by LEE FANG
Democratic Del. Stacey Plaskett, a representative of the U.S. Virgin Islands in Congress, has distanced herself from convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, claiming she was completely “unaware” of his donations. However, recent court filings shed light on a much closer relationship between Plaskett and Epstein than previously known.
The unsealed documents outline a decade-long association involving direct solicitations for money, personal meetings, and employment at a law firm deeply connected to Epstein’s shadowy network.
Plaskett not only repeatedly sought financial contributions from Epstein and had multiple face-to-face encounters with him, but she also worked directly for a St. Thomas-based law firm that played a role in cultivating influence for Epstein’s clandestine activities.
In a deposition last month, Plaskett disclosed that she was introduced to Epstein by Erika Kellerhals, an attorney who lobbied on his behalf and represented his business and philanthropic ventures. Kellerhals’s significance goes beyond a casual connection. Before Plaskett’s congressional tenure, she worked at Kellerhals Ferguson Kroblin PLLC, the boutique tax firm in the Virgin Islands from 2013 to 2014, a period in which Epstein was a major client.
Plaskett’s involvement with Epstein may extend further back, as she previously served as counsel on the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (EDA), which granted Epstein $300 million in allegedly improperly obtained tax exemptions over the course of two decades.
Asked during her deposition if she worked for Epstein or any Epstein-linked businesses while serving at the Kellerhals law firm, which specializes in EDA assistance, Plasket responded, “I don’t recall.”
The two years during which she worked for Epstein’s lawyer are notably missing from Plaskett’s LinkedIn account, with a two-year gap between 2012 and when she entered Congress in 2015.
Emails and testimony, however, closely link Plaskett’s rapid political rise with Epstein’s deep pockets.
In 2014, Cecil de Jongh, a close aide to Epstein, advised him to support Plaskett in her bid for Congress against local legislator Shawn-Michael Malone. “Shawn is the one who came after you in the senate hearing last week. He is nasty and needs to be defeated and we have a friend in Stacey,” wrote de Jongh.
During the election, Epstein aides, including Darren Indyke, Lesley Groff, and Kellerhals donated heavily to Plaskett, helping her overcome Malone by a mere 737 votes in what local press called “one of the biggest upsets in Virgin Island politics.” That year, de Jongh wrote to Epstein to confirm that a $13,000 corporate donation planned for the Democratic Party would be made “for the benefit of Stacey Plaskett.”
Plaskett courted more financial support, and met with the convicted sex offender at his office in St. Thomas, according to the testimony. Epstein donated the maximum amount, $5,400, to Plaskett in 2016, and donated again in 2018.