Trouble in Paradise
July 12, 2019

The size and provenance of his wealth and the intricacies of his alleged sex trafficking operation are not the only mysteries surrounding Jeffrey Epstein. There are questions about why he did not have to register as a sex offender in New Mexico, where he owns a large ranch with a 26,700-square-foot mansion, and why prosecutors and police in New York — where his Manhattan townhouse is worth at least $100 million according to luxury real estate agent Dolly Lenz — but not judges appeared to treat him leniently.

And then there's Epstein's private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. With Epstein in jail in New York, "it's quiet now on the island of Little St. James," Bloomberg News reports. "Epstein dubbed it Little St. Jeff's. Locals have other names for it: Pedophile Island and Orgy Island." On St. Thomas, where Epstein's businesses are headquartered in an unmarked office in a nondescript strip mall, "he has been a subject of lurid speculation for as long as anyone can remember," Bloomberg says. "Tourists still take boats out to get a glimpse of the island," topped with a blue-and-white building that resembles a temple.

A former employee told Bloomberg that Epstein ferried groups of young women out to his island after they flew into St. Thomas, and the crew of groundskeepers had strict orders that Epstein could never catch sight of them. "The only unusual aspect of the main residence the former worker said he was aware of were the security boxes in two offices," Bloomberg reports. "The level of secrecy around a steel safe in Epstein's office, in particular, suggested it contained much more than just money, he said. Outside of an occasional visit by a housekeeper, no one was allowed in those rooms." Presumably, the FBI could ask a judge for access, too. Peter Weber

See More Speed Reads