Jeffrey Epstein’s former island residences off the coast of St. Thomas have been purchased by a billionaire investor.
The investor, Stephen Deckoff, paid about half of the price listed last year for the two private islands, according to the New York Times. Deckoff is the founder of Black Diamond Capital Management, an investment firm with $9 billion under management. It has offices located in Stamford, Conn., Mumbai, London, and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The purchase was made through an entity called SD Investments.
Epstein died in 2019 while in a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial. A portion of the sales will go to the $105 million settlement his estate reached last year in a sex trafficking and child exploitation case with the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, a release about the purchase said. At the time of his death, Epstein’s estate was valued at around $600 million, the Times reported. After the settlement, his assets were valued around $159 million.
With the purchase, Deckoff plans to construct a “state-of-the-art, five-star, world-class luxury 25-room resort” with the intention of boosting tourism, generating jobs and helping the local economy, according to the release. It also notes that in the past, Deckoff has “built a successful career crafting and executing plans to turn distressed situations into successful enterprises.”
“I’ve been proud to call the U.S. Virgin Islands home for more than a decade and am tremendously pleased to be able to bring the area a world-class destination befitting its natural grace and beauty,” Deckoff said in a release. “I very much look forward to working with the U.S. Virgin Islands to make this dream a reality.”
The islands’ new owner is currently hiring architects and engineers to turn his vision into a reality, with an anticipated open date in 2025, according to the release.