A fund created by Jeffrey Epstein’s estate to compensate victims of the disgraced financier is shutting down operations after paying out $ 121 million to around people, the fund’s administrator said on Monday, noting that it had received more than double the claims initially expected.
Epstein’s victim compensation program began work last August with the goal of processing all claims before the second anniversary of Epstein’s suicide on Tuesday, said Jordana Feldman, the fund’s administrator. New York Times.
The fund said in a press release that it had received 225 claims from alleged victims from the United States and abroad, a number that “far exceeded initial expectations that 100 claims would be filed.”
Of the applicants, 150 were deemed eligible for compensation, which was funded by the sale of Epstein’s real estate and financial assets, and more than 92% accepted the offers.
About 75 claimants have been turned away (but can still seek legal recourse against the state), and while declining to explain why those claims were denied, Feldman said the fund gave “a lot of weight to meetings with claimants. “because” sexual abuse does not “. does not lend itself to heavy documentary evidence.
While compensation was paid by the executors of Epstein’s estate, the claims were reviewed “independently” and the program was “free from interference or control of Epstein’s estate,” Feldman pointed out.
“This has been offered as a safe space and a confidential forum to resolve these disputes,” said Feldman, who also managed a similar fund for victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “And I think when people gained confidence in the program, you saw the numbers increase along the way as well.”
$ 800,000. This is roughly the average payment the 150 alleged victims received, according to Forbes’ calculations.
Taking money from the fund forced alleged victims to sign wide waivers ceding their ability to bring further claims against Epstein’s estate, his former businesses or employees. “In at least three cases, women who sued Epstein’s alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell were required to drop their civil lawsuits against her as a condition of receiving compensation from the program,” ABC News reported .. As a result, some women have turned down offers from the program to bring civil lawsuits.
Although he never quite succeeded in Forbes’ On the billionaire list, Epstein left behind a sizable fortune of $ 600 million when he died in prison while awaiting trial for sex trafficking in 2019. The Epstein Victims Compensation Fund has was created out of fear that the money – tied up in a trust – could take years to reach the alleged victims, dozens of whom have sued the disgraced financier. Since his death, Epstein’s estate has disposed of a number of its key properties, including his Manhattan townhouse and Palm Beach, Florida resort, which were sold earlier this year for 51 million and $ 18.5 million, respectively. The latest property to go on sale is the 8,000-acre ranch in New Mexico where Epstein was accused of recruiting and sexually abusing multiple women. David H. Weiner, an attorney for Epstein’s estate, told the the Wall Street newspaper his holdings were worth around $ 210 million in March 2021, of which more than $ 140 million went to Epstein’s victim compensation program.
What to watch out for
Maxwell, Epstein’s ex-girlfriend and longtime confidante, is set to stand trial in November for recruiting teenage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein over a 10-year period.
“A New Mexico ranch where Jeffrey Epstein was allegedly trafficked in women is expected to hit the market for $ 27.5 million” (Forbes)