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Jeffrey Epstein victims' fund to suspend compensation offers

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СообщениеДобавлено: 5.02.2021 11:49    Заголовок сообщения: Jeffrey Epstein victims' fund to suspend compensation offers Ответить с цитатой

Jeffrey Epstein victims' fund to suspend compensation offers

The fund has already paid out more than $50 million to alleged victims.

An independent claims program for alleged victims of the late sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein has suspended compensation offers to those individuals due to uncertainty about future funding of the program.

"Although I sincerely regret having to take this action, I have concluded that it is necessary to protect the interests of eligible claimants who have not yet resolved their claims through the program," said Jordana H. Feldman, a New York attorney who administers the Epstein Victims Compensation Program, which began operating last June.

The Epstein estate, which was initially valued at over $630 million, has already paid out more than $50 million to alleged victims through the program, but has apparently run into liquidity problems and has been unable to replenish the account designated to pay claims from alleged victims. Since the program began operating last year, more than 150 people have submitted claims, far exceeding initial expectations.

"Issuing a compensation offer that cannot be timely and fully funded and paid, consistent with the way the program has operated to date, would compromise claimants' interests and the guiding principles of the program," according to a statement from Feldman on Thursday.

As the compensation program was being designed after Epstein's death in August 2019, the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Denise George, received assurances from the estate that there were sufficient assets to fully fund the program and that there was no upper limit on the amount it could set aside to pay claims. Epstein maintained his primary residence since 2010 on a private island off the coast of St. Thomas.

Following the announcement of the suspension of compensation offers, George filed an emergency motion in the U.S. Virgin Islands probate court seeking an immediate freeze on all assets of the estate, including its cash on hand. George contended in the court filing that the "failure to provide promised compensation for Epstein's victims is one entirely of the Estate's and its Co-Executors' making."

"My office's worst fears have been realized as we learned the Epstein Estate will not make its currently owed payment to the fund it claimed to have set up to compensate sexual abuse survivors and victims of Jeffrey Epstein," George said in a statement late Thursday. "The Estate has found its way to pay for lawyers, landscaping, and helicopter fees, but not the brave women who have stepped forward to participate in the compensation fund. It is, unconscionably, another promise made and broken by Epstein and, now, his Estate."

The program's protocol requires the estate to pay all eligible claims based solely on the administrator's determination and to supplement the available money for compensation from other funds in the estate when the account falls below a certain threshold. Earlier this week, the estate informed Feldman that "it did not have sufficient liquidity to fully satisfy the most recent request for replenishment and that it could not predict when additional liquidity would be secured," according to a statement from Feldman.

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