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Daily Caller Accusations Debunked in the Details

In a terse, prepared statement Tuesday night, Gov. John deJongh Jr. admonished those in the community and the nation who accepted as truth unsubstantiated reports in a far right-wing online publication accusing the governor, V.I. Attorney General Vincent Frazer, President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder of accepting bribes, cover-ups and other criminal wrongdoing.

“It is a sad day in our nation when reckless allegations can be published without substance or verification as part of the smearing of our President or his Attorney General. This kind of broad-brush stereotyping was shameful in the days of Jim Crow and it is more so today,” deJongh said.

The governor said the accusations were “totally and absolutely untrue” and invited anyone who had evidence to take it to the proper officials.

Critics familiar with right-wing tactics have attributed the accusations to the hatred far right conservatives bear for President Obama and Attorney General Holder. DeJongh got brought into the mix apparently as punishment from bankrupt businessman Jeffrey Prosser.

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When Prosser approached deJongh early in his first term as governor with demands that deJongh intervene in the bankruptcy proceedings which eventually relieved Prosser of his ownership of the Virgin Islands’ only phone company – the cash cow that Prosser had ridden into the ground before applying for reorganization under Chapter 11 – deJongh refused to get involved, saying it was not his place to interfere in judiciary matters.

The initial blog piece published last week on the Daily Caller quoted heavily, if not obviously, from court documents filed by Prosser and long-time Prosser ally, John Raynor, who is irremovably tied to Prosser’s financial schemes and outrageous attempts to muddy the waters of Prosser’s prolonged bankruptcy by accusing senators and officials of his secured creditors – Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative (RTFC) and its affiliate organization, the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp (CFC) of racketeering.

With the mounting unpaid interest, Prosser owed the RTFC and CFC creditors more than $500 million when he filed for bankruptcy in 2006. Prosser’s countless motions, accusations and obfuscations have dragged on for six years with still no end in sight, though all his holdings – telephone company, bank, cable TV and newspaper in the U.S. Virgin Islands – have been sold. The newspaper (the Virgin Islands Daily News) was sold for less than a third of what he paid for it. And every judge who has heard the RICO charges has dismissed them.

The Daily Caller claims its unidentified source can prove that somebody – though it is unclear as to who exactly – gave deJongh $20 million to throw Prosser to the wolves, but the blog piece fails to make any sense of why, exactly, the unknown entity would do that or how deJongh could have any impact on Prosser’s predicaments.

It also tries to tie a raid at the V.I. Legislature on one senator’s office into its other nefarious accusations. The raid, according to all reports, was against a senator for using his publicly paid staff to help him get college credits. There may be more to that story after the forensics are done on the confiscated computers and records, but is it far-fetched at best to suggest the raid was tied to Prosser’s accusations or to Eric Holder or to Obama.

DeJongh’s reference to Jim Crow may point to the fact that the local and national executive branch officials accused of malfeasance in the Daily Caller plot, as well as Steven Lilly, chief financial officer of RTFC , are black, a group often disdained by elements of the far right.

And a good read between the lines of the meandering, disjointed, legalese-ridden, contradictory, non-sourced story revives images of Attorney Jeffrey Moorhead, who openly worked for both Prosser and the Public Services Commission (the entity charged with regulating certain of Prosser’s companies) – a clear conflict of interest. It has never been proven, but is widely believed that Moorhead worked for both Prosser and the PSC at the same time.

Moorhead was dismissed as the PSC hearing examiner as a result of the clear conflict. But dismissal didn’t deter him from later showing up at a Prosser bankruptcy proceeding in Pittsburgh representing himself as the PSC attorney.

Here’s where the V.I. attorney general comes into the picture. Frazer filed a cease and desist order against Moorhead for his unauthorized appearance in the court.

The DC attempts to link Moorhead’s dismissal, however, not with Moorhead’s double-playing, but rather implies the unidentified lawyer was onto something untoward having to do with the RTFC and CFC and potential racketeering.

The DC also calls up the spectre – without naming her – of former PSC Chairwoman Alecia Wells who, acting without knowledge of her colleagues on the commission, sent a letter to the bankruptcy court on PSC letterhead, imploring the court to let Prosser keep his gold mine, Vitelco (Virgin Islands Telephone Co.)

Wells initially denied all knowledge of the letter after the Source reported the story, and she was still voicing her denial before a local Senate hearing when the Source published the letter with her signature. But the DC claims the PSC was in favor of Prosser keeping Vitelco, which it never was. When Wells was caught, she claimed she had written the letter upon the advice of Moorhead.

“It is a sad, sad day in the life of our territory when gossip and slander wash away reason and truth and fairness and common sense,” deJongh said in his statement Tuesday night.

And when a reporter undermines an entire community with unsubstantiated accusations from people who have already done a good job of wasting the community’s assets, it is a sad day for journalism.

Not until the very end of the 4,000-word unreadable yarn do we hear from someone with a name, title and status. And what he has to say perhaps best sums up this unhappy chapter in V.I. life.

Paul Pelletier, former Fraud Section deputy chief of the DOJ’s Criminal Division, who Prosser’s crony Raynor repeatedly refers to in DC myth in support of the claims of bribery, when contacted by the DC directly, called the winding, murky tale “kooky and implausible.”

