Billionaire Investor Stephen Deckoff Buys Epstein's Caribbean Islands
Billionaire investor Stephen Deckoff of Black Diamond Capital Management bought two Caribbean islands previously owned by Jeffrey Epstein.
Two Caribbean islands, where the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein committed many of his crimes, have been sold for $60 million to billionaire investor Stephen Deckoff.
Deckoff plans to build a five-star, luxury 25-room resort on the Great St. James and Little St. James islands in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a press release from SD Investments LLC, an investment firm founded by Deckoff. Considering that Stephen Deckoff just bought two islands, what's his worth?
What is Stephen Deckoff’s net worth?
The million-dollar price tag is a drop in the bucket for Deckoff. Forbes reports that Deckoff’s net worth is $3 billion. He co-founded the private equity firm Black Diamond Capital Management in 1995. As of 2023, the firm manages about $9 billion in assets, Forbes reports.
Deckhoff has lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands for over a decade. “There is simply no place in the world as special as the U.S. Virgin Islands, and I am humbled by the opportunity to share its splendor with visitors in a manner that will provide economic benefits to the region while respecting its culture, history, and natural beauty,” he said in a statement.
What happened on Epstein’s islands?
The islands are often referred to by locals as “Pedophile Island” and “Orgy Island” because of the activities that went on there under former owner Epstein. Epstein, an American financier, bought Little St. James in 1998 for $8 million and Great St. James for $22.5 million in 2016, reports the News of St. John.
Epstein allegedly lured young girls to Little St. James by promising them modeling jobs, and they were then sexually assaulted by him and his associates, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Epstein died by suicide in 2019 while in jail awaiting federal charges of sex trafficking. After Epstein’s death, prosecutors in the Virgin Islands sued his estate for control of the two islands. Little St. James is an over 70-acre property, and Great St. James has over 160 acres.
In November 2022, Epstein’s estate agreed on a settlement that would give the Virgin Islands government $105 million plus half of the proceeds from the sale of the islands, WSJ reports.
Epstein‘s estate also agreed to pay $450,000 to remediate environmental damage around Great St. James, where Epstein razed the remains of centuries-old historical structures of enslaved workers to make room for his development, the Virgin Islands Department of Justice said in a December 2022 news release.
What will the U.S. Virgin Islands do with the proceeds of the island sale?
Deckoff got a deal on purchasing the islands, which were initially listed for $125 million. A significant portion of the $60 million Deckoff paid for the two islands will go to U.S. Virgin Islands government. The government plans to use the proceeds to fund projects, services, counseling programs, and other activities to help island residents who are victims of sexual assault, human trafficking, sexual misconduct, and child sexual assault.
What other properties does Deckoff own?
According to Forbes, Deckoff also owns multi-million properties in New York City, Beverly Hills, and Colorado. We'll have to wait and see exactly what Deckoff does with the islands.