New Mexico leases ranch land to Epstein company

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico state land regulators are reviewing property leases to a company controlled by financier Jeffrey Epstein in light of federal charges that he sexually abused underage girls.

State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard on Tuesday delivered lease documents to state prosecutors who have interviewed possible victims of Epstein who visited his ranch south of Santa Fe.

In 2016, New Mexico renewed agricultural grazing leases on 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) of inholdings, or privately owned land inside the boundary of a state park, at Epstein's ranch through his company Cypress. Garcia Richard says her agency is pursuing every legal avenue to terminate the leases while acknowledging that the contracts are legally binding.

New Mexico has come under scrutiny for laws that allowed Epstein to avoid registering as a sex offender following a guilty plea a decade ago in Florida.