The estate of Jeffrey Epstein—the convicted sex offender who died in 2019 awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges—still owns Epstein’s islands, at last report. But the ownership of the two U.S. Virgin Island properties, the islands of Little St. James and Great St, James, could change soon.
In February, CNN reported that the representatives of the estate were seeking to sell the two islands to fund the Epstein Victims Compensation Program. Dan Weiner, an attorney for the estate, said at the time that the estate had fielded “expressions of interest from numerous parties regarding the two USVI properties, and [two to three] bona fide offers to purchase them.”
A civil racketeering lawsuit is complicating the sale of the islands.
The Miami Herald reported in February that parties interested in the two islands have even signed non-disclosure agreements with the estate to move the plot forward. “There are people that are quite interested and very qualified to buy the islands, and I have some clients that have already visited the islands,” April Newland of Newland Real Estate told the newspaper, although she declined to offer specifics because of a non-disclosure agreement she signed.
The Miami Herald also reported that the estate is hampered in its efforts to sell the two islands because of liens on the estate placed on the estate by Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George, who filed a civil racketeering lawsuit against the estate and its co-executors in January 2020.
“No serious buyer is interested in signing a contract on a multimillion-dollar property that, because of the attorney general’s existing liens, cannot be sold to it,” Weiner told the Miami Herald. “In addition, in order to ensure that the estate receives maximum value in a sale, the estate would engage a broker, conduct extensive marketing, and obtain as many offers as the market will generate. The co-executors are not interested in incurring substantial estate costs for marketing a property that cannot be sold.”
Venture capitalist David Skok bought Epstein’s Palm Beach estate for $25.8 million.
Some of Epstein’s property has already been sold. According to The Wall Street Journal, venture capitalist David Skok, a partner at Matrix Partners, bought the late financier’s waterfront estate in Palm Beach, Fla., in September for $25.845.
Skok purchased the property from real-estate developer Todd Michael Glaser, who bought it for $18.5 million in March, demolished the house on the property, and then listed the property for $29.95 million in May. “I’d rather just buy land, sit on it for six to eight months, knock down what’s there, get it ready for somebody else and boom, I’m out,” Glaser told The Wall Street Journal.
The property—which Epstein purchased for $2.5 million in 1990—features 170 feet of water frontage and views of Tarpon and Everglades Islands. Glaser intended to build a 14,000-square-foot home on the lot, but the Palm Beach architectural review board rejected his first plans, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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