Jeffrey Epstein’s Virgin Island properties could be sold to pay victims

Representatives of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s estate are looking to sell the properties on his notorious “paedo island” to fund the Epstein Victim’s Compensation Program, after payouts last week were abruptly suspended last week.

Little St James, in the US Virgin Islands, was acquired by the deceased financier and infamous sex trafficker in 1998, while he purchased the nearby Great St James – according to a lawsuit filed last year – in 2016.

In a written statement, a lawyer for Mr Epstein’s estate told CNN that the coexecutors of the estate received “expressions of interest from numerous parties regarding the two USVI properties, and two to three bona fide offers to purchase them”.

The island properties are just two of a number the estate has to sell, including a ranch in New Mexico, a mansion in Palm Beach and his seven-storey, 10-bedroom mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

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Some parties interested in the islands have gone as far as to sign nondisclosure agreements with the estate in hopes of making an offer, the Miami Herald reports.

“There are people that are quite interested and very qualified to buy the islands, and I have some clients that have already visited the islands,” Newland Real Estate owner, April Newland, told the publication.

“No serious buyer is interested in signing a contract on a multimillion-dollar property that, because of the Attorney-General’s existing liens, cannot be sold to it,” Daniel H Weiner, one of the lawyers working on behalf of the estate, said.

“In addition, in order to ensure that the estate receives maximum value in a sale, the estate would engage a broker, conduct extensive marketing, and obtain as many offers as the market will generate. The coexecutors are not interested in incurring substantial estate costs for marketing a property that cannot be sold.”

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After Mr Epstein was arrested in July 2019 on charges of sex trafficking, employees who worked at the islands’ airstrip told Vanity Fairthey witnessed him board his private plan – known as the “Lolita Express” – in the company of girls who appeared to be under the age of consent.

“On multiple occasions I saw Epstein exit his helicopter, stand on the tarmac in full view of my tower, and board his private jet with children – female children,” a former air traffic controller told the publication two years ago.

“One incident in particular really stands out in my mind, because the girls were just so young. They couldn’t have been over 16. Epstein looked very angry and hurled his jacket at one of them. They were also carrying shopping bags from stores not on the island. I remember thinking, ‘Where in the world have they been shopping?’”

In the Netflix docuseries Filthy Rich, one of Mr Epstein’s victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, said that the island “was one of Jeffrey’s favourite places to go because it was so isolated”.

“It has a nickname – the Paedophile Island. But that wasn’t the nickname Jeffrey gave it … But it really is Orgy Island, because this is what happened there,” she said.

“That is what that island meant to me.”

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The proposed sale of his private island comes after administrators for the victims’ fund announced on Friday they were pausing payouts because of “uncertainty” over funding, saying they would recommence payments before March 25.

“The Estate has found its way to pay lawyers, landscaping, and helicopter fees, but not the brave women who have stepped forward to participate in the compensation fund,” US Virgin Islands Attorney-General Denise N George said.

“It is, unconscionably, another promise made and broken by Epstein and now, his Estate.”

The 66-year-old was found dead in his New York jail cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking. His death was ruled a suicide.

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