Collector Leon Black to Pay $62.5 M. to US Virgin Islands to Settle Jeffrey Epstein–Related Claims

Leon Black, a trustee and the former board chair of the Museum of Modern Art, agreed to pay $62.5 million to the US Virgin Islands in January, the New York Times reported on Friday. The settlement, which comes following a three-year-long investigation, releases Black from potential claims related to a sex trafficking operation linked to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

In November, the Virgin Islands reached a $105 million deal with Epstein’s estate. The territory then sued JPMorgan Chase in federal court for its 15-year relationship with Epstein in December.

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Black’s settlement, which he agreed to pay in cash, came after a two-day private mediation to settle the claims.

As revealed in the dealings, Black paid $158 million to Epstein for tax and estate planning services before his death in 2019.

Epstein died by suicide while being held in federal custody on sex trafficking charges in Manhattan in 2019. At least 200 women were allegedly sexually abused by Epstein at his private residences in the Virgin Islands, New York, and Florida.

In 2021, Black stepped down from his position as chairman and chief executive of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management that he cofounded in 1990. An ARTnews Top 200 Collector, Black famously purchased a version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream. He also stepped down as chairman of New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2021.

Black’s settlement with the Virgin Islands does not cover claims by anyone else against Black, and the settlement can not be used as “evidence of wrongdoing by Black,” according to the document.

Some of the money from the settlement will be used to fund mental health programs and to combat sex trafficking on the Virgin Islands, the Attorney General’s office told the New York Times.

Source: artnews.com

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