JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank, alleged in a new court filing Thursday that the wife of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ former governor and other officials in the territory helped Jeffrey Epstein dodge sex offender laws and helped him procure his alleged victims.
The bank’s new filing in a U.S. District Court is part of an ongoing civil lawsuit that the Virgin Islands filed last year accusing the company of financially benefiting from Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking operation in the Virgin Islands, where he owned a small island, and failing to report his suspicious financial activity.
JPMorgan Chase, which denies any liability in Epstein’s alleged schemes, fired back at the U.S. territory this week, saying in its filing that Cecile de Jongh, wife of former Gov. John de Jongh, facilitated a “quid pro quo relationship” between Epstein and the island’s most powerful figures while she first lady from 2007 to 2015.
“Epstein’s primary conduit for spreading money and influence throughout the USVI government was First Lady de Jongh,” Thursday’s filing alleges, saying she “drove donations from Epstein to support her husband and allies.” He also paid her $200,000 in 2007 alone for management work at his companies and paid the school tuition for her and the governor’s children, the bank claimed in its filing.
In exchange, JPMorgan Chase’s lawyers say, de Jongh used her influence with high-ranking public officials to help Epstein ― who was convicted in 2008 of procuring a child for prostitution ― obtain student visas for three women involved in his alleged sex trafficking ring, arrange for their enrollment at a local university, find employment for them and coordinate their travel to the territory.
“In sum, in exchange for Epstein’s cash and gifts, USVI made life easy for him,” the filing says. “The government mitigated any burdens from his sex offender status. And it made sure that no one asked too many questions about his transport and keeping of young girls on his island.”
Epstein was arrested in 2019 on charges of sex trafficking minors but died by suicide in his Manhattan jail cell ahead of his trial.
A spokesperson for the attorney general of the Virgin Islands called JPMorgan Chase’s new filing “an obvious attempt to shift blame.”
De Jongh has not returned media inquiries about the allegations against her.