GOVERNMENT & POLICE NEWS

Early Voting Extended Until 8 p.m. Today

Friday, Oct. 31, is the last day for early voting, and early voting hours have been extended to 8 p.m

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With schools across the territory getting ready for a Sept. 2 opening date, V.I. Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory told the community the Education Department is focused on "putting in the framework we need to support our students, our teachers and our administrators."

 
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Jewels of the Virgin Isles – One Year Later

When I decided to bring this column to life on Nov. 1, 2013, it was to raise awareness about the incredible contributions that men and women from the U.S. Virgin Islands are making to American life and on an international scale.

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2014-10-30 22:33:41
DeJongh, Atlantic Basin Official, Sign Operating Agreement for Refinery

Gov. John deJongh Jr. and principals of Atlantic Basin Refining VI signed an operating agreement Wednesday that, once approved by the Legislature, will begin the process of restarting the oil refinery on St. Croix's south shore.

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2014-10-29 20:13:06
V.I. Agencies Prepping For Ebola But Risk Is Slight, Officials Tell Senate

V.I. Health, hospital and emergency management officials are coordinating, training and preparing for the nightmare scenario of an Ebola outbreak in the territory, but agency officials told senators Wednesday an outbreak is unlikely and there is no cause for alarm.

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2014-10-29 19:16:07
Local news — St. Croix
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Elaborate USVI Hospital Website is a Fake, DLCA Warns

The website for the United States Virgin Islands Hospital is impressive, showing a large building and photos of busy medical people. The problem is, it's a complete fake; there is no such hospital on St. Thomas or anywhere else, and the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs is warning people that the website is part of an elaborate scam.

In a news release Thursday the DLCA confirms that the website, www.unitedstatesvirginislandshospital.com, and all information included on the site are fraudulent.

“There is no United States Virgin Islands Hospital in existence on St. Thomas,” DLCA Commissioner Wayne Biggs said.

The website gives the hospital’s location as “at the corner of Smith Bay and Shirley Street,” with the address as “6226 Estate Smith Bay, Ste 235; St. Thomas, VI 00802,” and provides a Google map image of the location. But no such address exists, no such structure exists, and no such hospital is licensed with DLCA.

The entire idea of the United States Virgin Islands Hospital is bogus and nonexistent, according to the DLCA warning.

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Residents familiar with the Virgin Islands, specifically residents of St. Thomas, should be aware that there is only one hospital on-island: the Roy Lester Schneider Regional Medical Center. 

Someone put a lot of effort into the website, which features various tabs providing additional fictitious information about the United States Virgin Islands Hospital. The site highlights "employment opportunities" available through the hospital with a program called “project5.” This program claims to “provide health care assistance to the unprivileged families in the slum areas of South and East Africa and in the world.”

It encourages people to send their resumes for review and, according to “the hiring coordinator,” who is listed as Bill Martins, would “contact you to discuss suitable positions.”

A lengthy "history" in the "About Us" section says the hospital was founded in 1955 by "the late Dr. Stephen Bay." The homepage says it is missionary-owned, but the "About Us" page says it has been a publicly traded company since 1999.

The site has many photographs, which appear to be stock studio shots of medical scenes featuring a mostly white medical staff and all white patients.

The fraudulent website for the fake United States Virgin Islands Hospital.
The fraudulent website for the fake United States Virgin Islands Hospital.

Someone looking at the photo of the huge, sprawling "hospital building" on the website might not immediately notice the trees are deciduous, and some of them seem to be turning autumn colors, as if in a northern state.

According to the DLCA warning, the department has reviewed the website "in its entirety" and confirms that everything regarding the United States Virgin Islands Hospital is a scam.

As a result of this scam being presented via the internet, DLCA’s Consumer Protection Services division has reported the website and scam to the National Fraud Information Center. This official report flags the website and will be logged into the National Law Enforcement Database, operated by the Federal Trade Commission.

This database is used extensively by the FBI, Federal Trade Commission, Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney Offices, state and local consumer protection offices.

DLCA also reached out to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center to advise them of the website and its fraudulent claims. Additional agencies alerted by DLCA on the matter include the National Consumer League and the Federal Communications Commission, which was advised as a precaution since much of the Internet is accessed by wireless transmission.

A call to the DLCA for further information was not returned Thursday afternoon.

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