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Democrat Governor Allegedly Sought Out Jeffrey Epstein Donations For Schools Right Before He Got Elected, Filings Say

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James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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Democratic U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. allegedly sought donations from deceased sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein for the territory’s schools and little leagues the year he was elected, according to Wednesday court filings.

Bryan allegedly “facilitated donations” from Epstein in 2018 and suggested schools for Epstein to support, new court filings by J.P. Morgan Chase shared by Law & Crime claim. “Similarly, in 2018, the now-current USVI Governor Albert Bryan facilitated donations by Epstein to USVI’s schools and little leagues,” the document reads.

In one instance Bryan recommended schools for Epstein to give a $50,000 donation to, and in another, Bryan advised Epstein to give $30,000 to the VI little league, the filings allege. Epstein also apparently discussed giving Bryan’s inaugural committee a $25,000 gift, but it’s unknown whether the donation materialized.

Bryan was elected in November 2018 and won reelection in November 2022. He was previously the commissioner of the USVI Department of Labor, a business executive and executive director of the territory’s Junior Achievement chapter.

The bank accused USVI officials of being complicit in Epstein’s crimes and described how Epstein gained favor with the territory’s political officials to receive preferential treatment, according to the filings. (RELATED: Jeffrey Epstein’s Behavior In Prison Leading Up To His Death Revealed By New Documents)

“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 filings allege.

Former USVI first lady Cecile de Jongh, the wife of former Gov. John de Jongh, is accused in the filings of helping Epstein navigate the USVI’s political landscape as part of her assistance with his alleged sex trafficking operation. “First Lady de Jongh explicitly advised Epstein on how to buy control of the USVI political class,” the filings state.

“It is important to me that you know that I take this job, my management of your team and our implementation of your requests very seriously and that they be done in the most confidential of ways,” de Jongh allegedly wrote to Epstein in 2014, as the Daily Caller previously reported from the same set of court filings.

John de Jongh had a “Special Events Fund” that allegedly received a $15,000 donation from Epstein, the filings say. (RELATED: Why Hasn’t Anyone From Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Little Black Book’ Been Arrested Yet?) 

“The decades-long quid pro quo between Epstein and the USVI government took three forms. First, high-ranking USVI officials spent years courting and gladly accepting Epstein’s influence in the form of gifts, favors, and political donations. Second, in exchange, USVI granted Epstein preferential treatment in the form of more than $[redacted] million in tax incentives, among other benefits. Third, and most troublingly, USVI protected Epstein, fostering the perfect conditions for Epstein’s criminal conduct to continue undetected. Rather than stop him, they helped him,” the court filings allege.

READ THE FULL FILINGS:

JPM Epstein Filings by James Lynch on Scribd

Epstein’s political activities brought him into the USVI’s Democratic party circles and de Jongh convinced him to send money to her husband’s political allies, the court filings allege.

Epstein also donated to Democratic USVI Del. Stacey Plaskett and asked the contributions to “be kept secret.” He gave Plaskett the maximum amount for an individual donor and allegedly directed others to send Plaskett donations, the filings assert. Plaskett later returned the donations after renewed scrutiny on Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking operation.

“Jeffrey Epstein’s conduct was despicable,” Plaskett told the Wall Street Journal. “As I’ve stated in the past, contributions made by Jeffrey Epstein to my campaign were donated to women and children-focused non-profits in the Virgin Islands.”

The disgraced financier obtained “easy access” to Plaskett and other USVI officials visited Epstein’s islands “with regularity,” including Bryan’s predecessor, former USVI Gov. Kenneth Mapp, the court filings claim. (RELATED: REPORT: Jeffrey Epstein Met With Noam Chomsky On Several Occasions, Docs Show)

The legal battle between the USVI and J.P. Morgan began when former USVI Attorney General Denise George filed a lawsuit in December 2022 accusing the bank of facilitating Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking. George was “relieved of her duties” on New Year’s Day, less than a week after she filed her lawsuit, but the governor did not give an explanation.

“I relieved Denise George of her duties as attorney general this weekend,” Bryan Jr. said, according to a local outlet. “I thank her for her service to the people of the territory during the past four years as attorney general and wish her the best in her future endeavors. Assistant Attorney General Carol Thomas-Jacobs will serve as acting attorney general.”

Tensions between Bryan Jr. and George were high prior to her lawsuit against the bank, and Bryan Jr. believed George did not keep him in the loop about her investigation into Epstein, the New York Times (NYT) reported. George defended her conduct in a statement to the outlet. (RELATED: REPORT: Biden’s CIA Director Met With Jeffrey Epstein Multiple Times After Child Sex Crimes Conviction, Docs Show)

“I stand firm in my belief that the lawsuit I filed against JPMorgan Chase in our pursuit of justice must continue,” she said. “No institution, organization or person should be off-limits, no matter how wealthy or powerful.”

When George was attorney general, the USVI agreed to a $105 million settlement with Epstein’s estate and took control of Epstein’s infamous Little St. James island. His estate also agreed to return fraudulently obtained tax benefits that allegedly supported his criminal enterprise.

A group of Epstein’s alleged victims settled a lawsuit with J.P. Morgan after the bank was accused of enabling Epstein’s alleged criminal enterprise. Epstein’s reported close relationship with former J.P. Morgan executive Jes Staley was revealed by emails disclosed before the settlement. The pair reportedly exchanged more than 1,000 emails between 2008 and 2012, which allegedly included cryptic references to Disney characters and pictures of young women.

Epstein was sentenced in 2008 for procuring prostitution from a minor in Florida and settled in the USVI after leaving prison and registering as a sex offender, the court filings say. He was charged by federal prosecutors in July 2019 for sex trafficking offenses and a month later Epstein was found dead in his New York City jail cell.

His associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in June 2022 for conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse minors.

“JPMorgan Chase has cherry-picked and mischaracterized Epstein’s interactions with U.S. Virgin Islands officials and residents in an attempt to distract and shift blame away from its role in facilitating Jeffrey Epstein’s heinous crimes,” a USVI Attorney General spokesperson told Law & Crime.

“JPMorgan Chase seeks to attack the people of the Virgin Islands for not discovering the very information that bank executives refused to share. JPMorgan Chase had a legal responsibility to report the evidence in its possession of Epstein’s human trafficking, it failed to do so, and it should be held accountable for violating the law.”

Bryan Jr.’s office and the USVI Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.