Perhaps one of the most talked-about residences owned by Jeffrey Epstein—who maintains a number of “luxury properties and residences around the world”—is his private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which prosecutors believe is his “primary residence” in the United States.
The financier had purchased the roughly 75-acre Little St. James Island, which sits about a mile southeast of the U.S. Caribbean territory of St. Thomas, more than two decades ago and worked to transform it. The native vegetation was first cleared, before towering palm trees were added to the property, reportedly at about $20,000 per tree, while two massive U.S. flags were added on either end of the island.
Epstein’s security guards would walk to the water’s edge when guides took scuba divers from other places to waters near the island, according to the Associated Press. The sight was off-putting to the residents of St. Thomas, a lush tropical island situated east of Puerto Rico.
The unpleasantness that residents felt was amplified after Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to reduced state charges in Florida of soliciting and procuring a person under age 18 for prostitution in 2008. He was sentenced to 13 months in prison.
“Everybody called it ‘Pedophile Island,’” Kevin Goodrich, who is from St. Thomas and operates boat charters, told AP. “It’s our dark corner.”
Epstein’s employees declined to talk to AP, saying that they had signed lengthy non-disclosure agreements. One former employee who declined to be identified said Epstein once had five boats, including a large ferry, on which he transported up to 200 workers to his island every day from St. Thomas for construction work.
The man said he saw a handful of young women when he was on Epstein’s property, but he believed they were older than 18.
“When he was there, it was ‘Keep to yourself and do your thing,’” the man told AP, adding that Epstein paid well and would give away older machinery and surplus, including lumber, to his employees.
Epstein built a stone mansion with cream-colored walls and a bright turquoise roof surrounded by several other structures, including the maids’ quarters and a massive, square-shaped white building on one end of the island. Workers told each other it was a music room fitted with a grand piano and acoustic walls. Its gold dome flew off during the 2017 hurricane season.
Inside Edition recently sent a reporter to attempt to investigate the island. Chief investigative correspondent Lisa Guerrero described the stone building she saw as a temple with blue and white stripes. According to Inside Edition, Epstein reportedly played the piano inside the music room. When Guerrero reached the island and stepped onshore to get a closer look, one of Epstein’s staff appeared and told her to leave.
Footage captured by Inside Edition appears to show multiple red rectangular and square shapes on the ground in front of the temple building. Closer to the temple’s main entrance are similar shapes, but these were many shades lighter than the ones further away from the building.
A previous photo captured of the temple when the dome was still intact showed two statues on the roof of the building. Some reports describe the statues as golden owls.
In the past 18 months, Epstein traveled on his private jet “either into or out of the country on approximately more than 20 occasions,” according to a July 8 government bail memorandum. Epstein has at least “two private jets in active service.”
The secluded island is “a place where any sort of meaningful supervision would be all but impossible,” the memorandum states, referring to Epstein’s bail request.
Locals recalled seeing Epstein’s black helicopter flying back and forth from the tiny international airport in St. Thomas to his helipad on Little St. James Island.
Government documents and ledgers show that Little St. James Island was once known as Mingo Cay. In April 1998, a company called L.S.J. LLC bought it for $7.95 million. Additional documents showed that Epstein is the sole member of L.S.J., with his signature reminiscent of an infinity loop.
Epstein later bought neighboring Great St. James Island, which was once popular with locals and tourists for its main attraction, Christmas Cove, a place where you could hang out and order pizza and have it delivered via boat.
“He wasn’t well-received,” Spencer Consolvo recalled to AP. Consolvo is a St. Thomas native who runs a tourist shop near a large marina. “People think he’s too rich to be policed properly.”
Federal authorities consider the smaller of the two islands to be Epstein’s primary residence in the United States, and where at least one alleged victim said she participated in an orgy involving Epstein and other people. The victim also said she saw former U.S. President Bill Clinton on the island, but that she never saw him doing anything untoward. Clinton’s spokesman recently issued a statement in which Clinton said he “has never been to Little St. James Island.”
Clinton flew on Epstein’s jet, infamously dubbed the “Lolita Express,” at least 26 times, according to records obtained by Fox News in 2016. Clinton’s spokesman disputed this in his statement, saying Clinton had only taken “a total of four trips” on Epstein’s plane.
