US
Virgin Islands Gov. John de Jongh delivers the 2012 State of the Territory address (Flickr) Virgin Islands Gov. John de Jongh delivers the 2012 State of the Territory address (Flickr)  

Source: Arrest teams back in place in Virgin Islands bribery scandal, just ‘waiting’ for Holder to green light action

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

Arrest teams are now in place in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the wake of the territory’s financial crime and bribery scandal, a source within the Department of Justice told The Daily Caller. According to the source, the teams are now waiting now “waiting” for Attorney General Eric Holder to give the green light for “execution.”

“Everything is in place now,” the source said. “We’re just waiting for them to say ‘execute.’”

Daily Caller investigation earlier this year unearthed allegations that USVI Gov. John de Jongh accepted part of at least $20 million in cash bribes in exchange for facilitating the sale of a telecommunications company to a politically embattled U.S. telecommunications cooperative.

According to the DOJ source – who served on a team put in place to arrest finance executives close to that telecommunications deal – de Jongh accepted a portion of at least $20 million in cash bribes that floated throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands government.

The bribes, according to the source, were for de Jongh, Virgin Islands Attorney General Vincent Frazer and other Virgin Islands legislators — all aimed at quashing local concerns about financial irregularities identified on the books of the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Cooperative.

The DOJ, the source said, never acted on the sealed indictments related to a years-long criminal scheme involving bank fraud and other financial crimes because two prosecutors on a team of more than 25 also accepted bribes. Five other prosecutors, the source said, were compromised in some other unspecified way.

Since TheDC broke and continued covering the story, however, the source said the investigation got back on track due to political pressure the Obama administration faced from adversaries and supporters — many of whom receive lucrative tax breaks from the local Virgin Islands government.

As of this weekend, TheDC’s DOJ source said, law enforcement teams are now ready to make arrests. “The final decision, again, is on Holder’s desk,” the source said. “The final decision is up to him.”

If and when Holder gives the green light, the source said, USVI senators will be the “first” to be taken in into custody by law enforcement. That first step, the source said, will take “less than 24 hours” to complete.

After the senators are taken in, the source said it’s then “the administrative staff and the governor.” After that, the source said, the final step is law enforcement taking in people from the different financial institutions who were involved in the scandal.

The whole process, from the first step through the last step, will take “no more than a week,” the source said.

But, the source said, it’s Holder who ultimately “calls the shots on when it goes.”

“There’s nothing that hasn’t been done that would prevent a nod of confidence,” the source said. “It’s all up to him now to say, ‘yes, go ahead.’”