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Epstein May Have Gamed the System From Beyond the Grave

The alleged rapist put over $570M in a trust fund
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 21, 2019 5:20 PM CDT
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This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry, shows Jeffrey Epstein.   (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)

(Newser) – The will that Jeffrey Epstein signed just two days before his jailhouse suicide puts more than $577 million in assets into a trust fund that could make it more difficult for his dozens of accusers to collect damages, the AP reports. Estate lawyers and other experts say prying open the trust and dividing up the financier's riches is not going to be easy and could take years. "This is the last act of Epstein's manipulation of the system, even in death," said attorney Jennifer Freeman, who represents child sex abuse victims. The discovery of the will with its newly created 1953 Trust, named after the year of his birth, instantly raised suspicions he did it to hide money from the many women who say he sexually abused them when they were teenagers.

By putting his fortune in a trust, he shrouded from public view the identities of the beneficiaries, whether they be individuals, organizations, or other entities. For the women trying to collect from his estate, the first order of business will be persuading a judge to pierce that veil and release the details. From there, the women will have to follow the course they would have had to pursue even if Epstein hadn't created a trust: convince the judge that they are entitled to compensation as victims of sex crimes. The judge would have to decide how much they should get and whether to reduce the amounts given to Epstein's named beneficiaries, who would also be given their say in court. (Epstein allegedly took a girl's virginity "against her will.")


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