Jeffrey Epstein paid tuition for kids of Virgin Islands governor
Sex offender Jeffrey Epstein paid school tuition for the children of the then-governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, whose wife made efforts to secure student visas and a work license for young women connected to Epstein, according to an updated court filing Thursday by JPMorgan Chase.
Those tuition payments — whose duration and amounts were not revealed — allowed then-Gov. John de Jongh Jr. “to funnel additional money to his political campaigns,” JPMorgan said in the filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Epstein also “offered to fund Governor de Jongh’s defense in the Governor’s criminal case,” where the then-former governor was charged in 2015 in connection with the use of public funds to make security improvements at his private residence, according to the filing. Those charges were dropped in early 2016 by the Virgin Islands Department of Justice.
JPMorgan alleges Epstein’s generosity was part of his broader effort to build sway on the islands.
The filing is part of the bank’s defense of a civil lawsuit by the U.S. Virgin Islands alleging JPMorgan facilitated Epstein’s sex trafficking of young women. Epstein, who was a JPMorgan customer from 1998 to 2013, owned two private islands in the territory and abused multiple young women at his residence on one of those islands.
JPMorgan denies wrongdoing in the case.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is due to be deposed Friday for the Virgin Islands’ lawsuit, as well as for a similar one filed against the bank by an accuser of Epstein.
“Lest there be doubt that Epstein’s goal was to gain influence, First Lady [Cecile] de Jongh explicitly advised Epstein on how to buy control of the USVI political class,” the filing says.
The document also refers to one time when Cecile de Jongh was “asking Epstein what visas the ‘ladies’ have and trying to arrange English as a Second Language classes for them.”
John de Jongh served as Virgin Islands governor from 2007 through 2015.
Cecile de Jongh worked for Epstein, managing his companies in the territory. She made $200,000 in 2007 alone, the filing notes.
CNBC has reached out to the de Jonghs for comment through an asset management firm in the Virgin Islands where John de Jongh is a director.
The filing was first docketed on Tuesday with extensive redactions.
But on Thursday, it was refiled, with some details about former Gov. de Jongh and Cecile now visible. Also visible are allegations related to current Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and his immediate predecessor in that office, Kenneth Mapp.
Bryan, who is due to be deposed June 6 in the case, suggested schools to which Epstein should donate $50,000, the filing said. Bryan also asked that $30,000 go to the Virgin Islands Little League, according to the document.
Portions of the filing that were visible Tuesday said that the government of the Virgin Islands was “complicit in the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein.”
JPMorgan said that Epstein — who died in 2019 by a jailhouse suicide while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges — gave top officials in the territory money, advice and favors as they looked the other way when he trafficked young women there.
A spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney General of the Virgin Islands, in an emailed statement responding to the updated filing, said, “JPMorgan Chase facilitated Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse, and should be held accountable for violating the law.”
“This is an obvious attempt to shift blame away from JPMorgan Chase, which had a legal responsibility to report the evidence in its possession of Epstein’s human trafficking, and failed to do so,” the spokesperson said.
The document calls Cecile de Jongh, who managed Epstein’s companies there when she was first lady, “a ready partner” in helping Epstein transport young women to exploit in the Virgin Islands, where he maintained a home.
The bank alleged Cecile de Jongh was “Epstein’s primary conduit for spreading money and influence throughout the USVI government.” The filing said she emailed him in 2011 proposed language for a bill in the Virgin Islands legislature that would update sex offender monitoring laws.
“This is the suggested language; will it work for you?” she asked in that email, according to the filing.
The document also said that Epstein, who was a registered sex offender due to his conviction in Florida state court in 2008 for soliciting sex from a minor, replied: “We should add out of country for more than 7 days, otherwise I could not go for a day trip to Tortola, at the last minute.”
JPMorgan alleged that Epstein, despite receiving “lucrative tax incentives” and “lax enforcement” of his sex offender status from the Virgin Islands, “still could not freely transport and exploit young women without assistance from USVI government officials.”
The filing said Cecile de Jongh “arranged for Epstein to meet with a local immigration lawyer to assist at least one” young woman who needed a visa to visit the American territory.
Cecile de Jongh also “contacted the University of the Virgin Islands … to find out whether three young women could enroll there to obtain student visas,” according to the filing.
“Perhaps cognizant of the risk in having a registered sex offender sign the letter, First Lady de Jongh wrote to Epstein that he should think about whether ‘[he] should sign [the letter] or one of us,'” the document said.
“Ultimately UVI structured a bespoke class to enroll victims and provide cover for their presence in the territory — the same year Epstein donated $20,000 to the university through one of his companies,” the filing said.
“In addition to visas, some of the young women Epstein brought to the island also needed
employment,” the filing noted.
The document said that when one of those women needed a dental license, “First Lady de Jongh reached out to the Director for the Office of Professional Licensure and Health Planning at the USVI Department of Health regarding a ‘new practice act’ that would have ‘significant changes and allowances for reciprocity.'”
“The Director wrote to Ms. de Jongh that once the act went before the Senate Committee she would have a ‘clearer idea on what [the young woman’s] options are moving forward,'” it said.
The filing alleged Cecile de Jongh also reached out to contacts in the attorney general’s office and solicitor general’s office about the new rules.
“Ultimately, First Lady de Jongh was successful,” the filing said. “The young woman eventually set
up a local dental practice in the USVI and shared an office with Epstein’s companies.”
In detailing claims that Cecile advised Epstein on how to use his money to control politicians in the USVI, the filing says that Epstein, at her suggestion, “explored paying monthly retainers to USVI politicians to ensure their ‘loyalty and access.'”
“First Lady de Jongh suggested that Epstein “consider putting Celestino [White] on some sort of monthly retainer. That is what will get you his loyalty and access,'” said the document.
White was a USVI senator.
The filing also details how Epstein met often with the leadership of the USVI Port Authority, which leased hangar space to him at its airport, where women were brought in for Epstein.
Cecile de Jongh at one point asked Epstein, on behalf of her husband, the governor, “if he would support” the bid by then-USVI Sen. Carlton Dowe to return to the Port Authority, the filing said.
Dowe, according to the message from Cecile, would be a “good person for us” there, the filing said.
“Based on his government connections, when traveling through the USVI’s airport accompanied by young women as a registered sex offender, Epstein could count on his ‘great relationship’ with the officials there to avoid scrutiny or detection,” the filing said.
“In sum, in exchange for Epstein’s cash and gifts, USVI made life easy for him,” JPMorgan’s filing said.
The document added: “The government mitigated any burdens from his sex offender status. And it made sure that no one asked too many questions about his transport and keeping of young girls on his island.”