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Monday, June 5, 2023
HomeNewsLocal newsEditorial: JP Morgan Chase Filing Implicates V.I. Officials

Editorial: JP Morgan Chase Filing Implicates V.I. Officials

The latest filing in the U.S. Virgin Islands government’s suit against J.P. Morgan Chase over the banking giant’s role in aiding Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking has named three administrations’ worth of USVI officials. It is cause for community concern.

A partially redacted court filing uploaded this week includes email exchanges and meeting records that allegedly implicate former First Lady Cecile deJongh, former Gov. John deJongh Jr., V.I. Port Authority Executive Director Carlton Dowe, former Sen. Celestino White, Sr., Congressional Delegate Stacey Plaskett, and sitting Gov. Albert Bryan Jr., who, along with White, is set to be deposed in the case. The filings also name former Gov. Kenneth Mapp.

None of these people have been charged with a crime in the matter, nor does their inclusion necessarily indicate any wrongdoing.

For our community, however, such a filing, based in fact or not, is hurtful and absolutely alarming.

In the coming days, the Source will attempt to speak with those described as “complicit” on both sides of Epstein’s affairs. It is the fair and responsible thing to do. That does not mean that you, our readers, should wait on our success. There is every chance public figures named in the suit will decline to speak. This is their right.

But the issue has made national and international headlines, with nearly every major outlet offering an analysis.

“‘For two decades, and for long after JPMC exited Epstein as a client, the entity that most directly failed to protect public safety and most actively facilitated and benefited from Epstein’s continued criminal activity was the plaintiff in this case — the USVI government itself,’ the bank said in the Manhattan federal court filing,” according to an article Wednesday in CNBC.

A Reuters article also said that the bank alleged “Epstein had a “quid pro quo” relationship with the U.S. Virgin Islands’ highest-ranking officials, bestowing money and favors in exchange for millions of dollars of tax incentives and looking the other way at his crimes.”

There are more than a dozen more reports that have been written over the past two days, and we’re currently culling through those as well. Look for more tomorrow and in the days ahead.

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