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Epstein estate to pay $155m settlement

The Jeffrey Epstein case has spawned countless conspiracy theories about the rich and powerful.

The Jeffrey Epstein case has spawned countless conspiracy theories about the rich and powerful. Photo: AAP

Jeffrey Epstein’s estate has reached a nine-figure settlement with the US Virgin Islands to settle claims the late financier used the territory as a base for his decades-long sex-trafficking operation.

Denise George, the territory’s attorney-general, said the estate would pay $US105 million ($155 million) in cash plus half the proceeds from the sale of Little St James, a private island where Epstein had a home and allegedly conducted many crimes.

The settlement included the return of more than $US80 million in tax benefits that one of Epstein’s companies obtained fraudulently to fuel his criminal activity, George said on Wednesday.

Daniel Weiner, a lawyer for the estate, said there was no admission of liability and the estate’s executors denied wrongdoing.

A separate restitution fund for Epstein victims paid out more than $US121 million to about 135 claimants.

Epstein, a registered sex offender, took his own life in August 2019 in a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

George sued the estate for civil penalties and asset forfeitures five months later.

She said Epstein kept a database to track girls and young women who could be trafficked to Little St James, which he bought in 1998 as what George described as the “perfect hideaway” to rape, assault and abuse them.

George also said Epstein bought the nearby Great St James in 2016 to keep people from monitoring him and victims from escaping there.

Epstein had also been accused of sexual abuse at his homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and Palm Beach, Florida.

His former associate Ghislaine Maxwell is appealing her conviction and 20-year prison sentence for enabling Epstein’s abuse of girls.

The government’s share of Little St James sale proceeds will go toward counseling and other services for sexual abuse victims.

– AAP

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