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JPMorgan Chase blasts U.S. Virgin Islands as ‘complicit’ in Jeffrey Epstein intercourse trafficking

Albert Bryan Jr., governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, speaks throughout the SelectUSA Funding Summit in Nationwide Harbor, Maryland, on Could 2, 2023.

Ting Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

JPMorgan Chase in a court docket submitting Tuesday known as the U.S. Virgin Islands “complicit within the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein,” saying the intercourse predator gave high-ranking officers there cash, recommendation and favors in trade for trying the opposite approach when he trafficked younger ladies to be abused on his island getaway.

“For 20 years, and for lengthy after JPMC exited Epstein as a consumer, the entity that the majority instantly failed to guard public security and most actively facilitated and benefited from Epstein’s continued felony exercise was the plaintiff on this case — the USVI authorities itself,” the financial institution mentioned within the Manhattan federal court docket submitting.

“Somewhat than cease him, they helped him,” JPMorgan mentioned, citing hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in tax incentives and different advantages the territory gave Epstein.

That declare comes as JPMorgan defends itself in opposition to a civil lawsuit by the Virgin Islands, which alleges that the financial institution knowingly enabled Epstein’s intercourse trafficking and benefited from it when he was a buyer from 1998 via 2013.

A spokesman for theVirgin Islands’ lawyer normal’s workplace advised CNBC on Tuesday, “JPMorgan Chase facilitated Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse, and needs to be held accountable for violating the legislation.”

“That is an apparent try and shift blame away from JPMorgan Chase, which had a obligation to report the proof in its possession of Epstein’s human trafficking, and failed to take action,” the spokesman mentioned.

The financial institution’s submitting Tuesday requested Choose Jed Rakoff to disclaim a movement by the Virgin Islands that may preclude JPMorgan from elevating sure so-called affirmative defenses to the lawsuit.

“USVI’s movement seeks to strike solely these particular defenses that threaten to reveal its relationship with Epstein,” the submitting mentioned.

In a footnote, the submitting mentioned the Virgin Islands had three governors over the previous 16 years: John de Jongh, Kenneth Mapp and present governor Albert Bryan Jr.

“As detailed herein, Epstein had shut ties to every of them,” that footnote mentioned.

Earlier Tuesday, one other court docket submitting for the primary time revealed that Bryan is scheduled to be deposed June 6 for the lawsuit. A supply acquainted with the scenario advised CNBC that JPMorgan requested the deposition of Bryan, who has been governor since 2019.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is scheduled to be deposed within the swimsuit Friday in New York.

Rakoff final week licensed the Virgin Islands to serve a subpoena for Tesla CEO Elon Musk on his electrical automobile firm, in search of paperwork that Musk might have displaying any communications involving him, Epstein and JPMorgan.

That subpoena is predicated on suspicion by the territory that Epstein might have referred Musk or tried to refer him to the financial institution as a consumer.

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Epstein, a former buddy of Donald Trump and Invoice Clinton, maintained a house on a non-public island within the territory the place he sexually abused many younger ladies over time. He used cash from his JPMorgan accounts to pay ladies and fly them there.

In its submitting Tuesday, JPMorgan famous that when Epstein was launched from a Florida jail after pleading responsible to procuring a minor for intercourse, he tried to rearrange for his parole to be transferred from that state to the Virgin Islands, the place he registered as a intercourse offender. He additionally maintained his major residence within the territory, which “put him beneath USVI legislation enforcement’s direct jurisdiction and supervision,” the submitting mentioned.

The financial institution alleges there was a “decades-long quid professional quo between Epstein and the USVI authorities” that took three kinds.

“First, high-ranking USVI officers spent years courting and gladly accepting Epstein’s affect within the type of presents, favors, and political donations,” the submitting mentioned.

“Second, in trade, USVI granted Epstein preferential remedy within the type of greater than $ [amount redacted] million in tax incentives, amongst different advantages. Third, and most troublingly, USVI protected Epstein, fostering the proper situations for Epstein’s felony conduct to proceed undetected.”

Particularly, the submitting says Epstein supported the candidacy of Stacey Plaskett, the Virgin Islands delegate to the U.S. Home of Representatives, after she labored for the USVI Financial Improvement Authority, which awarded Epstein “huge tax advantages.” Plaskett had additionally labored at a legislation agency that represented him in enterprise affairs, the submitting says.

Epstein and his staff donated greater than $30,000 to Plaskett’s congressional races, in accordance with the financial institution.

