Jeffrey Epstein's Estate Settles Civil Suit with Virgin Islands for More than $105 million
In order to resolve claims that Jeffrey Epstein exploited the U.S. Virgin Islands as the center of a sex trafficking operation, the estate of the late billionaire has agreed to pay the territory more than $105 million.
Attorney General Denise N. George sued Epstein nearly three years ago as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges before he committed suicide in 2019.
"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," George said Wednesday. "We are sending a clear message that the Virgin Islands will not serve as a haven for human trafficking."
Daniel Weiner, the lawyer for the estate, said the settlement does not admit fault or liability, and the co-executors deny any allegations of wrongdoing.
"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 said. "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."
In the settlement, Epstein's estate will pay $105 million in cash to the Virgin Islands and half of the sale proceeds from Little Saint James, one of two private islands Epstein owned.
Additionally, Great Saint James, the estate's other island, will pay $450,000 to repair environmental damage.
According to the lawsuit filed in January 2020, Epstein was accused of forming a network of businesses and collaborating with others to carry out and cover up the alleged sex trafficking operation. The lawsuit claimed that the Epstein Enterprise brought many women and girls, some as young as 12, to his estate on Little Saint James, where they were coerced into having sex.
"Epstein engaged in a pattern and practice of trafficking and abusing young women and female children on this private, secluded island of Little St. James where Epstein and his associates could avoid detection of their illegal activity from Virgin Islands and federal law enforcement and prevent these young women and underage girls from leaving freely and escaping the abuse," the suit said.
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