Little St. James, part of the Epstein estate on the east coast of St. Thomas
The crimes committed by now-deceased billionaire Jeffery Epstein and his associates right here in the U.S. Virgin Islands for multiple years were laid bare today in a civil lawsuit filed by the Virgin Islands Department of Justice. The suit, announced by V.I. Attorney General Denise George, alleges that Mr. 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.
While all the allegations are egregious, the revelation of a 15-year-old girl attempting to swim from the Epstein estate to St. Thomas after being raped, brought to the forefront the high level of criminal and unconscionable activity that is alleged to have occurred in the territory for years, unchallenged.
According to a statement from Ms. George, "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 lawsuit says 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." 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.