U.S. Virgin Islands to Get $105 Million Payout from Epstein Estate


Though it has been about three years since the death of the disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, his estate is still settling financial issues. The estate agreed on Wednesday that it would pay the U.S. Virgin Islands roughly $105 million after reaching a settlement agreement following a lawsuit in which the islands’ attorney general claimed that Epstein had allegedly used them in a scheme for sex trafficking.

More than two years ago, the attorney general of the U.S. territory, Denise N. George, filed a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate, the New York Times reported.

Through this lawsuit, the Virgin Islands essentially claimed that Epstein used the islands to run shell enterprises that were in place to cover up sex trafficking to his private islands, Little Saint James and Great Saint James, the Times reported.

Thus, George’s lawsuit was aiming for the “forfeiture of Little Saint James and Mr. Epstein’s second private island, Great Saint James, as well as the dissolution of numerous shell companies he established in the territory that officials have said acted as fronts for his sex trafficking enterprise,” the Times reported.

On Wednesday, Epstein’s estate and the Virgin Islands managed to reach a settlement in which the estate will repay the tax benefits that the islands’ government granted Epstein for one of his businesses. All in all, the estate will be paying more than $80 million back to the Virgin Islands.

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Along with that, the settlement included an agreement that the islands’ government will also take roughly half of the money made from the eventual sale of the private island of Little Saint James, the Times reported.

The Times noted that Little Saint James could be sold for as much as $55 million. (The island of Great Saint James is also going for roughly the same asking price but was not part of the agreement.)

Epstein died in August 2019 in a New York federal jail while awaiting trial concerning charges of sex trafficking, the Associated Press reported.

It is alleged that he committed suicide, the Times reported.

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Epstein was not formally convicted. So, even in reaching the settlement with the Virgin Islands, the estate’s lawyers told the AP that the agreement did not include any admissions of guilt for anyone.

“The co-executors deny any allegations of wrongdoing on their part. The co-executors ultimately concluded that the settlement is in the best interest of the estate,” wrote Daniel Weiner, one of the estate’s attorneys.

Meanwhile, in a seeming juxtaposition, George specifically addressed the issues of alleged sexual exploitation and sex trafficking in connection with the settlement.

“At the very start of the case, I was so honored to have met three very courageous young women who were trafficked and sexually exploited on Little St. James. Our work has been inspired, humbled and fortified by the strength and courage of all of those who survived Epstein’s abuse,” George said, according to the Times.

George also said that the settlement is a significant development for the Virgin Islands.

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“This settlement restores the faith of the people of the Virgin Islands that its laws will be enforced, without fear or favor, against those who break them,” George said, according to the AP.

However, since the news broke about the settlement, social media has also been buzzing and many are advocating that victims of Epstein’s reported crimes should also benefit.

Some say that the Virgin Islands don’t deserve money at all.

“Have the victims been paid yet? I don’t think the Virgin Islands ranked that high as a victim,” one user tweeted.

“I’d say the Virgin Islands deserved zero money. That is one of the most outlandish award of money I have ever heard of,” another Twitter user posted.

“So a lot less money for victims,” another tweeted.

Though the settlement was reached on Wednesday, the Epstein estate still has a year to cough up the money for the settlement, the Times reported.

The Epstein estate has been drained of a lot of cash by paying the Internal Revenue Service, lawyers who are in charge of the estate, and also a victims fund.

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