The pair of Caribbean islands belonging to the late intercourse offender Jeffrey Epstein has been bought to a US investor who plans to construct a luxurious resort.
Stephen Deckoff, the founding father of Black Diamond Capital Administration, an investor in distressed companies, purchased the 2 islands — Nice St James and Little St James — for $60mn, lower than half of the unique $125mn asking value. He’ll convert the property to a 25-room lodge, with plans to open in 2025.
“I’ve been proud to name the US Virgin Islands house for greater than a decade and am tremendously happy to have the ability to deliver the realm a world-class vacation spot befitting its pure grace and wonder,” Deckoff mentioned in an announcement.
He didn’t deal with the property’s lurid previous — or how he meant to promote vacationers on a luxurious trip spot the place so many underage ladies had been mentioned to have been sexually abused. In a single significantly harrowing episode, a 15-year-old woman tried to swim off the island solely to be captured and have her passport confiscated, in line with court docket filings from prosecutors within the US Virgin Islands who had sued Epstein’s property.
Epstein pleaded responsible to a state cost of soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida in 2008. He died in a New York jail in 2019 whereas awaiting trial on federal intercourse trafficking costs. In December 2021, his former lover and shut confidante, Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted for aiding within the abuse of underage ladies.
The Caribbean islands had been one piece of an Epstein property portfolio that included a Palm Seashore property, Manhattan’s largest townhouse and a New Mexico ranch. But the property — which got here to be generally known as “Paedo Island” — carried an outsized significance within the Epstein saga.
It was the place Epstein threw lavish events and entertained notable friends, together with Britain’s Prince Andrew, Jes Staley, the previous Barclays chief govt, and lawyer Alan Dershowitz, amongst many others.
The properties had been put up on the market a little bit greater than a 12 months in the past, with a portion of the funds for use to settle lawsuits and compensate victims.
The 70-acre Little St James, which Epstein acquired in 1998, is the extra developed of the 2 islands, with a helipad, a major compound, visitor villas and different facilities. Epstein solely purchased the bigger Nice St James in 2016, and was nonetheless within the strategy of growing it when he was arrested.
Deckoff, who has lived within the US Virgin Islands since 2011, didn’t instantly return a name for remark. Chatting with Forbes, he famous that he had not beforehand visited the islands or met Epstein.