A shadowy deed filed last year in New Mexico claims ownership of parts of late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s Zorro Ranch, a sprawling 21,000-square-foot desert mansion on nearly 10,000 acres of land, according to a report.
The deed claimed the land was sold to a nonprofit church in Florida called Love and Bliss for just $200, KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reported.
Daniel Weiner, an Epstein estate attorney, said Love and Bliss are the same people who filed a fraudulent deed for Epstein’s estate in Florida, which "cost the estate money and court time to get it thrown out."
The New Mexico deed, claimed to have been created in April 2019, has both a purported stamped notary signature and Jeffrey Epstein’s. Epstein was arrested in July that year on sex trafficking charges and died that August in a New York City jail cell.
The deed was filed last October in Santa Fe County.
A deeper look into the Love and Bliss church, a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2018, reveals its headquarters appears to be a small home in Redington Beach, Florida, and its president is a 22-year-old who was arrested on a stalking charge in 2017 and a battery charge in March, KRQE reported.
The address for the Florida attorney listed on the deed is an unrelated realty office and a New York attorney’s number listed was also a fake, linking to a sales office with no such attorney, the station reported.
A Florida judge reportedly deemed the deed for Epstein’s Palm Beach, Florida, mansion to be "invalid and unenforceable" and the church was later ordered to cease and desist after it filed a second fraudulent deed for the Florida property under the name Hung Shungli, according to KRQE.
Weiner said the church doesn’t have a legal claim on the New Mexico property either.
"If Love and Bliss filed a warranty deed clouding our ability to sell the property, then we’ll definitely have to go to court to get rid of it," he said.
First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies told the station the church may have filed the fraudulent deed because "they think that they can get in and maybe then start selling off pieces and portions of it and get away with it."
"And then it would just perpetuate the fraud because new, innocent owners would come in, give these people money, and then be part of this scheme and not actually own that," Carmack-Altwies said.
She said the estate will "absolutely" have recourse over the allegedly fraudulent deed.
New Mexico State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard told KRQE she would like to see the estate go to a local ranching family and have New Mexicans be able to use some of the land for recreation.
"We’ve even talked about some type of memorial site to just recognize what young girls and women went through in this area and on state land," she said.
Richard canceled a lease agreement Epstein had with the estate for 1,300 acres of grazing land since the 1990s when she took office in 2019.
The Epstein estate says it has no buyers yet but plans to sell the estate and donate the proceeds to a victims’ compensation fund.