A billionaire has purchased the islands owned by sex offender and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Stephen Deckoff, the billionaire investor, made the purchase of Great St. James and Little St. James through his firm SD Investments LLC, the company said in a statement.
Deckoff, a resident of the U.S. Virgin Islands since 2011, plans to develop a five-star luxury resort on the islands.
“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 statement.
“There is simply no place in the world as special as the U.S. Virgin Islands and I am humbled by the opportunity to share its splendor with visitors in a manner that will provide economic benefits to the region while respecting its culture, history, and natural beauty. I very much look forward to working with the U.S. Virgin Islands to make this dream a reality,” he added.
The project will help draw tourists to the islands and create jobs, according to SD Investments.
Deckoff is working to hire architects and engineers. The resort is projected to open in 2025.
Deckoff paid $60 million. The asking price for the islands, when they were first listed, was $125 million.
Epstein bought one of the islands in 1998 and the other in 2016. One includes multiple buildings while the other has few structures.
Epstein died in jail in New York City in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. He pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida in 2008.
Read More: Billionaire Buys Epstein Islands, Reveals Future Plans