November 4, 2019

State cancels grazing lease from company owned by Epstein

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Aerial image of the house and helicopter pad on Zorro Ranch.

A company previously owned by the now-deceased and disgraced former financier Jeffrey Epstein will relinquish its grazing leases around its New Mexico ranch.

The State Land Office announced in September it would cancel the leases. On Friday the office announced a settlement with the company, Cypress Inc.

“I am pleased that the State Land Office is no longer in business with Cypress Inc., and especially proud that we were able to save State resources by resolving this matter outside of the courtroom,” State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard said in a statement. “My decision to cancel these leases stands, and my staff and I will move forward with our discussions for future uses of the 1,200 acres of state trust land located near the Zorro Ranch.”

The cancellation of the lease is effective as of October 4 of this year.

Epstein died of an apparent suicide, though some say it was a homicide, while in jail awaiting charges of sex trafficking.

There are allegations that Epstein molested at least one underage teenager, Maria Farmer, at the ranch. And there is an allegation by Virginia Giuffre that an Epstein associate ordered her to have sex with Bill Richardson, a former governor. Richardson has denied the allegation.

Previously, Epstein was a prominent Democratic donor, including donating thousands to New Mexico politicians. After he was convicted of prostitution of children under the age of 18, poiticians who had previously accepted his donations returned them.