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NM Land Office turns up info on Epstein trust land leases

SANTA FE The New Mexico State Land Office has provided the state Attorney General’s office with documents related to state trust land leases with Cypress Inc., a Virgin Islands company owned by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, now facing new charges in New York for conspiracy and sex trafficking.

Epstein, a wealthy hedge fund manager, also faces allegations that he has abused girls at his Zorro Ranch in southern Santa Fe County. The Attorney General’s Office is investigating.

Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard said Tuesday that upon learning that Cypress Inc. holds two agricultural leases for a total 1,244 acres of state trust land, she directed her staff to compile all related documents and provide them to the AG’s office. The livestock grazing lease contracts originated in 1997 and 1999, respectively, and a now-expired lease dates back to 1993. The current leases were both renewed in 2016 and will expire in 2021.

The Land Office is reviewing the documents for possible lease violations, Garcia Richard’s announcement said.

“It is absolutely horrifying to discover that we have existing leases with an individual who has caused irreparable harm to so many women and girls. The best thing that we can do at this time is to provide the Attorney General with any and all resources at our disposal to assist with their investigation,” she said.

“The leases that we sign are legally binding contracts but we are pursuing every legal avenue to terminate Epstein’s leases with the State Land Office as soon as possible.”