FACT CHECK: Does Joe Biden Own An Island Near Jeffrey Epstein’s Little St. James?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims former Vice President Joe Biden owns a private Caribbean island next to Little St. James, the island owned by the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Verdict: False

While Biden’s brother James did buy land on Water Island in 2005, public records do not show Biden owning property there. A Biden campaign spokesman has refuted the claim.

Fact Check:

Epstein bought Little St. James in 1998, a private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to The Associated Press. Some of his accusers have claimed they were sexually assaulted on the island, per The New York Times.

Multiple Facebook users shared an image claiming Biden owns nearby Water Island, with this particular post saying, “Did you know that JOE BIDEN is JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S island neighbor? JOE BIDEN OWNS NEIGHBORING ‘WATER ISLAND’!” (RELATED: Did Bill Gates Visit Jeffrey Epstein’s Private Island At Least 17 Times?)

But the Daily Caller didn’t find any public record of Biden owning Water Island. His 2019 and 2020 financial disclosures don’t show him owning property in the Caribbean, and neither do his tax returns from 2016 to 2018. Such an asset also does not appear on his 2016 executive branch public financial disclosure form.

Andrew Bates, a Biden campaign spokesman, told AFP Fact Check that the former vice president “does not and never has” owned any property in the U.S. Virgin Islands or anywhere else in the Caribbean.

Biden and his wife, Jill, own two properties: a primary residence in Wilmington, Delaware, and a vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, according to Forbes. They also rent a home in McLean, Virginia, per the Washington Post.

Politico reported in late January that Biden’s brother James purchased land on Water Island in 2005 and resold a third of it to lobbyist Scott Green a year later. It is unclear whether Biden, who has vacationed on Water Island, was aware of the transaction between his brother and Green, according to the report.

The U.S. Virgin Islands Recorder of Deeds database only shows records for Biden’s brother and Sara, his brother’s wife.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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