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Epstein Island Situation

What is currently happening in the Epstein Island court case?
A photo of part of the Little Saint James Island that features abandoned buildings. PC Nain75

Epstein Island, also known as Little Saint James Island, was owned by billionaire Jeffery Epstein who was accused of sex trafficking on this island.

Who was Jeffery Epstein and what did he do?

To get more into this case, we should first look into the man who did the crime. Jeffery Epstein was born on Jan. 20 1953, in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were born to Jewish immigrants and his mom took care of their home while his dad worked as a gardener for New York’s City Department. 

Epstein went to Lafayette High School located in Gravesen, Brooklyn. Epstein was very good at piano and math. Most of the students consisted of Italians and Americans. He graduated from that school in 1969 and went into Cooper Union, a school for math and music studies. He later transferred to NYU in 1971 and studied math and science. He stayed there for three years but did not graduate.

Epstein taught Physics at a Dalton School in Manhattan where he was caught being inappropriate with some of the female students. According to some of his former students, he allegedly went to a high school party and was caught staring at some of the girls but didn’t get any punishment and wasn’t confirmed for sexual abuse. After the 1975 to 1976 school year, he was let go as the school evaluated that his teaching skills did not improve and Epstein began work at Bear Stearns.

Four years after he began working at Bear Stearns, Epstein became a limited partner for the company. In 1981, he left the company in hopes of starting his own company. Some of his colleagues noted that he went after money that was stolen from the wealthy people and recovered. In 1987, Epstein worked at a company called Tower Financial Corporation with CEO Steven Hoffenberg in charge of the company. Epstein and Steven tried to acquire other companies like American World Airways and the New York Post. In 1988, Epstein finally got his own company called J. Epstein & Company, which specialized in helping people get advice on what they could do legally with people who had a net worth of over $1 billion. The client that netted him a pretty penny is a billionaire named Leslie Wexner.

The 1990s rolled around and Epstein ran his company off St. Thomas Island which is located in the US Virgin Islands, allowing him to do foreign business, avoiding tax payments. He bought some more islands like Little Saint James and Great Saint James Island. He owned property around the world including property in Florida and New Mexico. Epstein kept a log of whoever was on his private jet making their way to his island. These documents would be important in the Maxwell case which happened in December 2021. 

These logs were kept by one of Epstein’s pilots, David Rogers. This data on the logs includes not only the names of those who went on the private jet but also the date, time, points where they left and arrived, and the jet manufacturer. A small set of the documents were posted on the social media app Gawker, but a larger amount of the documents were shown when David was presented in Maxwell’s court case. Rogers wasn’t specific on who went on the private jet and only listed their status rather than their name. In the years 1988–2020, the FAA released 2,300 flight records associated with Epstein’s jet. In Maxwell’s court case, she confirmed that people like Bill Clinton and Donald Trump went on Epstein’s private jet in 2019.

In 2005, when Epstein was accused of sexual abuse, police in Palm Beach Florida responded to a call about a woman claiming to have been abused by Epstein. This case would get investigated by the FBI and later Alexander Acosta would begin to piece together evidence about the case. The number of victims who claimed to have been abused by Epstein was 40, which would lead to Epstein going to jail for 13 months in 2008. Epstein would still be able to work in his Palm Beach residence for six days a week. Alexander Acosta said the reason why Epstein’s punishment was not harsh is because he could be important for a federal case. 

An investigator found 80 more people who had claimed that they had dealt with sexual abuse from Epstein and his clients. In 2019, there was a second case against Epstein and he was arrested in July at Teterboro Airport on crimes of sex trafficking and was put in jail for an undisclosed amount of time. Epstein would later hang himself with his shirt on Aug. 10, 2019, resulting in his death. 

Who was on the Epstein List?

100 people have been put on the list of people who were allegedly associated with Jeffery Epstein. The document, as of Jan. 3, has been sealed for the privacy of the victims. Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Alan Dershowitz, and Prince Andrew, along with many others, are examples of people who had relations with Epstein’s victims. However, it is speculated that some celebrities on the list are innocent and went there for other reasons. 

Who owns Epstein Island now that Jeffery Epstein is dead?

A billionaire by the name of Stephen Deckoff has bought Little Saint James Island and Great Saint James for a price of 60 million dollars compared to the original price of 125 million dollars. Stephen is using the island to make a luxury resort, which is said to open in 2026. Deckoff claims he wants to make a 5-star hotel and increase tourism on the island while preserving the island’s beauty.

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About the Contributor
Jocelyn Hughes
Jocelyn Hughes, Staff Writer
Jocelyn Hughes is a student who is in their last years as a student at Oakmont and this is their first year doing Advanced Journalism. They typically enjoy writing articles that allow freedom for opinions, like writing about art, and they would be more interested in trying photography and graphic design this year. They like to be with their family and like to go outside and explore the world, like going on hikes and seeing the beauty of nature.

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