by Janeka Simon (VI Consortium) In a heavily-redacted filing entered on Tuesday, lawyers for JP Morgan have placed on record their opposition to the U.S. Virgin Islands’ attempt to have the court toss out some of the bank’s defenses in the lawsuit against it.
The latest salvo in the civil battle between the Government of the Virgin Islands and the largest commercial bank in the United States holds that the evidence objected to by GVI lawyers are valid and should not be rejected by the court.
JP Morgan Chase alleges that GVI’s motivation in seeking to have these defenses excluded from the case is nothing more than a cynical ploy to avoid the government’s own culpability in facilitating the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein. The territory’s suit claims that JP Morgan, for whom the convicted sex offender was a lucrative client for years, did nothing in the face of what should have been strong suspicion of his criminal activities.
However, the bank’s argument since the suit was filed has been, in part, that the largest facilitator of Epstein’s sex trafficking enterprise, headquartered on the island of Little St. James in the USVI, was the Government of the Virgin Islands itself.