April 15, 2021

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Jeffrey Epstein’s US Virgin Island properties may be sold to help pay victims’ fund

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Epstein maintained a home on Little St. James, which he acquired in 1998, and purchased nearby Great St. James in 2016, according to a lawsuit filed last year.

Dan Weiner, an attorney for the estate, told CNN in a written statement the co-executors of the estate received “expressions of interest from numerous parties regarding the two USVI properties, and 2-3 bona fide offers to purchase them.”

The proposed sale of the properties comes after program administrators for the victims’ fund announced Friday they were pausing payouts because the estate was low on cash. Because of “uncertainty” over funding, the program said it is holding compensation determination offers until March 25 or later depending on when the estate can provide the necessary funds to finish payouts, according to a news release from the fund.

“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,” said US Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise N. George. “It is, unconscionably, another promise made and broken by Epstein and now, his Estate.”

The compensation fund for alleged Jeffrey Epstein victims pauses payouts
The attorney general filed a lien against Epstein’s estate in January 2020 after filing a lawsuit against the estate, court documents show.

George’s office submitted an emergency motion Friday to freeze all of the estate’s assets, which was granted by a judge the same day. The order states the co-executors cannot “make or approve any expenditure of funds or disposal of any asset(s)” of Epstein’s estate without the court approving such transactions.

Besides the islands, the Epstein estate has a number of properties to sell, including a ranch in New Mexico, a mansion in Palm Beach and Epstein’s seven-story, 10-bedroom mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Described as the largest single-family home in New York City, the mansion was originally listed for $88 million but the price has since dropped to $65 million, according to a listing by the Modlin Group.
The Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program was established in June 2020 after his attorneys requested to start a program to avoid litigation. It has received more than 150 claims and has paid out $55 million to claimants, according to program administrators. Weiner says the estate has funded the program with more than $87 million to pay claimants in addition to separate payments covering the fund’s ongoing operations.

The registration date for new applicants closed February 8, and all claims must be filed by March 25. There haven’t been discussions to extend those deadlines yet, but an extension is not off the table should the pause on pay outs continue past March 25, a spokesperson for the program told CNN.

Epstein is accused of transporting underage girls to his homes in the US Virgin Islands and forcing them into sex work from 2001 through 2018, according to a lawsuit filed by George’s office.
The multimillionaire had already been charged in a federal criminal case alleging that he ran a sex trafficking enterprise at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida.

Epstein, 66, died by suicide in August 2019 while awaiting federal trial in New York City’s Metropolitan Correction Center. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

CNN’s Eric Levenson contributed to this report.

2021-02-08 19:41:37

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