The submitting mentioned that Epstein’s “major conduit for spreading cash and affect via” Virgin Islands authorities was then-first woman Cecile de Jongh, the spouse of former Gov. de Jongh, who served from 2007 via 2015.

And “regardless of her public function and official duties, First Woman de Jongh managed Epstein’s USVI-based firms … receiving from Epstein a wage, bonuses and different advantages,” the submitting mentioned.

Jeffrey Epstein’s former dwelling on the island of Little St. James within the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Emily Michot | Miami Herald | Getty Pictures

A lot of the main points of the claims associated to Cecile de Jongh are redacted within the submitting, however in a single part the financial institution says that along with working for his firms she “extensively lobbied on his behalf with authorities officers, together with the governor.”

In one other closely redacted part, the submitting says the Virgin Islands “aided Epstein’s felony exercise.” The particular allegations as to how the federal government did that’s blacked out.

Virtually fully redacted is a bit of the submitting entitled, “Epstein exerted affect over USVI intercourse offender laws and acquired lax monitoring.” In a single unredacted part, the financial institution’s attorneys wrote, “Whereas the USVI did conduct website visits of Epstein’s residences, these inspections have been cursory at greatest.”

“Regardless of the direct infusions of profitable tax incentives, [redacted] and lax enforcement, Epstein nonetheless couldn’t freely transport and exploit younger ladies with out help from USVI authorities officers,” the submitting mentioned.

“In trade for Epstein’s money and presents, USVI made life simple for him,” the submitting mentioned. “The federal government mitigated any burdens from his intercourse offender standing. And it made positive that nobody requested too many questions on his transport and holding of younger ladies on his island.”

The lawsuit in opposition to JPMorgan was filed in late December by then-Virgin Islands Legal professional Normal Denise George, who a month earlier had obtained a $105 million settlement from Epstein’s property. Days after she filed that swimsuit, Bryan fired George, who had been lawyer normal for 4 years.

The governor fired George reportedly as a result of she didn’t alert him that she deliberate to sue JPMorgan, which is the most important financial institution in the USA.

Regardless of George’s firing, the Virgin Islands has continued to aggressively pursue its litigation in opposition to the financial institution.

On Tuesday, there was one other in a collection of personal phone conferences with Rakoff over the case.

A public docket entry summarized the result of that convention, which included attorneys for the Virgin Islands, JPMorgan, former JPMorgan government Jes Staley and an Epstein accuser who has a separate, comparable lawsuit pending in opposition to the financial institution. JPMorgan is making an attempt to shift any authorized legal responsibility it might have within the swimsuit to Staley, who was some extent of contact for Epstein on the financial institution.

“The deposition of Albert Bryan, Jr. is ordered to proceed on June 6,” that docket entry says.

The entry additionally says that “all events apart from JP Morgan are ordered to contact former officers and administrators of JP Morgan solely via counsel.”

CNBC requested remark from attorneys for the Virgin Islands and from JPMorgan in regards to the convention Tuesday.

Prices in opposition to Jeffrey Epstein have been introduced on July 8, 2019 in New York Metropolis. Epstein might be charged with one depend of intercourse trafficking of minors and one depend of conspiracy to interact in intercourse trafficking of minors.

Stephanie Keith | Getty Pictures Information | Getty Pictures

Epstein, 66, died by suicide in a Manhattan jail in August 2019, a month after he was arrested and charged in Manhattan federal court docket with baby intercourse trafficking.

Epstein pleaded responsible in 2008 to a Florida state cost of soliciting intercourse from an underage woman and was sentenced to 13 months in jail.

NBC archive footage shows Trump partying with Jeffrey Epstein in 1992

His prior felony case and stint in jail, which have been identified to JPMorgan on the time, got here in the course of his tenure as a buyer of the financial institution, the place he maintained accounts from 1998 till the financial institution severed its relationship with him in 2013.

Epstein turned a buyer of Deutsche Financial institution after that.

Deutsche Financial institution final week agreed to settle a Manhattan federal court docket lawsuit filed by one other Epstein accuser who alleged that financial institution enabled and benefited from his intercourse trafficking. Deutsche Financial institution pays Epstein victims $75 million in that deal.

Deutsche Financial institution in 2020 agreed to pay a $150 million positive to New York’s monetary regulator for its dealings with Epstein and different points.

“We acknowledge our error onboarding Epstein in 2013, and the weaknesses in our processes, and have learnt from our errors and our shortcomings,” financial institution spokesman Dylan Riddle mentioned final week.

— CNBC’s Eamon Javers contributed to this report.

Correction: Some earlier headlines for this story have been up to date to mirror the right spelling of Jeffrey Epstein’s title.

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