Jeffrey Epstein’s estate agreed to pay a $105 million settlement to end an enforcement action by Virgin Islands authorities, plus half the proceeds of the sale of his notorious “Pedophile Island.”
Authorities say that Little Saint James island will be kept in the hands of “independent third parties” to make sure it won’t be used for “illicit purposes.”
“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,” U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise N. George wrote in a statement. “We are sending a clear message that the Virgin Islands will not serve as a haven for human trafficking.”
The deal will end a civil enforcement action that began in early 2020, just months after Epstein’s death in a jail cell while awaiting his sex trafficking trial.
“The Estate also agreed to pay $450,000 to remediate environmental damage around Great St. James, another Epstein-owned island, where the Government found that Epstein razed the remains of centuries’-old historical structures of enslaved workers to make room for his development,” the Virgin Islands DOJ said in a press release. “Total cash payments will be made over a definite time period of no more than one year.”
The Virgin Islands Department of Justice sued the estate under the Criminally Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act enforcement action, the territory’s equivalent of the civil racketeering statute.
A little more than a year later, authorities there accused the estate’s executors Darren K. Indyke and Richard D. Kahn of being “indispensable captains” of Epstein’s operation.
The settlement binds not only the estate, but also Indyke, Kahn, and 10 Epstein-created entities, authorities say.
The Virgin Islands accused the co-defendants of conspiring with Epstein’s enterprise to traffic, rape, sexually assault and hold captive dozens of young women.
In a statement to Law&Crime, the Estate’s lawyer Daniel H. Weiner was quick to note: “The settlement does not include any admission or concession of liability or fault by the Estate or any other parties, and the Co-Executors deny any allegations of wrongdoing on their part.”
“The Co-Executors ultimately concluded that the settlement is in the best interests of the Estate, including its creditors and claimants, to avoid the time, expense and inherent uncertainties of protracted litigation,” Weiner continued. “The settlement is consistent with the Co-Executors’ stated intent and practice since their appointments to those roles — to resolve claims related to any misconduct by Jeffrey Epstein in a manner sensitive to those who suffered harm. They did so with the development of and successful conclusion to the Epstein Victims Compensation Fund – through which the Estate paid over $121 million to 136 individuals — and continue to do so with their settlement of these claims.”
Authorities say that the government will transfer its half of the proceeds from the sale of Little Saint James “exclusively to a trust created by the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands to fund projects, services, counseling programs, organizations and activities that help Virgin Islands residents or inhabitants who are victims of sexual assault, human trafficking, sexual misconduct, and child sexual abuse.”
Attorney General George credited the survivors for the case’s resolution.
“At the very start of the case, I was so honored to have met with three very courageous young women who were trafficked and sexually exploited on Little St. James by Jeffrey Epstein, in my St. Thomas office, where I listened to their chilling and horrific experiences at the hands of Epstein and his associates,” she said in a statement. “Our work has been inspired, humbled, and fortified by the strength and courage of all of those who survived Epstein’s abuse.”
With the conviction of Epstein’s accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell, the remaining cases related to his crimes are currently civil in nature. Women who say Epstein trafficked them recently sued Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase, but there is no indication that criminal investigations have ended.
The settlement calls for the estate to provide documents to assist the government’s “ongoing investigations,” authorities say.
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