Former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak told The Daily Beast on July 15 that he had visited Epstein’s Caribbean island “once, for several hours—and years after the publications about sex parties or orgies there.” He stressed he never attended a party with the financier and had never met him in the company of women or minor girls.
Epstein has connections to numerous high-profile people, including the UK’s Prince Andrew, actor Kevin Spacey, and director Woody Allen.
Court documents show Epstein sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes in New York City, and in Palm Beach, Florida, among others, as part of a trafficking ring. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Between 2002 and 2005, Epstein allegedly “enticed and recruited” minor girls in New York and Florida to engage in sex acts, after which he would pay the victims hundreds of dollars in cash.
Epstein’s mansion in the Big Apple is a multi-story townhouse and is reported to be one of the largest single residences in Manhattan. The mansion, located in the Upper East Side, previously housed a school, according to the bail memorandum. The financier owns the property through an LLC. It has been valued at $77 million.
At the end of the two-count indictment unsealed on July 8, Epstein was ordered to forfeit the mansion.
The seven-story building can be seen between Fifth and Madison Avenues on East 71st Street. It is 21,000 square feet and has a number of bedrooms and suites, along with five bathrooms.
According to The New York Times, the second floor of the building has a mural that Epstein commissioned in recent years, portraying a photorealistic prison scene including barbed wire, corrections officers, and a guard station. Epstein was depicted in the middle of the scene.
“He said, ‘That’s me, and I had this painted because there is always the possibility that could be me again,’” R. Couri Hay, a public relations specialist invited by Epstein to a meeting at his home, told The New York Times.
Photos obtained by the Daily Mail show Barak hiding his face as he entered Epstein’s Manhattan mansion in January 2016. On the same day, a number of women were photographed entering and exiting as well. Barak told The Daily Beast he was there “for lunch or chat, nothing else. So what?”
Last year, a person who visited the mansion told The New York Times that Epstein was seen working on a large dining table that could fit 20 people “with multiple computer monitors and phone alongside.” Epstein was answering calls and hosting visitors at the same time, according to the person and another visitor.
Behind where Epstein sat working was a table filled with framed photographs of celebrities and dignities. A signed photograph of former President Clinton was among them.
Epstein’s mansion had other bizarre decorations, according to the visitor, such as a life-size female doll hanging from a chandelier and a small dining room made to resemble a beach scene. A photo of Woody Allen was seen on the wall of a study room, including other famous people.
Prosecutors revealed during a bail hearing on July 15 that federal agents uncovered “piles of cash,” diamonds, and an expired foreign passport inside a locked safe at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, The Epoch Times previously reported. The expired passport listed Epstein’s residence as Saudi Arabia, and had a photo of Epstein under another name.
A 2o03 report in Vanity Fair magazine, titled “The Talented Mr. Epstein,” described Epstein’s mansion as “no mere rich person’s home, but a high-walled, eclectic, imperious fantasy that seems to have no boundaries.”
New Mexico Ranch
Epstein’s secluded “Zorro Ranch” property is currently being investigated by New Mexico authorities.
New Mexico officials are interviewing people who allege they were abused at Epstein’s ranch in Stanley, adding that they are planning to provide additional evidence to federal authorities, according to Matt Baca, the spokesman for New Mexico’s attorney general.
While Epstein hasn’t faced criminal charges in New Mexico, he was accused in a 2015 court filing in Florida of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl in several locations, including New Mexico.
Epstein’s Zorro Ranch in New Mexico covers thousands of acres. At the center of the rural swath of high desert sits a massive, million-dollar home.
Aerial images of the property show an airplane hangar and landing strip. Closer to the east edge of the property, several structures that appear to serve as small homes and horse stables stand in public view.
According to the Vanity Fair report, the ranch was the “largest private dwelling in New Mexico.”
“It makes the townhouse look like a shack,” Epstein said of the ranch, according to the report.
Records show Epstein purchased the ranch, which is valued by county officials at over $12 million, from the family of former Gov. Bruce King, whose son, Gary King, was the state attorney general from 2007 to 2015.
The Associated Press contributed to this report