Financier and MoMA Trustee Leon Black Agrees to Pay $62.5 Million to Settle Jeffrey Epstein-Related Claims in the Virgin Islands

The 71-year-old billionaire investor agreed to the cash settlement in January.

Leon Black speaks onstage at the Museum Of Modern Art Film Benefit on November 19, 2018, in New York City. Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Museum of Modern Art.

Leon Black, the embattled former chairman of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, has reached a $62.5 million settlement with the U.S. Virgin Islands over claims related to his extensive ties to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The 71-year-old billionaire investor, who remains a MoMA board member, agreed to pay the cash settlement in January, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by the New York Times through a Freedom of Information Act request. Prosecutors in the Virgin Islands did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

Prosecutors had been considering a lawsuit that would have accused Black of paying huge chunks of money to Southern Trust, one of Epstein’s companies, to aid in his sex trafficking operation. Black has also been under scrutiny for a $158 million payment to Epstein for tax and estate planning services.

Under the deal, Black is released from liability amid a three-year investigation into Epstein’s sex trafficking operation of at least 200 girls and women, many of whom were underaged, to his private island Little St. James. (It was bought by another financier, Stephen Deckoff, in May.)

“For the past several years, the Virgin Islands Department of Justice has made it a priority to support human trafficking victims and to enforce the law to prevent and deter human trafficking,” prosecutor Venetia H. Velazquez told the New York Times.

The documents showed that the deal was reached after Black’s lawyers met with officials in the Virgin Islands as well as a lawyer who represented Epstein’s victims, the New York Times reported.

“Mr. Black engaged and made payments to Jeffrey Epstein for legitimate financial advisory services, which, based on everything now known, he very much regrets,” said Whit Clay, a spokesman for Black.

“Consistent with settlements of other major U.S. banks, Mr. Black resolved the U.S.V.I.’s potential claims arising out of the unintended consequences of those payments. There is no suggestion in the U.S.V.I. settlement that Mr. Black was aware of or participated in any misconduct.”

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