- September 25, 2021
Jeffrey Epstein fund abruptly halts payouts to victims
The announcement by the Epstein Victimsâ€™ Compensation Program got here via a launch that attributed the suspension to uncertainty in regards to the liquidity of property belongings wanted to finance payouts.
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Officers stated the fund, which operates independently of the property, would have as much as $630 million when it started operations final June.
It stated funds, which have topped $55 million, won’t resume earlier than March 25, the deadline to file claims. The deadline to register for this system is Monday.
Late Thursday, U.S. Virgin Islands Lawyer Common Denise N. George stated in an announcement that her workplace was searching for a court docket order to freeze all funds and gross sales of belongings by the co-executors of Epsteinâ€™s property to protect and defend its belongings.
“My workplaceâ€™s worst fears have been realized as we realized the Epstein Property won’t make its at the moment owed cost to the fund it claimed to have set as much as compensate sexual abuse survivors and victims of Jeffrey Epstein,” George stated.
“The Property has discovered its technique to pay for legal professionals, landscaping, and helicopter charges, however not the courageous ladies who’ve stepped ahead to take part within the compensation fund. It’s, unconscionably, one other promise made and damaged by Epstein and now, his Property,” she stated.
George stated she was unaware that the property was defaulting on deposits it was required to make till the property knowledgeable her Wednesday that it couldn’t make its agreed-to cost and didn’t know when it may.
She stated the property had breached an settlement with the federal government of the Virgin Islands and legal professionals for victims that was permitted by the Probate Court docket of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In an announcement, the property stated it has to this point funded this system with over $87 million to pay claimants and that over $55 million has been paid out.
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It stated the property completed 2020 with $240 million in belongings, however that a lot of them had been residential properties, personal investments and plane that must be offered, a course of hampered by the coronavirus pandemic and lawsuits the property should defend in opposition to.
Property legal professional Daniel Weiner stated in an electronic mail that the payouts since June are “a measure of the Packagesâ€™ outstanding effectivity in listening to and issuing determinations for the advantage of scores of claimants.”
He stated the legal professional normalâ€™s claims in court docket had been “factually and legally unsupportable” and he known as upon her to elevate liens on two islands in St. Thomas which can be owned by the property in order that they are often offered and the cash disbursed to ladies via the fund.
In response to the discharge from the fund, this systemâ€™s 150 claims up to now have far exceeded expectations; when the fund started, this system stated there was anticipated to be over 70 claims.
Jordy Feldman, the fundâ€™s administrator, stated the suspension of payouts was mandatory to guard those that haven’t but resolved their claims.
“Issuing a compensation provide that can’t be well timed and absolutely funded and paid, in step with the way in which the Program has operated up to now, would compromise claimantsâ€™ pursuits and the guiding ideas of the Program,” Feldman stated in an announcement.
The fund supplies an alternative choice to pursuing claims via the courts. It was established with assist from Kenneth Feinberg, a widely known mediator who oversaw compensation funds for victims of the Sept. 11 assaults and of clergy intercourse abuse inside New Yorkâ€™s Roman Catholic archdiocese.
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The fund was financed with cash from the property of Epstein, 66, who killed himself at a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019 whereas he awaited trial on intercourse trafficking costs that alleged he abuse ladies and women below the age 18 at his Florida property and his Manhattan mansion within the early 2000s.
Messages searching for response to the fundâ€™s shutdown have been despatched to a number of legal professionals concerned in litigation on behalf of ladies who say they had been sexually abused by Epstein.