U.S. Virgin Islands Democratic Gov. John de Jongh’s wife works for convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire financier and recipient of significant economic-development tax breaks in the U.S. territory, The Daily Caller has confirmed.
Cecile de Jongh is employed by Epstein’s Financial Trust Company as its “Office Manager,” the governor’s spokesman Jean Greaux admitted in an email to TheDC. Mrs. de Jongh also appears on Economic Development Corporation records as a contact for Epstein’s company.
Epstein, who owns a private 72-acre island, spent 13 months in prison after he admitted to committing sex crimes. According to The New York Times, authorities said Epstein “paid women, some of them under age, to give him massages that ended with a sexual favor.”
Federal prosecutors originally wanted to pursue charges that could have put Epstein behind bars for 10 years, but he pleaded guilty to lesser charges and served 13 months of an 18-month sentence before his release. Epstein, though out of prison, is a registered sex offender.
Epstein has also reached out-of-court settlements with many women who claimed Epstein sexually victimized them. According to London’s Daily Mail, part of his plea deal required Epstein to face civil suits brought by his victims.
In March 2011 the Daily Mail reported that Epstein had settled out of court with at least 17 alleged sex-crimes victims, that several other cases were ongoing, and that the FBI continued to monitor him.
Epstein, Mrs. de Jongh’s employer, has also received tax breaks from the Virgin Islands Economic Development Corporation. Those benefits permit recipients to avoid some — and in some cases, all — of their tax burden if they live in the U.S. territory for the majority of a year and fulfill certain financial and development obligations to the local economy.
Greaux said he was unsure whether Cecile de Jongh helped Epstein apply for and receive his special tax benefits. He deflected questions to the Economic Development Corporation itself, which has not responded to TheDC’s requests for comment.
Gov. John de Jongh and the tax-break program have come under increased scrutiny in recent months. According to a knowledgeable source inside the U.S. Department of Justice, de Jongh accepted part of a $20 million cash-bribe payout from alleged financial criminals who are under sealed federal indictments, in exchange for favors from his administration.
The Virgin Islands Economic Development Corporation program has also become a national political football since TheDC revealed the involvement of Marjorie Rawls Roberts, a major campaign-donation “bundler” for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
Roberts, TheDC reported, helped convicted Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford and alleged financial criminals involved in the bribery scheme with applications for tax breaks.
Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently canceled a planned fundraising event with Roberts after TheDC reported her connection to the accused and convicted financial criminals.