The nation’s largest bank says the wife of a former governor of the US Virgin Islands aided in the alleged criminal activity of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein by helping him circumvent sex offender monitoring laws, as well as coordinating visas, employment and travel for their victims.
Cecile de Jongh was Epstein’s “primary conduit for spreading money and influence throughout the USVI government,” JPMorgan Chase alleged in a court document filed Thursday in the US District Court for the Southern District. from New York.
Her husband, John de Jongh, served as the governor of the US territory in the Caribbean from 2007 to 2015.
“For two decades, Epstein maintained a quid pro quo relationship with the highest ranking officials of the US Virgin Islands,” the financial institution said in the court document. “He gave them money, advice, influence and favors. In return, they protected him and even rewarded him.»
JPMorgan Chase made the allegations in a filing as part of its defense in a civil lawsuit filed by the territory against it last year. In its complaint, the Virgin Islands alleged that the bank «was indispensable to the operation and cover-up of Epstein’s trafficking enterprise.»
The suit seeks monetary damages. The bank has denied its responsibility.
In a statement, a spokesman for the islands’ attorney general said: «JPMorgan Chase facilitated the abuse of Jeffrey Epstein and must be held accountable for breaking the law.» The spokesman called the allegations against Cecile de Jongh «an obvious attempt to deflect blame». from JPMorgan Chase, that she had a legal responsibility to report the evidence in her possession about Epstein’s human trafficking, and she failed to do so.”
Cecile de Jongh did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Epstein was convicted in 2008 of procuring a child for prostitution. He later committed suicide in 2019 at a Manhattan correctional facility, where he was being held on federal sex trafficking charges.
Epstein owned a small island in the Virgin Islands. Despite Cecile de Jongh’s public role and official duties, he managed Epstein’s Virgin Islands-based companies from 2007 to 2015, earning $200,000 in 2007 alone, the court document alleges. Epstein also paid tuition for his children, according to the document.
The financial institution alleged that it helped Epstein obtain student visas for three of his victims and helped enroll them in a «one-on-one class» at the University of the Virgin Islands. The class was created to “provide cover for his presence in the territory, the same year that Epstein donated $20,000 to the university through one of his companies,” according to the court document.
Victims had to demonstrate their ability to pay for the class through a letter, and «perhaps aware of the risk of a registered sex offender signing the letter,» Cecile de Jongh suggested that someone else sign the letters, according to the documents.
Some of the young women Epstein brought to the island were also in need of employment, including a woman seeking a dental license, according to the court document. Cecile de Jongh contacted various government officials about dental licensing rules and regulations and “ultimately, the First Lady de Jongh succeeded”.
«The young woman eventually established a local dental practice in the US Virgin Islands and shared an office with Epstein’s companies,» the bank alleged.
Epstein met frequently with leaders of the Virgin Islands Port Authority, which ran the airport on St. Thomas that victims used to reach the islands. Epstein also leased hangar space at the airport.
According to the court document, Cecile de Jongh asked Epstein, on behalf of her husband, «whether we would support» a local lawmaker’s offer to return to a Port Authority position, adding that the lawmaker would be «‘a good person. for us’ there». .”
“According to his government connections, when traveling through the USVI airport accompanied by young women as registered sex offenders, Epstein could count on his ‘great relationship’ with officials there to avoid scrutiny or detection,” he says. the court document.
In 2011, the islands’ legislature took up a bill that would update their sex offender monitoring laws. At the time, according to the filing, Cecile de Jongh emailed Epstein on the draft of the proposed bill, writing “this is the suggested language; Will it work for you?»
Epstein opposed several provisions, including one that would require him, as a prior offender, to report short trips outside of the United States, such as to the neighboring British Virgin Islands. He suggested a change: «We should add out of the country for more than 7 days, otherwise I couldn’t go on a day trip to Tortola, last minute.»
The bank claimed that Epstein was «disappointed by the final form of the bill» but was told by Cecile de Jongh that «all is not lost and we will find something by coming up with a game plan to get around these hurdles.»
“In short, in exchange for Epstein’s cash and gifts, USVI made his life easier. The government mitigated any burden of his status as a sex offender,” the court document alleges.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is scheduled to be declared in the Virgin Islands lawsuit and a second one filed by Jane Doe against the bank over its alleged ties to Epstein.
A JPMorgan spokesperson told NBC News last week: «Jamie Dimon has never met Epstein, never communicated with him, never emailed him, and never played a role in any business with him.»