After awarding more than $ 121 million to about 150 applicants, a compensation program for survivors of Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse said Monday it had finished distributing funds. The deceased financier’s estate proposed the restitution fund a few months after his death in federal custody in 2019, and the Epstein Victims Compensation Program began last year. Jordana Feldman, The fund manager said in a statement that the number of claims was more than double the initial expectation of the program.
Brad Edwards, a Florida attorney who worked through the compensation process with more than 50 of his clients, He said ABC News that the fund offered an out-of-dispute option. “If all of those cases had been litigated, clearly significant funds from the estate would have been exhausted, leaving less for the victims,” he said. “For the most part, I think it was a success. It was definitely worth it for everyone to participate, even those who ultimately rejected the determination. ”
Accepting restitution through the fund meant that victims could not bring additional claims against Epstein’s estate or his alleged accomplices, such as Ghislaine Maxwell, who is currently being held in federal jail before her trial in November on charges related to aiding the abuse of Epstein. She pleaded not guilty.
According to the fund, 92% of eligible claimants accepted their offers of compensation. “I was continually impressed by the resilience and courage of the victims who put their faith and trust in this process,” Feldman said in a statement. The New York Times reported that Feldman declined to say why about 75 applicants were deemed ineligible.
Epstein’s estate had been valued at approximately $ 578 million. Like Reuters indicated On Monday, a restitution had been delayed due to a legal battle between Denise George, the attorney general of the United States Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned two islands, and the executors of Epstein’s estate. George alleged that the executors, who denied wrongdoing, had depleted the estate too quickly and were the “indispensable captains” of Epstein’s sex trade. Victims who did not accept restitution through the fund can file lawsuits against Epstein’s estate.
“I really wanted this process to unfold quickly and in a meaningful and purposeful way,” Feldman He said the Times Monday. “I really think these programs are as much about validation as they are about compensation.”
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