As his lawyers worked to secure an extremely lax plea deal for him, accused sex offender Jeffrey Epstein busied himself luxuriously remodeling his island estate. NBC obtained documents suggesting that, while the FBI investigated the financier for allegedly running a sex ring on the backs of underage girls, Epstein was making plans to expand the main house on Little St. James, a.k.a "Pedophile Island," by roughly 20,000 square feet. The addition would have included a number of new bedrooms, an on-site spa, an underground theater, and a new pool.

In 2007, Palm Beach police and the FBI were about two years into building a case against Epstein, according to NBC, and believed him to have abused thousands of girls at his various homes. Authorities suspected that the mega-wealthy businessman had lured minors to his Florida mansion, where he paid them exorbitant sums in cash to give him sexual massages. Some of his victims have since alleged that Epstein raped them, all with the help of associates—often girls or young women themselves, along with his close friend and ex, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, according to some accounts—he sent out to enlist more vulnerable teens into his pedophilic racket. Epstein is currently in prison and awaiting trial on those same charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Investigators began looking into Epstein in 2005, and by the fall of 2007, his attorneys had reached a settlement with Alexander Acosta—at the time, a U.S. Attorney; until a few weeks ago, Donald Trump's Labor Secretary. (Acosta resigned after Epstein's arrest in early July refueled criticism of the deal.) Epstein got off with an 18-month sentence in a white collar jail, only 13 of which he served, and with a work release to boot. He also had to register as a sex offender, but to the NYPD at least, that designation does not appear to have meant much: According to the NY Post, police in New York City—where Epstein owns a $77 million townhouse, and where he is believed to have committed many of his alleged crimes—did not require the convicted predator to check in.

In November 2007, according to NBC, Epstein filed a proposal with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources headquarters on St. Thomas. The plans reportedly outlined a 16,747-square foot addition that would have made his (originally) 8,124-square foot main house into a multi-winged mansion. Epstein would have contracted the Maguire Group, a Massachusetts design firm, to build out two more bedrooms; a new kitchen and dining space; the aforementioned spa and theater; as well as "new terraces" to "connect the master bedroom to the new pool and pool house." NBC reports that the resulting compound would've taken up 46,697 square feet on Epstein's island, which neighbors St. Thomas, and where he reportedly flew a number of his rich friends on his private jet, dubbed the "Lolita Express" by members of the media.

NBC could not confirm whether or not Epstein pushed his plans through, although photos of the island show a cluster of buildings linked up to a large house, in keeping with the reported proposal. According to NBC, Epstein also filed another construction permit five months after his 2009 release from jail. The plans would have further expanded on his pool and pavilions, if approved. Whether or not he executed on the building, Epstein's sustained pursuit of expansion on Little St. James does not suggest he had any intention or expectation of serving significant time for his alleged crimes.

Epstein is currently being held without bail in Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was reportedly found unconscious in his cell last week. The financier had marks around his neck, according to NBC New York, as if he had tried to hang himself, or as if someone else had tried to strangle him. Both theories have been floated, but according to the Post, another of Epstein's victims (Jennifer Araoz, one of the women who says Epstein assaulted and raped her when she was 14 and 15 years old) served him with legal documents the day before prison staff found the defendant injured. In previously filed court docs, Araoz's attorney says she wants Epstein deposed, so she can ascertain the identity of the woman who recruited her into his circle.

If he is convicted on the current charges against him, Epstein faces up to 45 years in prison—effectively a life sentence for the 66-year-old.