JP Morgan claims US Virgin Islands ‘complicit’ in Jeffrey Epstein crimes | Jeffrey Epstein

JP Morgan has claimed the government of the US Virgin Islands is “complicit in the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein”, saying the convicted sex trafficker maintained a “quid pro quo relationship” with some of the territory’s highest officials over two decades.

The claim, contained in a legal filing on Tuesday, comes as part of a legal tussle that began with the US Virgin Islands alleging in a New York court that JP Morgan “facilitated and concealed wire and cash transactions that raised suspicion of – and were in fact part of – a criminal enterprise whose currency was the sexual servitude of dozens of women and girls”. JP Morgan denies the claims.

The government of the US Virgin Islands has sought legal depositions of the bank’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, and a host of high-profile names from tech, hospitality and finance, including Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, Thomas Pritzker and others, as part of an effort to gather more information about Epstein’s relationship with JP Morgan.

Epstein maintained a home on a private island in the territory where he sexually abused young women over the years, using money from accounts he maintained at JP Morgan. Last week, Deutsche Bank agreed to settle a similar proposed class-action suit by Epstein victims for $75m.

But in a counter-claim, JP Morgan says the government of the US Virgin Islands (USVI), not JP Morgan, is the entity “that most directly failed to protect public safety and most actively facilitated and benefited from Epstein’s continued criminal activity”.

“Epstein could have lived anywhere in the world. He chose USVI. Discovery obtained in this case reveals why,” JP Morgan claims.

“For two decades, Epstein maintained a quid pro quo relationship with USVI’s highest-ranking officials. He gave them money, advice, influence and favors. In exchange, they shielded and even rewarded him, granting him [millions of dollars] in tax incentives … looking the other way when he walked through USVI airports accompanied by girls and young women … ”

JP Morgan also claims that Epstein backed a US Virgin Islands government official for office who later awarded him tax breaks in the territory, and that his “primary conduit for spreading money and influence throughout the USVI government was First Lady [Cecile] de Jongh”.

Epstein further “exerted influence over USVI sex offender legislation and received lax monitoring”, according to the filing, and maintained such close connections with government officials that he was able to pass through the “USVI’s airport accompanied by young women as a registered sex offender”.

A spokesperson from the US Virgin Islands attorney general’s office 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.”

Earlier on Wednesday, it was reported that the governor of the US Virgin Islands, Albert Bryan, is scheduled to be deposed next month as part of the lawsuit. JP Morgan is believed to have requested Bryan’s deposition.

The USVI-JP Morgan lawsuit was filed last year by the then Virgin Islands attorney general Denise George. But days after filing the claim, she was fired by the governor, reportedly because she failed to alert him that she planned to sue the bank.

The continuing swirl of allegations comes a day after it was claimed that Epstein had reportedly threatened to blackmail Bill Gates over his extramarital affair with a Russian bridge player.

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