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What we know — and don’t know — about the latest Epstein controversy

Why was the U.S. Virgin Islands’ attorney general fired after her office sued JPMorgan Chase in relation to Jeffrey Epstein? Answers are elusive.


Over the weekend, Denise George was removed from her post as attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, just days after her office sued JPMorgan Chase, alleging that the bank was complicit in helping Jeffrey Epstein commit sex crimes. In 2019, Epstein, who was well-connected to elites in academia, politics and entertainment, was awaiting trial on charges that he had sexually abused dozens of girls before he died by suicide while in custody.

His death spawned a world of conspiracy theories, and nowadays you can’t mention Epstein’s name without someone offering up a theory — factual or not. Which is all the more reason for us to hammer down the facts of George’s firing by Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan.

Here’s what we know — and what we don’t:

  • George’s office filed a lawsuit Dec. 27, claiming JPMorgan Chase “turned a blind eye” to Epstein “because of the deals and clients that Epstein brought and promised to bring to the bank.”
  • The exact reason for the attorney general’s firing is unclear. A Bryan spokesperson told Fox News that claims the lawsuit was the reason are “not entirely accurate” — but wouldn’t elaborate. George doesn’t appear to have publicly commented on her firing.
  • On Dec. 1, George announced that her office had settled a sex trafficking case with Epstein’s estate and co-defendants for more than $105 million. Epstein, investigators said, personally owned multiple islands in the archipelago and used those islands to engage in sex crimes.
  • In November, several Epstein accusers filed lawsuits in New York against JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank. Similar to the Virgin Islands lawsuit, the accusers say the banks ignored red flags that should have led them to not do business with Epstein. The banks have asked a Manhattan court to dismiss the lawsuits. The banks claim they didn’t aid or benefit from sex trafficking by Epstein, with JPMorgan Chase specifically saying one of the women deserves justice but had filed claims against the “wrong party.”

So there are clearly enough unknowns to raise questions about why Denise George was removed from her post. But those unknowns also make it impossible to tell whether this is a scandalous story or something far less nefarious.

It would be smart for U.S. Virgin Islands officials to be transparent with their reasoning, and avoid the seemingly inevitable deluge of conspiracy theories.