JPMorgan Chase, in a recent court filing on Tuesday night, revealed that Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced late financier, received over $300 million in tax incentives from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Shockingly, the territory also waived sex offender monitoring requirements, providing Epstein with a shield as he bestowed cash and gifts upon high-ranking officials.
According to JPMorgan, Epstein allegedly made payments to law enforcement entities, including the Virgin Islands Police Department. The bank further claimed that Epstein had connections to U.S. Virgin Islands officials, including former first lady Cecile de Jongh, who were allegedly aware of his criminal activities.
Requests for comment from the U.S. Virgin Islands and the police department, as well as de Jongh, remained unanswered at the time of reporting.
JPMorgan’s filing, an amended version of which had been previously submitted, serves as part of the bank’s defense in a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Virgin Islands in Manhattan federal court. The territory accuses JPMorgan of facilitating Epstein’s sex crimes by providing banking services and enabling him to make payments to his victims.
It is worth noting that Epstein, who owned two neighboring islands in the U.S. Virgin Islands, died by suicide in a Manhattan jail cell at the age of 66 in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
The relationship between Epstein and U.S. Virgin Islands officials, including de Jongh, is described by JPMorgan as a quid pro quo arrangement. According to the bank, de Jongh managed Epstein’s local companies for eight years and assisted in arranging visas for some of his victims, receiving a salary, bonuses, and tuition for her children’s education in return.
In the court filing, JPMorgan disclosed that Epstein’s Financial Trust Co, also known as Southern Trust Co, received $219.8 million in tax benefits from the U.S. Virgin Islands between 1999 and 2012, along with $80.6 million from 2013 to 2018.
Notably, despite serving a 13-month sentence after pleading guilty to a Florida prostitution charge in 2008, Epstein was certified as a “bona fide” resident by Cecile de Jongh in 2009, allowing him to avail himself of certain benefits. The territory also waived travel restrictions for Epstein, disregarding his status as a sex offender.
JPMorgan further revealed that the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Justice failed to timely notify Epstein’s status under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act on multiple occasions. Surprisingly, Epstein even raised this matter personally with the USVI DOJ. The bank also noted that inspections conducted by the territory at Epstein’s residence were often superficial, as he frequently was not present during the checks.
This disclosure from JPMorgan follows the recent release by the U.S. Virgin Islands of a 22-page document prepared by the bank in late 2019 after Epstein’s death. The document outlined Epstein’s close ties to former JPMorgan private banking chief Jes Staley, including numerous messages exchanged between them or involving other bank officials.
Just last week, JPMorgan reached a $290 million settlement in principle to resolve a lawsuit filed by numerous Epstein accusers who claimed to have been abused by the financier during their teenage years or young adulthood. The bank seeks to recover its losses in that lawsuit and the ongoing U.S. Virgin Islands lawsuit from Staley, who departed JPMorgan in 2013 and later served as Barclays’ CEO for six years. Staley has expressed regret over his friendship with Epstein and has denied any knowledge of his criminal activities.