Jeffrey Epstein’s estate agrees to pay US Virgin Islands $105 million

Jeffrey Epstein’s estate has agreed to pay the US Virgin Islands more than $105m (£86.8m) as part of a settlement in a child sex trafficking and exploitation case.

As part of the deal, the estate will also pay US territory half of the proceeds from the sale of Little St James, the private island Epstein bought in 1998 and allegedly used for many of his sex crimes.

It will pay another $450,000 (£372,000) to deal with damages on a separate island owned by the disgraced financier – with NBC quoting the US Justice Department as saying it has “razed the remains of structures history of enslaved workers to make room for its development” there.

The settlement — which does not include any admissions of wrongdoing — includes the return of more than $80 million ($66 million) in economic development tax benefits that Epstein and others had “fraudulently obtained to fuel his criminal enterprise.”

Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George said in a press release, “This agreement restores the faith of the people of the Virgin Islands that their laws will be enforced, without fear or favor, against those who violate them.

“We are sending a clear message that the Virgin Islands will not serve as a haven for human trafficking.”

In a statement reported by NBC, Epstein’s real estate attorney Daniel Weiner said, “The co-executors ultimately concluded that the settlement is in the best interests of the estate, including its creditors and plaintiffs, to avoid the weather, the expense and inherent uncertainties of protracted litigation.

“The settlement is consistent with the stated intent and practice of the co-executors since their appointment to those roles: to resolve grievances relating to any misconduct by Jeffrey Epstein in a sensitive manner to those who have suffered harm “.

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Mr Weiner also said the estate intends to “wind up its remaining businesses” in the islands “as soon as practicable” and that $121m (£100m) has been paid in compensation to 136 people for Epstein’s activities.

The Virgin Islands filed a civil lawsuit against the Epstein estate in 2020, alleging it was behind a criminal enterprise through which young women and girls were trafficked, raped, sexually assaulted and held captive at Little St James.

Epstein was 66 when he committed suicide in a Manhattan prison in 2019a month after his arrest on sex trafficking charges.

This came more than a decade after his conviction for soliciting prostitution by a minor, for which he became a registered sex offender.

Last year, his former partner Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of recruiting teenage girls to sexually abuse them between 1994 and 2004.

She was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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