Jeffery Epstein, two weeks before his death, was moved to a suicide watch unit at the Manhattan jail he was being held. By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein used a web of shell companies, charitable organizations and other corporate entities to conceal years of rape, human trafficking and other abuses of women and young females on Little St. James and Great St. James off the east coast of St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands Department of Justice has alleged in a civil lawsuit.
Shocking details of young women and children being ferried to Epstein’s secluded islands for the purposes of sexual servitude and prostitution are outlined in the V.I. D.O.J. suit against Epstein’s vast estate, which includes $56 million in cash, two private islands in the territory, homes in New York and Paris, New Mexico, and other assets with a total value of $577 million.
In the 49-page civil suit, filed in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, Attorney General Denise George and the V.I. D.O.J. allege that Epstein lured his young victims to Little St. James with promises of modeling jobs, contracts and help paying for their education. Once ferried to the island on Epstein’s private helicopter or boat, his victims were trapped and held in sexual servitude, abuse and forced labor.
According to a statement from Attorney General George, " ... numerous young women and female children have been sex trafficked, raped, sexually assaulted and held captive in the Virgin Islands at Epstein’s secluded private island of Little St. James.
"Participants in the Epstein Enterprise used deception, fraud and coercion to entice and lure vulnerable girls, some as young as 13-years-old, into human sex trafficking, with promises to help them and their families pay for school, health care, or other financial needs," the statement continued.
One 15-year-old victim was “forced into sexual acts with Epstein and others and then attempted to escape by swimming off the Little St. James island,” the lawsuit alleges. A search party captured the under-aged girl and returned her to captivity. Her passport was taken, according to the lawsuit.
Another allegation involving a different victim alleged that she was recruited to give Epstein massages, then was eventually forced into sex acts. When she attempted to escape the island, Epstein and a search party found her and threatened to harm or physically restrain her if she refused to cooperate.
The civil suit targets the Epstein Estate and six Virgin Islands corporate entities Ms. George said were used to carry out “an expansive scheme of human trafficking and sexual abuse of young women and under-aged girls here in the Virgin Islands.”
The complaint specifically alleges the Enterprise violated the Virgin Islands Uniform Prevention of Remedies for Human Trafficking Act, and the Virgin Islands’ Criminally Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Acts (CICO).
“The conduct of Epstein and his associates shocks the conscience and betrays the deepest principles and laws of the Virgin Islands,” said Ms. George.
According to the suit, “ … Epstein regularly created new entities in the territory and transferred properties and funds between them in order to preserve and shield Epstein’s assets and to facilitate and conceal the unlawful acts described in this Complaint.”
Epstein, 66, was found dead in a federal jail in Manhattan last August while facing child sex trafficking charges related to his abuse of underage females from 2002 through 2007 at his homes in New York and Florida. The New York coroner ruled his death a suicide by hanging.
The V.I. D.O.J. lawsuit sheds new light on the alleged criminal organization Epstein ran from the territory from 2001 until his arrest in New York last summer. Ms. George said Epstein’s criminal enterprise enabled the sexual predator and his associates to engage in a pattern of human trafficking, aggravated rape, and conspiracy involving countless victims from around the world.
Epstein used his Virgin Islands holdings – Little St. James and Great St. James islands, and a series of limited liability companies and foundations to further his illicit activities.
Those defendants are identified as:
Ms. George said the government has still not completely unraveled the interlocking web of LLCs and other entities Epstein may have used to further conceal his alleged crimes.
In the criminal conspiracy alleged by the V.I D.O.J., the Epstein corporations and foundations were holding companies for his private islands, and the planes, helicopter and automobiles used to transport his victims to and within the territory.
The civil suit, which alleges a criminally influenced conspiracy took place, seeks to recoup “any and all financial and other benefits that flowed to Epstein and his associates as a result of their operations in the Virgin Islands,” Ms. George said.
The government also seeks the forfeiture of assets to include, but not limited to, the islands of Little St. James, Great St. James, Ms. George said. According to the suit, Epstein had easy helicopter access to Little St. James from the private airfield on St. Thomas. “But the women and children he trafficked, abused, and held there were not able to leave without his permission and assistance, as it was too far and dangerous to swim to St. Thomas,” the lawsuit says.
Ms. George said the investigation continues into Epstein's actions - and those of other potential co-conspirators.