Jeffrey Epstein’s estate faces hundreds of restitution claims
The Victims’ Compensation Program set up by the estate of Jeffrey Epstein has paid out more than $30 million in restitution after receiving over 100 claims since July, The New York Times reports.
The American Jewish financier died by suicide in August 2019 in a Manhattan federal jail cell while awaiting a trial for allegedly trafficking minors across state lines.
Since Epstein placed the nearly $600 million he possessed at the time of his death in a trust just days before his passing, many were initially wary about whether his victims would have an easy route to seeing restitution money.
But Jordana Feldman, the lawyer in charge of the program, told The Times that the program processes all claims within 60 days, and she personally interviews claimants.
“It gives the victims an opportunity to tell their story, and it gives me an opportunity to get to know them in a way that can’t be fully captured in a paper file,” Feldman said. “I do see some of the rawness of the emotions. There is a very deep, long-lasting impact that the abuse has had on their lives.”
According to the program’s rules, restitution is available even to those who had reached settlements with Epstein during his lifetime.
The rules were designed by a group of experts in claims resolution management, including Feldman, who has in the past worked with efforts to create restitution programs for victims of sexual abuse from the Catholic Church and Penn State University.
Denise N. George, the attorney general of the Virgin Islands, who had criticized past efforts by the estate to set up restitution programs, also contributed to the program’s design.
Spencer Kuvin, a Miami based lawyer representing nine women who have submitted claims to the program, said that the process of seeking restitution through the fund “is light-years different” from the legal battles he went through to secure settlements during Epstein’s life.
Currently, the Victims’ Compensation Program is financed through Southern Trust, one of Epstein’s companies registered in the Virgin Islands and a part of his estate. But according to its website, the program is under the full and complete administration of Feldman.
Epstein victim restitution fund faces over 100 claims