83.4 F
Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 13, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsEDC Ends Epstein Era At American Yacht Harbor

EDC Ends Epstein Era At American Yacht Harbor

The EDC Board approved several changes requested by beneficiaries Tuesday. (Photo: Screenshot from Zoom meeting)

The Economic Development Commission removed Jeffery Epstein’s name from American Yacht Harbor’s tax-exemption records Tuesday, nearly four years after the disgraced financier died in prison.

Epstein had owned half of the Vessup Bay dock and retail building. Co-owner, Island Global Yachting Facilities Limited, bought the other half from Epstein’s estate in 2021 after the sex offender’s 2019 prison suicide.

The sole owner is the White Plains, New York company, now called Island Global Yachting Facilities LLC. Neither American Yacht Harbor nor Island Global Yachting’s IGY Marinas returned calls for comment.

The EDC formally removed Epstein’s name on tax exemptions that the U.S. Virgin Islands uses to lure new businesses. They can last decades and cover 100 percent of sales.

With his primary address as Little St. James island, Epstein had two tax-break beneficiaries. The other was Southern Trust Company.

Charlotte Amalie’s Yacht Haven is part of the Island Global Yachting family of brands. Yacht Haven owners received a 100 percent, 10-year tax exemption in September 2004. They’ve since renewed.

Yacht Haven USVI LLC, YHG Hotel LLC, and IGY AYH St. Thomas Holdings LLC changed its parent company to the EDC as MarineMax Inc., which purchased Island Global Yachting in 2022 for $480 million in cash and potentially $100 million more before 2024.

EDC Marketing Director Celina D. Morris read names and acronyms without error, something noticed by board member Philip Payne at the end of the video conference.

“I’d like to commend Ms. Morris; she handled those words and letters a whole lot better than someone else here on the call,” Payne said.

New benefits were issued to WWTS LLC, better known as Worldwide Tap and Still. The restaurateurs will pay no taxes on sales for 20 years, with the exception of sales to Virgin Islanders. They said in an earlier EDC meeting that they hoped to expand elsewhere in the Caribbean.

On St. Croix, Neighborhood Establishment LLC added new shareholder James R. Benton. Octavia Consulting Group LLC and Sunset Cove Holdings LLC added or changed ownership as well.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.