© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: JPMorgan Chase is seen in New York City, U.S., March 21, 2023. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs
By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:) on Thursday unveiled new allegations that the US Virgin Islands were complicit in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes, including that a former first lady of this territory applied for student visas for some of the victims of the disgraced financier.
The largest US bank also singled out Governor Albert Bryan as one of a number of government officials who maintained a “close relationship” with Epstein, saying that in 2018 he arranged donations from Epstein for schools and minor leagues.
JPMorgan made the allegation in a filing in Manhattan federal court, where the US Virgin Islands wants the bank to be held liable in a civil lawsuit for keeping Epstein as a client since 1998. until 2013, the final five years after he pleaded guilty to prostitution.
The New York-based bank has countered that the territory has “unclean hands” for protecting Epstein, who died in 2019, and rewarding him with millions of dollars in tax breaks in exchange. his “money, advice, influence and favor”.
A spokesperson for the US Virgin Islands attorney general’s office called the new allegations “an obvious attempt to place blame”, echoing an earlier statement. Bryan’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Thursday’s filing has been partially redacted, but with fewer edits than Tuesday’s version.
JPMorgan also faces a class-action lawsuit proposed by women who say Epstein sexually abused them and that the bank should have cut ties with him sooner.
Epstein, 66, died in his Manhattan cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
The city’s medical examiner called Epstein’s death a suicide. Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, is appealing his conviction and 20-year prison sentence for aiding his sexual abuse.
‘WILL IT WORK FOR YOU?’
Many of JPMorgan’s new allegations involve Cecile de Jongh, whose husband, John de Jongh, was governor from 2007 to 2015.
The bank has called former first lady Epstein “a key conduit for transmitting money and influence throughout the USVI government” and a “ready partner” in his desire to exploit young women.
Emails requesting comment from Cecile and John de Jongh were not immediately acknowledged. Not a party to the lawsuit.
The bank said de Jongh once arranged for Epstein to meet with a local immigration attorney to help a woman get a visa and asked a local university if the three women could apply there for student visas. tablets or not.
JPMorgan also said de Jongh managed Epstein’s local companies during her husband’s time as governor, with Epstein paying their children’s school fees and working with Epstein in 2011 when the U.S. Virgin Islands became part of the United States. is drafting a new law on sex crimes.
“This is suggestive language; is it right for you?” de Jongh asked Epstein in a May 2011 email, according to JPMorgan.
The bank’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, who is not a defendant, is expected to testify under oath in court on Friday. Bryan faces a June 6 deposition.
JPMorgan is privately suing Jes Staley, an old friend of Epstein’s who once led his wealth management business, to ask him to cover the losses they may have suffered in the other two lawsuits.
The case is the Government of the United States Virgin Islands v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, United States District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-10904.