The Real Deal National

Inside the many homes of Jeffrey Epstein

He's accused of abusing underage girls at his properties, which includes a townhouse in New York, a villa in Florida, a ranch in New Mexico, a pad in Paris and a private island
By Georgia Kromrei | July 08, 2019 07:20PM

9 East 71st Street in New York (Credit: Google Maps)Little Saint James (Credit: Google Maps)Jeffrey Epstein's mansion on El Brillo Way in Palm Beach, Florida (Credit: Google Maps)Zorro Ranch in Stanley, New Mexico (Credit: Google Maps)

When Jeffrey Epstein landed at Teterboro Airport after a long vacation in Paris, the FBI was waiting on the tarmac. An hour later, federal agents broke down the massive oak front door to his palatial townhouse in Manhattan and found what they said were hundreds of lewd pictures of underage girls.

Epstein, a financier with a private Boeing 747 and six homes across the globe, faces up to 45 years in prison for allegedly operating an underage sex trafficking operation that exploited girls as young as 14, allegations that have dogged him for decades.

In many ways, real estate is at the heart of a scandal that could sweep up some of the world’s most rich and powerful people.

In an indictment that was unsealed on Monday, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said that from 2002 to 2005, Epstein and confidants brought underage girls to his Manhattan home as well as his mansion in Palm Beach to engage in illegal sex acts.

Both homes will likely be seized by federal prosecutors.

Here are the known properties Epstein owns:

A Manhattan home like no other

The Manhattan property at 9 East 71st Street, spanning 21,000 square feet, is among the largest private residences in New York City. The federal government claims the townhouse — which a 2007 lawsuit against Epstein described as having “a huge crystal staircase with a huge crystal ball by the railing, ceiling chandeliers, a room with red chairs, a statue of a dog and a statue of dog feces next to it” — is worth $77 million.

If it sold at that price, it would be the second-most expensive townhouse to trade in New York City history. Just last month, financier Philip Falcone parted with a double-wide mansion on East 67th Street for $80 million. After a massive renovation, that home now spans 30,000 square feet.

Though the federal government values Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse at $77 million, the city doesn’t think it’s worth that much. Earlier this year, the city’s Department of Finance appraised Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse at $56 million, with a $347,000 property tax bill. The home was commissioned in the late 1920s by Macy’s heir Herbert Strauss, who died before it was completed. After his death, it was donated to the Catholic Church before becoming a preparatory school. Retail magnate Leslie Wexner paid $13.2 million for the home and is said to have spent tens of millions renovating it. He never lived in the seven-story mansion, which Epstein would take over.  The 2011 deed recorded the document amount as $10.

Though it wasn’t listed in the unsealed indictment on Monday, a 2010 deposition obtained by the Miami Herald claimed that Epstein also had units at 301 East 66th Street. In the 16-story residential building — which appears to be connected to his brother Mark’s real estate company, Osso Properties — Epstein allegedly housed his victims four at a time in individual apartments, charging them $1,000 a month through his business partner Jean-Luc Brunel, who owned the modeling agency Mc2. According to the 2010 deposition, Epstein invested $1 million in Mc2. Those allegations against Epstein never went to trial.

Down the road from Mar-a-Lago

The two-story Palm Beach home which sits at the end of El Brillo Way with a pool behind high hedges and palm trees, was acquired in 1990 for $2.5 million, and is currently assessed at $12.4 million. The 14,000 square foot residence shares the neighborhood with Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. Sales in the Palm Beach neighborhood range from under $7 million up to $36 million.

Photos of nude girls were also discovered during a 2005 raid on Epstein’s Palm Beach compound, but Epstein did not face trial. Federal prosecutors allowed him to plead guilty in 2008 to a state underage prostitution charge, though this week’s charges in New York could alter parts of that deal. Epstein, a registered sex offender, served 13 months in prison following the plea deal in Florida.

In 2015, a woman named Virginia Roberts accused Epstein of making her a sex slave in the service of the likes of Prince Andrew, Duke of York and the Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who have strenuously denied the allegations. Numerous other women have reached settlements with Epstein outside of court.

Isolation in New Mexico

Though Epstein’s townhouse is gargantuan by Manhattan standards, Epstein reportedly described it as a “shack” compared to his rural “Zorro Ranch” in New Mexico.

That 33,000-square foot mansion on a 7,000-acre ranch in Stanley, New Mexico, with an estimated market value of as much as $16,000,000 in 2018, was sold to Epstein in 1993 by former Gov. Bruce King, who in 2014 received thousands in campaign contributions from LLCs tied to Epstein, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

A 1995 report in The New Mexican  said, “The main house will be similar to a Mexican hacienda, with an open-air entry into a courtyard with high-ceiling hallways, stone columns and a central fountain. The living room will measure about 2,100-square-feet, larger than the average house in Santa Fe County. The home will have an elevator, eight bathrooms, four fireplaces and three bedrooms.” Epstein also received a permit to build a small airplane hangar.

A European getaway in Paris

Epstein also has an apartment in Paris on Avenue Foch, where he may have stayed prior to his arrest in New Jersey this weekend. Little is known about the unit, but homes on the posh Parisian street can sell for upwards of $4 million.

“Island of Sin” in the Caribbean

Epstein also has a private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The island, which Epstein calls “little St. Jeff” and others have named the “Island of Sin,” is Epstein’s private residence and the home of his Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, which gave $30 million to Harvard and $200 million annually to scientists including the late Steven Hawking.

The island spans 78 acres and contains five structures, according to a New York Times article from 2008. It’s unclear what he paid to acquire the island.

DOJ’s real estate arm readies to seize

According to an indictment unsealed on Monday, Epstein must forfeit to the government any property he has that was used to commit any of his alleged crimes, and any property that he acquired with money from sex trafficking.

So far, agents from the FBI have only searched his Manhattan townhouse, CNN reported Monday.

In March 2018, The Real Deal thoroughly examined how the U.S. government seizes property and found that it sometimes bungles sales of forfeited assets, as in the case of a Malibu estate sold by the DOJ for $38 million and flipped for nearly twice that just a year later. The focus on real estate for forfeitures is due to the high risk for money laundering. Colliers International is contracted to sell properties seized by the government. Recent forfeitures include Paul Manafort’s properties in New York City and the Hamptons, which remain unsold.

On Monday, Epstein pleaded not guilty of the charges of one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. He faces a bail hearing on Thursday.