Epstein estate sued by U.S. Virgin Islands, alleges widespread sex trafficking

A general view of Little St. James Island one of the properties of financier Jeffrey Epstein near Charlotte Amalie

"The perception was the people in the government were just turning a blind eye".

Some of the girls appeared as young as 11, the civil lawsuit says.

"Epstein clearly used the Virgin Islands and his residence in the US Virgin Islands at Little Saint James as a way to be able to hide and to be able to expand his activity here", George told the New York Times. Those victims were then forced to recruit others. The disgraced financier bought the island in 2016 for $18 million.

The two residences and properties are collectively valued at $US86 million, according to a petition filed by Epstein's estate.

"The conduct of Jeffrey Epstein and his associates shocks the conscience and betrays the deepest principles and laws of the US Virgin Islands", Attorney General George said. She authorized the investigation after receiving questions from local and national press about Epstein's activities. "The U.S. Virgin Islands has been injured".

He is also accused of using fake visas to traffic women and girls, several of them aspiring models, in and out of the island territory and using a computerised database in order to track his victims' movements on his island.

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A lawyer for Epstein's estate, which has been seeking to set up a compensation fund to resolve victims' claims, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

He had been charged by Manhattan prosecutors in July with sexually exploiting dozens of women and girls in NY and Florida, but they did not point to any actions beyond 2005. The suit describes a "trafficking pyramid scheme", where associates would target underage girls on the pretext of providing massages before they were then pressured to engage in sexual acts.

One of the victims, according to the suit, attempted to escape Epstein's island by swimming away after she was forced into sex acts with one of Epstein's co-conspirators, according to The Times. He allegedly refused to allow an investigator from the Virgin Island's Department of the Justice to step foot on Little St. James, claiming the private island's boat dock was his "front door". Instead he met them at his St. Thomas office.

In addition to Epstein's estate, six other entities are also named as defendants in the suit: The 1953 Trust, Plan D LLC, Great Saint Jim LLC, Nautilus Inc., Hyperion Air LLC, and Poplar Inc.

The complaint said Mr Epstein kept a computerised database to track girls who could be sent to Little St James, which he bought in 1998 as "the ideal hideaway" to traffic them "for sexual servitude, child abuse and sexual assault".

Evidence cited in the complaint allege that the crimes occurred before and after Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 and served time in a Palm Beach jail on charges of procuring a minor for prostitution. It is the first lawsuit filed against Epstein's estate by a government.

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