(Robert Jonathan, Headline USA) A private equity mogul has ponied up $60 million to buy two neighboring U.S. Virgin Islands properties previously owned by the late Jeffrey Epstein, the notorious convicted sex offender and celebrity confidant.
Even at that cost, the new owner, Stephen Deckoff, got a massive discount. The original asking price was $125 million.
The billionaire’s Caribbean real-estate acquisition includes both the infamous, 70-acre Little St. James, which accrued the morbid nickname “pedo island” or “orgy island,” and the mostly undeveloped, 160-acre Great St. James.
A press release indicated that Deckoff intended to transform Epstein’s tropical hideaways into a “a state-of-the-art, five-star, world-class luxury 25-room resort that will help bolster tourism, create jobs, and spur economic development in the region,” while at the same time preserving the surrounding environment.
The resort is scheduled to open in 2025. It remains to be seen if the proposed vacation place, given all the baggage, will become an attractive spot for tourists—and perhaps curiosity seekers—who can afford it.
Deckoff, who said he never met Epstein, nor ever visited the private enclaves before they went on the market, has embarked on the process of hiring architects and engineers to carry out the project.
Given the disturbing history, job one of the development project would presumably be to demolish all existing structures on Little St. James.
“Multiple women have said they were raped or sexually assaulted on Little St. James, where Epstein had a mansion,” CNBC recalled.
The founder of Black Diamond Capital Management who reportedly has a $3 billion net worth, Deckoff consummated the sale with his firm SD Investments LLC.
“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…I very much look forward to working with the U.S. Virgin Islands to make this dream a reality,” Deckoff said in a statement.
As part of a settlement with Epstein’s estate, the USVI government is set to collect $30 million from the property sale to create a trust for sexual abuse victims.
The $30 million settlement is reportedly about what Epstein paid for both properties.
Epstein and his high-profile guests—including former President Bill Clinton—reportedly flew to Little St. James on his private jet that was derisively called the “Lolita Express” after various allegations emerged.
“Epstein’s ownership has cast a dark shadow over the islands, despite the natural beauty of their palm tree-dotted beaches and crystal clear water,” Forbes asserted.
The disgraced financier supposedly committed suicide on Aug. 10, 2019, in a Manhattan lockup while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges. At the time of his death, the two islands were reportedly valued at $86 million.
Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged wingwoman, is serving a 20-year federal prison sentence after being convicted on charges related to sex trafficking of minors.
In a jailhouse interview at the beginning of the year, Maxwell claimed that Epstein was murdered.