The State Land Office announced Friday that Cypress Inc., a corporation affiliated with the late billionaire businessman Jeffrey Epstein is dropping its fight against the cancellation of two livestock grazing leases.
Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard in September canceled the permits around Epstein’s Zorro Ranch in Southern Santa Fe County following a scandal in which Epstein was accused of trafficking and sexually abusing more than a dozen women when they were teens.
Authorities said Epstein hung himself in his New York jail cell Aug. 10. At the time of his death, criminal counts against him did not include any allegations stemming from alleged incidents at Zorro Ranch.
Cypress Inc., filed a petition in October in state District Court that claimed the commissioner’s decision violated state law and requested a court order to prevent termination of the leases. A hearing on the matter had been scheduled for Tuesday.
According to a news release from the Land Office, Cypress agreed to the cancellation after settlement negotiations.
A copy of the settlement agreement, provided by the Land Office, says Cypress cannot reapply for the grazing leases.
In a prepared statement, Garcia Richard said she was “pleased the state Land Office is no longer in business with Cypress, Inc.” and will move ahead with discussions for future uses of state trust land located near Zorro Ranch.
Epstein’s leases of land in Santa Fe County go back more than 20 years, shortly after Epstein purchased his ranch from the family of former Gov. Bruce King. Though cattle ranching did not appear to be a major source of income for Epstein, the leases were renewed in 2016. They had been set to expire in 2021 before they were canceled.