The civil litigation is just about to heat up; Jeffrey Epstein’s body is the source of scientific scrutiny; and the much-talked-about island owned by Jeffrey Epstein is the site of reported Monday activity by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Daily Mail reports that what appear to be insignia-clad FBI agents were seen by onlookers getting off of boats at Epstein’s so-called “Pedophile Island” in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Onlookers took photos of the goings-on and provided them to the Web site. That report was backed up by a confirmation from NBC News.
BREAKING / NBC News: Two senior law enforcement officials say that the FBI and members of the task force belonging to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office focusing on the Jeffrey Epstein investigation are searching his home in the Virgin Islands.
Reported w/ @jonathan4ny
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) August 12, 2019
ABC News also posted video and added that authorities were tight-lipped.
Federal agents, including FBI and CBP were seen on the dock and grounds of Little Saint James, the island owned by accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The U.S. Attorney's Office and SDNY declined to comment on the operation. https://t.co/euCLwh7rKi pic.twitter.com/leAKQqgruA
— ABC News (@ABC) August 12, 2019
There are several possible legal reasons why the FBI may be on the property.
(1) Asset Forfeiture.
This much-maligned, highly-controversial practice, according to the DOJ, is used to take the “proceeds of” crimes or property “used to facilitate” federal crimes. “Asset forfeiture has the power to disrupt or dismantle criminal organizations that would continue to function if we only convicted and incarcerated specific individuals,” the DOJ says.
It is possible federal authorities are moving to take Epstein’s properties. Given that several Epstein associates are still walking the streets, it is possible the government wants to shut down any other possible alleged acts by simply removing a haven where any illegal acts may have occurred.
(2) Additional Arrests.
Now that the primary target of the investigation is dead, authorities may be arresting other suspects. Witnesses who may have been inclined to testify against Epstein in return for immunity may now suddenly be in the government’s crosshairs. Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown is quoted as saying that authorities may “refocus their probe” on Epstein associates Ghislaine Maxwell, Sarah Kellen Vickers, Adriana Ross, and Lesley Groff, and that another woman, Nadia Marcinkova, may also be of interest.
Former federal prosecutor Gene Rossi, now in private practice, is also a legal analyst in the Law&Crime Network. He tells Law&Crime that he could easily predict two or three additional criminal cases as a result of Epstein’s death, but that the process may take “time and patience” to play out.
(3) Additional Evidence.
Short of new arrests, the FBI may also be seeking evidence. A search warrant may be being executed to procure information about other possible conspirators.
As previously reported by Law&Crime, there is still very little known about Epstein’s island. Reports from workers on the island revealed that a mysterious temple may have functioned as a grandiose music room, complete with a grand piano and specially designed “acoustic walls,” according to the Associated Press. However, a different account of the structure from INSIDER raised eyebrows when an engineer and contractor commented that the wooden door of the structure appeared to be designed to keep people in, rather than keep people out. Furthermore, a second structure or apparent door down the hill have given rise to the thought that, perhaps, the temple housed some kind of underground substructure.
[Image via video screen capture from ABC News.]
[Editor’s note: This piece has been updated.]