Epstein Fund Completes Payments

More than 140 victims received a total of $121M in compensation
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2021 4:49 PM CDT
Epstein Fund Completes Payments
Jeffrey Epstein's estate established a compensation fund for his victims.   (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)

The fund set up by the estate of Jeffrey Epstein to compensate his sexual assault victims has finished its work, after distributing $121 million to more than 140 people. About 225 applications were filed, ABC reports, and 150 people were approved for compensation. "I think the number of certified victims of Epstein's sex trafficking is unspeakable," said David Boies, whose law firm represented several claimants. "There really aren't words to describe the enormity of his crimes." As high as the numbers are, Boies said there surely are more victims who haven't come forward. A few of the 150 eligible turned down the money so they'd be free to sue the estate, per the New York Times. The estate was facing lawsuits from more than 30 women last fall when it suggested the independent fund, not long after Epstein died in jail while awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy and child sex trafficking.

Trying all the cases in court "would have exhausted significant funds from the estate, leaving less for victims," said Brad Edwards, who represented more than 50 claimants. The estate promised a process that wasn't adversarial and would not include cross-examination, for example. "It was the safest space that I've ever been a part of where the client could share all intimate details, knowing that it was not being recorded, it was going to remain confidential, and somebody was going to listen," Edwards said. The Epstein Victims' Compensation Program is wrapping up its work; the administrator said she wanted to turn over the payments quickly because many victims already had waited for years. "I am proud of what we were able to accomplish with this program," said Jordana Feldman, "but also recognize that no amount of money will erase the years of pain these victims have endured because of Jeffrey Epstein." (The sale of Epstein properties restocked the compensation fund.)

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