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Former first lady of US Virgin Islands worked for Jeffrey Epstein, helped facilitate his sex-trafficking operation, JPMorgan claims in lawsuit
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Former first lady of US Virgin Islands worked for Jeffrey Epstein, helped facilitate his sex-trafficking operation, JPMorgan claims in lawsuit

The wife of the former governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands has been accused of working for Jeffrey Epstein and aiding him in his alleged sex-trafficking operation, but the enterprise that has accused her, JPMorgan, just settled a lawsuit regarding its own affiliation with the late sex offender.

Epstein, whose net worth was estimated to be nearly $600 million at the time of his death, owned several expensive properties, including the island of Little St. James in USVI. He also deposited some of his wealth with JPMorgan, a bank that continued to do business with Epstein for years after he was convicted of procuring a child for prostitution in 2008. In the last few years, USVI and JPMorgan have been trading barbs about which entity helped Epstein the most.

On Thursday, JPMorgan filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York claiming that "in exchange for Epstein’s cash and gifts, USVI made life easy for him." In particular, the bank alleged that Cecile de Jongh — the wife of John de Jongh, who served as USVI governor from 2007 to 2015 — was Epstein's "primary conduit for spreading money and influence throughout the USVI government."

According to court documents, Mrs. de Jongh began working for Epstein in 2000, earning between $100,000 and $200,000 per year. In exchange, she allegedly helped arrange USVI visas for some of Epstein's supposed victims, enrolled them in English classes at the University of the Virgin Islands, and even suggested changes to sex-offender legislation based on Epstein's requests.

"It is important to me that you know that I take this job, my management of your team and our implementation of your requests very seriously and that they be done in the most confidential of ways," de Jongh wrote to Epstein in December 2015, the lawsuit stated.

The lawsuit also provided documentation that indicates that Epstein covered the college tuition costs of at least one of de Jongh's children, ostensibly in exchange for her political influence. In May 2011, de Jongh allegedly emailed Epstein asking him to "approve" the payment of a $25,000 tuition bill for Skidmore College on behalf of her child.

Epstein also made campaign contributions to Democrat Stacey Plaskett, USVI delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, supposedly at de Jongh's behest. Plaskett has made national news as one of the House managers for former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial and for her unseemly behavior during a congressional subcommittee hearing regarding the Twitter Files earlier this year. Plaskett claimed she has since donated those contributions to charitable organizations.

"Jeffrey Epstein's conduct was despicable," she said. "As I've stated in the past, contributions made by Jeffrey Epstein to my campaign were donated to women and children-focused non-profits in the Virgin Islands."

The lawsuit filed by JPMorgan this week is just one of several overlapping lawsuits regarding JPMorgan's and USVI's alleged associations with Epstein. In fact, the suit was actually filed as part of the bank's defense in a civil suit filed by USVI last year. In that court filing, the territory alleged that the bank "was indispensable to the operation and concealment of the Epstein trafficking enterprise."

In addition to those suits, JPMorgan, which conducted business with Epstein from 1998 until 2013, also just reached a tentative settlement in a separate class-action suit filed on behalf of one of Epstein's alleged victims. The bank reportedly agreed to pay up to $290 million total to those victimized by Epstein. The settlement must still be approved by a judge.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon will be deposed in the USVI lawsuit and in another lawsuit filed by a victim. Last week, a spokesperson for the bank said, "Jamie Dimon never met Epstein, never communicated with him, never emailed with him, and never played a role in any business with him."

Venetia Velazquez, a spokesperson for the Virgin Islands attorney general, issued a statement regarding JPMorgan: "JPMorgan Chase has cherry-picked and mischaracterized Epstein's interactions with U.S. Virgin Islands officials and residents in an attempt to distract and shift blame away from its role in facilitating Jeffrey Epstein's heinous crimes."

Cecile de Jongh did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.

Epstein died from an apparent suicide in 2019. At the time, he was in jail awaiting trial for federal sex-trafficking charges.

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@cortneyweil →