Forbes first reported that billionaire Stephen Deckoff, the founder of the private equity firm Black Diamond Capital Management, bought Jeffrey Epstein’s private islands.
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An investment firm led by the billionaire Stephen Deckoff has bought two private islands in the U.S Virgin Islands previously owned by the late notorious sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein, Deckoff confirmed to CNBC on Wednesday.
Forbes first reported that Deckoff, the founder of the private equity firm Black Diamond Capital Management, purchased the two islands for $60 million, less than half of their initial asking price.
One of the islands was used by Epstein to sexually abuse young women for years, according to court filings.
“Mr. Deckoff plans to develop 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 respecting and preserving the important environment of the islands,” according to a press release about the sale.
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SD Investments, which is led by Deckoff, announced the purchase.
“A significant portion of the sale proceeds are being paid to the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands under a previously announced settlement agreement between the government and Mr. Epstein’s estate,” the release said.
Epstein’s estate and related entities in November agreed to pay the government of the Virgin Islands more than $105 million to settle claims of sex trafficking and child exploitation. That deal required the estate to pay the Virgin Islands half of the proceeds of the sale of the islands, Little St. James and Great St. James, and another $450,000 to address damages on Great St. James, where Epstein had razed the remnants of structures that were hundreds of years told to make room for development.
During a brief phone interview with CNBC, Deckoff confirmed he had bought the islands.
“No comment,” he said when asked about his plans for it.
Deckoff then hung up.
Little St. James covers more than 70 acres, and Great St. James is more than double the size of its neighbor.
According to reports, Vice Media is preparing to file for bankruptcy after struggling to find a buyer.