Jeffrey Epstein’s estate agreed to pay more than $105m (PS86.8m), to the US Virgin Islands as part of a settlement for a case involving child exploitation and sex trafficking.
The estate will pay half of the proceeds from the sale to the US of Little St James. This private island, which Epstein bought in 1998, was allegedly used by him for many of his sexual offenses.
It will also pay $450,000 (PS372,000), to cover damages to a separate island that the financier owns. NBC quotes the US Department of Justice saying that he had “razed centuries-old historical structures of enslaved laborers to make way for his development.”
The settlement, which does not admit to wrongdoing, includes the return of $80m ($66m), in economic development tax benefits Epstein and others “fraudulently obtained” to fuel his criminal enterprise.
In a press release, Denise George, Virgin Islands Attorney General, stated that the settlement “restores the faith of people of Virgin Islands that its laws would be enforced without fear or favor against those who break them.”
“We are emphasizing that the Virgin Islands will not be used as a refuge for human trafficking.”
According to NBC, Epstein estate lawyer Daniel Weiner stated that “The co-executors concluded that the settlement was in the best interest of the estate, its creditors, and claimants. It will avoid the time and expense, and inherent uncertainties, of prolonged litigation.”
“The settlement is consistent in the co-executors’ stated intention and practice since their appointment to those roles – it resolves claims related to Jeffrey Epstein’s misconduct in a way that is sensitive to those who have suffered harm.”
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Weiner stated that the estate plans to “wind down its remaining operations” in the islands and that $121m (PS100m), had been paid as compensation to 136 individuals for Epstein’s activities.
In 2020, the Virgin Islands filed a civil lawsuit against Epstein’s estate, alleging that he was involved in a criminal enterprise by which young girls and women were trafficked, raped and sexually assaulted, and kept captive at Little St James.
Epstein was 66 years old when he committed suicide in Manhattan jail on January 1, 2019,. This happened a month after he was arrested for sex trafficking.
This was more than a decade ago after he was convicted of soliciting prostitution from minors. He became a registered sexual offender.
His former partner Ghislaine Maxiwell, was convicted last year of recruiting teenage girls to him to sexually abuse from 1994 to 2004.
She was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment .