Private Caribbean islands owned by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein have been put up for sale and could fetch up to $125 million.
Daniel Weiner, a lawyer for Epstein’s estate, confirmed to the BBC that the two islands, Little St James and Great St James, are on the list of assets placed on the market.
Weiner said that part of the proceeds from the sale will be used to settle pending claims.
Epstein died in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial on allegations of sex trafficking and conspiracy. She was 66 years old.
He was accused of pay girls under 18 to perform sexual acts in their mansions in Manhattan and Florida.
The billionaire, who had pleaded not guilty, he faced up to 45 years in jail in case of being convicted.
Before the criminal cases against him, he was known for his wealth and his high-profile contacts.
The financier bought 90-acre Little St Jameswith more buildings and infrastructure, almost 25 years ago for almost US$8 million.
In 2016 it acquired Great St James, largest, for $22.5 million. He wanted to build houses, an amphitheater, as well as an underwater office and swimming pool.
Epstein was charged by US Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George with sexually abusing girls as young as 12 at Little St James.
The lawsuit, filed two years ago, also claims that a 15-year-old girl tried to escape from the island by swimming before she was captured and her passport was confiscated.
high profile visitors
Weiner, a partner at the New York law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed, said the sale is carried out with the support of the prosecution.
The profits “will be used by the inheritance fund for the resolution of pending lawsuits and the usual taxes of the operation.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that the two islands could be sold for up to $125 million, although some estimates put the value at close to $86 million.
According to reports, Epstein hosted several high-profile guests at Little St James throughout the years.
One of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, claimed in a civil suit that Prince Andrew, the son of England’s Queen Elizabeth II, had abused her on the island.
The also Duke of York denied the accusations and said that he did not remember having met Giuffre.
The prince recently reached an agreement with Giuffre to finalize a civil case in the United States. Under the agreed terms, the prince will make a “substantial donation to Mrs Giuffre’s charity”.
In said agreement, the Duke did not accept any responsibility and always strongly rejected allegations of inappropriate conduct.
Other visitors to Little St James included Jes Staley, the former head of Barclays.
He resigned from the UK bank last year following an investigation by financial regulators into the banker’s relationship with Epstein.
Staley visited Epstein Island in 2015, a few months before taking over as CEO at Barclays.
UK financial regulators launched an investigation after JP Morgan, Staley’s former employer, turned over 1,200 emails sent between the banker and Epstein, mostly between 2008 and 2012.
Regulators were concerned that emails will show a closer relationship between the two men from what Staley had described to the Barclays board.
Staley is challenging the regulators’ finding. (I)