US Virgin Islands reach $105M settlement with Epstein estate


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The U.S. Virgin Islands on Wednesday announced that it had reached a settlement of more than $105 million in a sex trafficking case against financier Jeffrey Epstein’s assets.

The settlement ends a nearly three-year legal saga for officials in the U.S. territory who sought to hold Epstein accountable after he was accused of repeated sexual abuse. dozens of underage girls and causing environmental damage on two small islands he owns in the US Virgin Islands. The islands will be sold as part of the deal.

Attorney General Denise George said: “This settlement restores the confidence of the people of the Virgin Islands that their laws will be enforced without fear or favor towards those who violate them.

Epstein’s estate agreed to pay the territory’s government $105 million in cash and half of the proceeds from the sale of the Little St. James where Epstein owned a home and authorities allege many of his crimes took place.

The estate will also pay $450,000 to repair environmental damage on Great St. James, another island that Epstein owns, where authorities say he has dismantled the remains of historic structures of the colonial era.

Officials said the money from the Little St. James will be put into a government trust fund to fund projects, organizations, counseling and other activities aimed at helping residents who have experienced sexual abuse.

“We are indebted to those who have been deeply traumatized to make changes to avoid further groups of victims,” said George, adding that she had met three alleged victims who were trafficked and sexually exploited on Little St. James.

A real estate company is listing the island for $55 million, noting that its features include three beaches, a helipad, a gas station, and more than 70 acres (28 hectares) of provides “a wide range of subdivisions” and “a comprehensive site”. , discreet location, infrastructure support system.”

The company is also offering Great St. James for $55 million, an island over 160 acres (65 hectares) with three beaches.

In addition, the estate will return more than $80 million in economic taxes that U.S. Virgin Islands officials say Epstein and his accomplices “fraudulently obtained to promote business activity.” his criminal business”.

The government has previously accused an Epstein-owned business called Southern Trust Co. misrepresented to qualify for benefits.

Daniel Weiner, an attorney for Epstein’s estate, sent a statement to the Associated Press saying the settlement does not include any admission or concession of liability or fault of the estate or anyone else. other.

“The co-executors denied all allegations of wrongdoing,” he wrote. “The co-executors ultimately concluded that the settlement was in the best interest of the legacy.”

Weiner also noted that the estate paid out more than $121 million to 136 individuals through the victims’ compensation fund.

Epstein committed suicide at a federal prison in New York in August 2019 while awaiting trial. He has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing dozens of girls, some as young as 14.

Some have sued Epstein and accused him and his longtime friend, Ghislaine Maxwell, of pressuring them to try sex with powerful men.

Maxwell, who was found guilty of sex trafficking and other charges, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in June.


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