His electric car company, looking for any documents Musk may have involving communications between him, Epstein and JPMorgan.

The subpoena is based on the district’s suspicion that Epstein may have referred Musk to the bank or attempted to refer him to the bank as a client.

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Epstein, his ex-friend donald trump and bill clinton, has a home on a private island in an area where he sexually abused many young women over the years. He used money in his JPMorgan account to pay the women and fly them there.

JPMorgan noted in its Tuesday filing that when Epstein was released from a Florida prison after pleading guilty to having sex with a minor, he tried to arrange for his parole to be transferred from the state to the Virgin Islands, where he registered as a sex offender. He also maintained a primary residence in the area, which “puts him under the direct jurisdiction and supervision of USVI law enforcement,” the filing said.

“The decades-long quid pro quo between Epstein and the U.S. Virgin Islands government” took three forms, the bank said.

“First, senior USVI officials spent years courting Epstein and embraced Epstein’s influence, including gifts, favors, and political contributions,” the document states.

“Secondly, in exchange for USVI’s [amount redacted] million tax benefits, among other benefits. Third, and most disturbing, the USVI protected Epstein, creating the perfect conditions for Epstein’s criminal conduct to continue undetected. “

Specifically, the filing says Epstein supported the candidacy of Virgin Islands Representative to the U.S. House of Representatives Stacey Plaskett, who previously worked for the USVI Economic Development Agency, which awarded Epstein ” Huge tax breaks,” and a law firm to represent him in business matters.

Epstein and his staff contributed more than $30,000 to Plaskett’s congressional campaign, according to the bank.

The document says Epstein’s “principal channel for spreading money and influence” through the Virgin Islands government was then-first lady Cecil de Jong, wife of former governor De Jong, who died in 2007. Appointed in 2015.

“Despite her public role and official duties, First Lady de Jong managed Epstein’s U.S. Virgin Islands companies … and received salary, bonuses, and other benefits from Epstein,” the documents said.

Jeffrey Epstein’s former home is on Little St. James Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Emily Michaud | Miami Herald | Getty Images

Much of the details of the claims related to Cecile de Jongh were redacted in the document, but in part the bank said that in addition to working for his company, she “had also made extensive representations on his behalf to government officials, including the governor. Lobbying”.

In another heavily redacted section, the document said the Virgin Islands “facilitated Epstein’s criminal activities.” Specific allegations about how the government did it have been blacked out.

A portion of the document, almost completely redacted, was titled “Epstein Influenced and Laxly Monitored USVI Sex Offender Legislation.” In an unredacted section, the bank’s lawyers wrote, “While USVI did conduct on-site visits to Epstein’s residence, these inspections were sketchy at best.”

“Despite direct infusions of lucrative tax benefits, [redacted] Due to lax law enforcement, Epstein remains unable to freely transport and exploit young women without the assistance of U.S. Virgin Islands government officials,” the document states.

“In exchange for cash and gifts from Epstein, USVI made his life easy,” the filing states. “The government relieved him of any burden of his status as a sex offender. It made sure no one asked too many questions about his traffic on the island and his retention of young girls.”

The then Virgin Islands attorney general filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan in late December denise georgeA month earlier, he had received a $105 million settlement from Epstein’s estate. Days after she filed the lawsuit, Bryan fired George, who had been attorney general for four years.

governor fired george It is said Because she failed to warn him that she was planning to sue JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States.

Despite George’s dismissal, the Virgin Islands continued to pursue its case aggressively against the bank.

On Tuesday, Rakoff held a series of private conference calls on the case.

A public abstract entry summarizes the outcome of that meeting, which included the Virgin Islands, JPMorgan, former JPMorgan executive Jess Starley and an attorney for Epstein’s accusers, who filed another lawsuit against the bank. similar lawsuits. JPMorgan is trying to deflect any legal liability it may have in the lawsuit to Staley, an associate of Epstein at the bank.

“The testimony of Albert Bryan, Jr. is ordered to take place on June 6,” the summary entry said.

The entry also said, “All parties other than J.P. Morgan are ordered to contact former J.P. Morgan officers and directors only through counsel.”

CNBC asked lawyers for the Virgin Islands and JPMorgan to comment on Tuesday’s meeting.

Charges against Jeffrey Epstein were announced in New York City on July 8, 2019. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking a minor and one count of conspiracy to traffic a minor for sex.

Stephanie Keith | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Epstein, 66, committed suicide in a Manhattan prison in August 2019, a month after he was arrested and charged with child trafficking in Manhattan federal court.

Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to a Florida state charge of soliciting sex from an underage girl and was sentenced to 13 months in prison.

NBC archival footage shows Trump partying with Jeffrey Epstein in 1992

JPMorgan knew at the time that his previous criminal case and jail time were in the middle of his tenure as a client of the bank, which he had an account with from 1998 until the bank severed ties with him in 2013.

Epstein has since become a client of Deutsche Bank.

Deutsche Bank Agreed last week to settle Manhattan federal court lawsuit brought by another Epstein plaintiff who claims the bank facilitated and benefited from his sex trade. Deutsche Bank will pay Epstein’s victims $75 million in the deal.

Deutsche Bank agreed in 2020 to pay a $150 million fine to New York financial regulators over its dealings with Epstein and other issues.

“We acknowledge the mistakes we made when we hired Epstein in 2013, as well as the weaknesses in our processes, and have learned from our mistakes and shortcomings,” bank spokesman Dylan Riddle said last week.

—— CNBC Eamon Javers contributed to this report.

Correction: Some previous headlines for this story have been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Jeffrey Epstein’s name.

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