(Reuters) – New Mexico’s lawyer basic on Thursday referred to as for the cancellation of state land leases to Jeffrey Epstein as his workplace investigated allegations the late financier sexually abused women and girls at his ranch south of Santa Fe.
The leased land types a part of Epstein’s almost 10,000-acre Zorro Ranch close to Stanley, New Mexico, certainly one of a number of luxurious properties held by Epstein, who was discovered lifeless in a Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10.
Lawyer Common Hector Balderas requested the state retake the 1,244 acres of grassland after an investigation by his workplace discovered it appeared to have been improperly leased within the late 1990s.
“This sweetheart deal should be canceled and reassigned to a New Mexico ranching household,” Balderas mentioned in an emailed assertion.
Epstein, a 66-year-old cash supervisor who as soon as counted U.S. President Donald Trump as a pal, was arrested on July 6 and pleaded not responsible to intercourse trafficking fees involving dozens of women as younger as 14.
A New York Metropolis health worker concluded that he died in custody this month as a result of suicide by hanging.
A federal choose in New York on Thursday dismissed the prison intercourse trafficking case in opposition to Epstein due to his dying. Federal prosecutors mentioned the federal government’s investigation into potential co-conspirators was ongoing.
Balderas mentioned in July his workplace was investigating allegations Epstein’s Zorro ranch was on the heart of his alleged sexual abuse and trafficking of women and girls within the state.
Leases signed by Epstein’s holding firm Cypress Inc in 1997 and 1999 mentioned the state land forming a part of the ranch could be used for grazing, in keeping with the New Mexico State Land Workplace (NMSLO). Balderas mentioned in a Thursday letter to state land commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard evaluate by the lawyer basic’s workplace discovered no cattle on the lands.
Balderas mentioned the leases “seem to easily have been taken by him (Epstein) to extend privateness and the land mass surrounding his property.
Epstein’s legal professionals couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon Thursday.
Angie Poss, a NMSLO spokeswoman, mentioned Epstein staff had not responded to requests by her company to examine the land.
The Zorro Ranch is without doubt one of the few Epstein properties but to be raided by legislation enforcement officers following his arrest.
“We’re within the strategy of cancelling these leases by Cypress Inc,” Poss mentioned.
Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Enhancing by Leslie Adler