Private Caribbean islands owned by deceased sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein are up for sale and could fetch up to $125 million.
A lawyer for Epstein’s estate confirmed to the BBC that the two islands – Little St. James and Great St. James – have been listed.
Lawyer Daniel Weiner said some proceeds from the sale will be used to settle outstanding lawsuits.
Epstein died in jail in 2019, awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
The financier bought the 90-acre Little St. James – the more developed of the two – nearly 25 years ago for almost $8 million.
He then acquired the larger Great St. James in 2016 for $22.5 million, and had drawn up plans to develop the 161-acre island by building homes, an amphitheatre, underwater office, and pool.
Epstein was accused by U.S. Virgin Islands attorney general Denise George of sexually abusing girls as young as 12 years old on Little St. James.
The lawsuit, filed two years ago, claimed that one 15-year-old girl attempted to escape the island by swimming away before being captured and having her passport confiscated.
Weiner, a partner at New York law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed, said the sale is taking place with the support of George, and that the proceeds “will be used by the estate for the resolution of outstanding lawsuits, and the regular costs of the estate’s operations.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that the two islands could sell for as much as $125 million, although some estimates place the value at closer to $86 million.
Epstein reportedly welcomed a number of high-profile guests to Little St. James over the years. One of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, claimed in a civil suit that Prince Andrew had abused her on the island. Prince Andrew denied the claims, and said he had no recollection of meeting Giuffre.
The prince recently paid a settlement to Giuffre to end a civil case in the U.S. The settlement did not include acceptance of liability, and Prince Andrew has always rejected claims of wrongdoing.
Jes Staley, the former boss of Barclays, also visited Little St. James. He resigned from the U.K. bank last year following an investigation by financial regulators over how the banker had characterized his relationship with Epstein.
Staley visited Epstein’s island in 2015 a few months before he took on the chief executive role at Barclays.
U.K. financial regulators began an investigation after JP Morgan – Staley’s former employer – handed over 1,200 emails sent between the banker and Epstein mostly in 2008 and 2012.
Regulators were concerned that the emails showed a closer relationship between the two men than Staley had described to the Barclays board. Staley is contesting the regulators’ finding.