State Land Office Sends Cancellation Notice to Cypress Inc.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 4, 2019

State Land Office Sends Cancellation Notice to Cypress Inc.

SANTA FE, NM – Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard today announced that a cancellation letter has been sent to Cypress Inc., a company owned by the late Jeffrey Epstein and listed as the owner of the Zorro Ranch in Santa Fe County.

On July 16, 2019, the Land Office provided over 400 pages to the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General. All documents were related to 1,243 acres of state trust land leased to Cypress Inc. The leases date back to 1993 when Epstein originally purchased the 10,000 acre New Mexico ranch. Commissioner Garcia Richard directed staff to draft a notice of cancellation after multiple messages were left requesting access to the ranch to inspect state trust land following Epstein’s death. 

“In our notification to Cypress, I’ve cited three reasons for cancelling the grazing leases. First, the Ranch’s obstruction of my access to inspect state trust land. Second, a written misrepresentation by Cypress that does not comply with State Land Office leasing requirements. And finally, the Attorney General has concluded that Cypress may have obtained the leases through illegitimate means for purposes other than ranching or agriculture,” Commissioner Garcia Richard said of the cancellation.

Pursuant to Land Office statutes and rules, the notice triggers a 30 day time period before cancellation becomes effective on October 4, 2019.

“This land was no doubt used to protect the privacy of Epstein and his co-conspirators, and today we took steps to take back this public land,” Commissioner Garcia Richard added. “Moving forward, we will determine the best use of this land for the future. Some possibilities we are looking into include leasing the land to a New Mexico ranching family, opening up the petroglyphs on this land for recreation, and working with local organizations to install a memorial to survivors of trafficking, assault, and other sex crimes.”

The cancellation letter that was sent to Cypress Inc. is attached.

Click here to view the announcement of the lease cancellation.

Contact:

Angie Poss, Assistant Commissioner of Communications

505.470.2965

aposs@slo.state.nm.us