By Kevin G. Hall
Here’s a list, including ’64 dune buggy, islands and cash.
The estate of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein has been officially valued at $636.1 million, according to a new, verified inventory filed Friday in his probate case in the Virgin Islands.
Epstein’s finances, once the subject of mystery and speculation, are being laid bare as various parties, including those who were sexually abused by the multimillionaire, stake their claims to a portion of his assets.
The 100-page document from Epstein’s estate included a listing of 15 wholly owned limited liability companies, which are designed to disclose little public information and were valued at $201.5 million.
These LLCs include Southern Financial, LLC, valued at just under $180 million. The company was not described and does not appear to have been referred to in any prior documents. A footnote said the entity “will be appraised, and an updated value will be provided upon completion.”
It was not clear if the company was connected to Southern Country International, a similarly named Epstein company whose existence was first revealed by McClatchy/Miami Herald.
A subsequent New York Times story determined that Southern Country International was a new, one-of-a-kind bank in the Virgin Islands that could do business only with offshore clients. Although Epstein owned the “bank,” it did not appear in the public-facing online licensing registries in the Virgin Islands.
Concern about how Epstein funds were being documented has led to Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George placing liens on the estate. Just last week, the executors of the estate complained in a court filing that checks to those maintaining his properties were beginning to bounce because of the liens.
Epstein’s estate includes 10 corporate entities that were wholly owned by him, valued at $426.2 million. The most valuable of these was Southern Trust Company Inc. at $233.6 million. This was the Virgin Islands entity that received lucrative tax breaks for 10 years in exchange for creating a purported data-mining company.
Attorney General Georgebrought a civil enforcement action last month in the Virgin Islands against the Epstein estate, expanding the action to include Southern Trust, claiming the executors of his will and his businesses were part of a criminal enterprise.
Through his corporations, Epstein owned two neighboring private islands in the Virgin Islands. Little St. James and Great St. James are respectively valued at $63.2 million and $23.4 million. George has placed a lien on them, hoping to claw back ownership to redress alleged crimes as well as misrepresentations to tax authorities in the territory.
The estate has blacked out some information in the documents, including a portion dealing with a person associated with the company used to facilitate Epstein’s purchase of Great St. James. The reason for the redaction is unclear. A story by McClatchy/Miami Herald last October documented irregularities associated with Epstein’s acquisition of the island.
Epstein was found dead on Aug. 10 in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, where he was awaiting trial after a series of events that followed the Miami Herald’s Perversion of Justice investigative series.
The death was ruled a suicide.
Epstein’s property in France — among his homes in Palm Beach, Manhattan and New Mexico as well as the Virgin Islands — was valued at around $9.8 million and included cash on hand there. French authorities are looking into his business associates.
The inventory did not place a value on the 50 percent stake in American Yacht Harbor held by an Epstein entity, leaving that to a future appraisal. The other 50 percent stake in the Virgin Islands business belongs to a company controlled by New York-based Island Capital, whose chairman and CEO is mega developer Andrew L. Farkas. The company’s senior managing director, Mark P. Lande, appears in the 2019 annual reporting document provided by the estate.
Another LLC called Plan D holds title to Epstein’s 2007 Gulfstream jet, which had an insurable value of $17 million.
The sum of Epstein’s cash, said lawyers in the Virgin Islands and the United States in their verified inventory, was almost $7.6 million. The estate listed three vehicles worth $53,000, including a 1964 dune buggy.
Not on the list was a late-model Bentley that the estate said in its preliminary filing had been sold but did not indicate to whom or where. A similar make and model Bentley had been available for sale on the popular website Carmax at the time.
A footnote in Friday’s report said a 2018 Mercedes Maybach located in Paris was sold for approximately $133,000, with proceeds placed in the estate’s checking account.
The estate’s filing noted that Epstein’s artwork, collectibles, jewelry and watches had not yet been valued by appraisers.
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