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Jeffrey Epstein’s two private islands sell for $60m — less than half original asking price

Little Saint James - dubbed “Paedophile Island” by locals — and Great Saint James will be developed for tourism, new owner Stephen Deckoff says

Bevan Hurley
Thursday 04 May 2023 17:07 BST
Ghislaine Maxwell says she believes Jeffrey Epstein was murdered

Two private Caribbean islands owned by Jeffrey Epstein have been sold to a billionaire investor for less than half the original asking price.

Stephen Deckoff, the founder of Black Diamond Capital Management, said in a statement he had purchased Great Saint James and Little Saint James for $60m, more than a year after they went on the market for $125m.

Proceeds from the sale will go towards a $105m settlement reached by Epstein’s estate with the US Virgin Islands government in November last year, Mr Deckoff said.

Epstein, who died in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, used his private island in the archipelago to host powerful guests and traffic young girls to for decades.

Locals had nicknamed Little Saint James as “Paedophile Island”. The 71-acre secluded island is about a mile from St Thomas and has several luxury dwellings, three beaches, a gas station and a helipad.

Epstein purchased the island for $7.95m in 1998.

Nearby Great Saint James is more than twice the size and is undeveloped. Epstein purchased the island for $18m in 2016.

Mr Deckoff, a longtime US Virgin Islands resident, said he planned to open a luxury 25-room resort on one of the islands in 2025 that would boost tourism and economic development.

“I’ve been proud to call the U.S. Virgin Islands home for more than a decade and am tremendously pleased to be able to bring the area a world-class destination befitting its natural grace and beauty,” Mr Deckoff said.

Jeffery Epstein’s estate on Little Saint James Island in the US Virgin Islands. (Associated Press)

Epstein’s estate was valued at $600m at the time of his death, due to his vast property holdings in New York, New Mexico and Florida.

In November, when he reached a settlement with the US Virgin Islands government, his estate’s assets had fallen to $159m, the attorney’s general’s office said.

The estate has paid out more than $160m to his sex trafficking victims since his death, The New York Times reported.

The sale brings to an end the late paedophile’s decades-long association with the US Virgin Islands.

Prosecutors on the Caribbean island said in a 2020 court filing that Epstein had trafficked and sexually abused girls as young as 11 at the properties.

Forbes first reported the purchase of the islands on Wednesday.

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