Lawsuit claims Epstein trafficked hundreds of women and girls as recently as 2018

A lawsuit filed by officials in the Virgin Islands claims that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked hundreds of women and girls on his private Caribbean island as recently as 2018.

The former financier, who was found dead in his jail cell in August after having been charged with sexual exploitation, allegedly brought girls as young as 11 to his private island Little Saint James and tracked the availability and movements of women and girls through a database, according to the lawsuit obtained by The New York Times.

U.S. Attorney General of the Virgin Islands Denise George filed the lawsuit, which accuses Epstein of running his sex trafficking scheme primarily in the islands. The suit is believed to be the first regarding his estate in the territory, and the first one alleging Epstein committed crimes after 2005. 

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Prosecutors in New York charged the financier in July with sexual exploitation in New York and Florida in incidents that occurred prior to 2005, and his lawyers had previously said he had been law-abiding since 2008, the Times reported.

The lawsuit calls for Epstein’s estate, including Little Saint James and his second private island Great Saint James, to be forfeited and the shell companies associated with the islands to be dissolved. George alleges in the suit that those shell companies were a front to allow for his sex trafficking scheme.

“Epstein clearly used the Virgin Islands and his residence in the U.S. Virgin Islands at Little Saint James as a way to be able to conceal and to be able to expand his activity here,” George said, according to the Times.

The financier allegedly used fraudulent modeling visas to import women and girls across state lines and international borders to the islands.

George said the Virgin Islands government could award assets taken from Epstein’s estate to the victims who were abused on the islands, according to the Times. It is unclear at this time how the estate could be distributed.

Epstein was found dead in August of an apparent suicide after prison guards allegedly did not perform mandatory checks on him. His death is currently the focus of at least three federal investigations.

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