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In a terse, prepared statement Tuesday night, Gov. John deJongh Jr. admonished those in the community and the nation who accepted as truth unsubstantiated reports in a far right-wing online publication accusing the governor, V.I. Attorney General Vincent Frazer, President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder of accepting bribes, cover-ups and other criminal wrongdoing.

“It is a sad day in our nation when reckless allegations can be published without substance or verification as part of the smearing of our President or his Attorney General. This kind of broad-brush stereotyping was shameful in the days of Jim Crow and it is more so today,” deJongh said.

The governor said the accusations were “totally and absolutely untrue” and invited anyone who had evidence to take it to the proper officials.

Critics familiar with right-wing tactics have attributed the accusations to the hatred far right conservatives bear for President Obama and Attorney General Holder. DeJongh got brought into the mix apparently as punishment from bankrupt businessman Jeffrey Prosser.

When Prosser approached deJongh early in his first term as governor with demands that deJongh intervene in the bankruptcy proceedings which eventually relieved Prosser of his ownership of the Virgin Islands’ only phone company – the cash cow that Prosser had ridden into the ground before applying for reorganization under Chapter 11 – deJongh refused to get involved, saying it was not his place to interfere in judiciary matters.

The initial blog piece published last week on the Daily Caller quoted heavily, if not obviously, from court documents filed by Prosser and long-time Prosser ally, John Raynor, who is irremovably tied to Prosser’s financial schemes and outrageous attempts to muddy the waters of Prosser’s prolonged bankruptcy by accusing senators and officials of his secured creditors – Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative (RTFC) and its affiliate organization, the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp (CFC) of racketeering.

With the mounting unpaid interest, Prosser owed the RTFC and CFC creditors more than $500 million when he filed for bankruptcy in 2006. Prosser’s countless motions, accusations and obfuscations have dragged on for six years with still no end in sight, though all his holdings – telephone company, bank, cable TV and newspaper in the U.S. Virgin Islands – have been sold. The newspaper (the Virgin Islands Daily News) was sold for less than a third of what he paid for it. And every judge who has heard the RICO charges has dismissed them.

The Daily Caller claims its unidentified source can prove that somebody – though it is unclear as to who exactly – gave deJongh $20 million to throw Prosser to the wolves, but the blog piece fails to make any sense of why, exactly, the unknown entity would do that or how deJongh could have any impact on Prosser’s predicaments.

It also tries to tie a raid at the V.I. Legislature on one senator’s office into its other nefarious accusations. The raid, according to all reports, was against a senator for using his publicly paid staff to help him get college credits. There may be more to that story after the forensics are done on the confiscated computers and records, but is it far-fetched at best to suggest the raid was tied to Prosser’s accusations or to Eric Holder or to Obama.

DeJongh’s reference to Jim Crow may point to the fact that the local and national executive branch officials accused of malfeasance in the Daily Caller plot, as well as Steven Lilly, chief financial officer of RTFC , are black, a group often disdained by elements of the far right.

And a good read between the lines of the meandering, disjointed, legalese-ridden, contradictory, non-sourced story revives images of Attorney Jeffrey Moorhead, who openly worked for both Prosser and the Public Services Commission (the entity charged with regulating certain of Prosser’s companies) – a clear conflict of interest. It has never been proven, but is widely believed that Moorhead worked for both Prosser and the PSC at the same time.

Moorhead was dismissed as the PSC hearing examiner as a result of the clear conflict. But dismissal didn’t deter him from later showing up at a Prosser bankruptcy proceeding in Pittsburgh representing himself as the PSC attorney.

Here’s where the V.I. attorney general comes into the picture. Frazer filed a cease and desist order against Moorhead for his unauthorized appearance in the court.

The DC attempts to link Moorhead’s dismissal, however, not with Moorhead’s double-playing, but rather implies the unidentified lawyer was onto something untoward having to do with the RTFC and CFC and potential racketeering.

The DC also calls up the spectre – without naming her – of former PSC Chairwoman Alecia Wells who, acting without knowledge of her colleagues on the commission, sent a letter to the bankruptcy court on PSC letterhead, imploring the court to let Prosser keep his gold mine, Vitelco (Virgin Islands Telephone Co.)

Wells initially denied all knowledge of the letter after the Source reported the story, and she was still voicing her denial before a local Senate hearing when the Source published the letter with her signature. But the DC claims the PSC was in favor of Prosser keeping Vitelco, which it never was. When Wells was caught, she claimed she had written the letter upon the advice of Moorhead.

“It is a sad, sad day in the life of our territory when gossip and slander wash away reason and truth and fairness and common sense,” deJongh said in his statement Tuesday night.

And when a reporter undermines an entire community with unsubstantiated accusations from people who have already done a good job of wasting the community’s assets, it is a sad day for journalism.

Not until the very end of the 4,000-word unreadable yarn do we hear from someone with a name, title and status. And what he has to say perhaps best sums up this unhappy chapter in V.I. life.

Paul Pelletier, former Fraud Section deputy chief of the DOJ’s Criminal Division, who Prosser’s crony Raynor repeatedly refers to in DC myth in support of the claims of bribery, when contacted by the DC directly, called the winding, murky tale “kooky and implausible.”