The Wall Street Journal, the worlds leading business newspaper, has profiled St. Croixs very own tycoon, Jeffrey Prosser, in a front page story.
On Tuesday, the national newspaper and its website, WSJ.com, ran a lengthy piece detailing Prossers humble beginnings as a Nebraska accountant — his 1986 salary was reportedly about $24,000 — to his ascent to private jets and luxury vehicles.
Reporters Michael Allen and Mitchell Pacelle spent months unearthing information on Prossers dealings. Their assignment would have been completed sooner but was derailed for a short time while they tracked down the story of a fugitive European financier.
In the end, Allen made three trips to the Virgin Islands between June and January to get a taste of the islands and interview dozens of people. Pacelle, who worked on stateside leads, came to St. Croix once.
But their main interviewee, Prosser, who in the article describes himself as "paranoid," was reluctant to talk. With the story ready to roll, however, Prosser finally agreed to an interview late last month after receiving a final faxed request from the paper.
The story quotes a number of island residents, including an expletive-filled tirade from Ann Abramson, a former Public Works commissioner. It goes into detail on how Prosser, 43 and the owner of Innovative Communications Corp., built his empire on "phone sex" and almost $500 million in loans from the nonprofit Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative.
The story wraps up with the pending federal bribery trial of one of Prossers ICC vice presidents, John Tutein. Prosser denied any knowledge of Tuteins alleged efforts to bribe Sen. Allie-Allison Petrus to help ICC. Prosser told the reporters the Virgin Islands is a "soap opera society" and that ICC didnt have "anything to do with bribing anyone."
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