The Epstein Victims Compensation Fund, authorized by the Probate Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands, officially started accepting claims Thursday, June 25, 2020, from alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein, many of whom were girls between 12 and 17 years old at the time. To avoid legal action, attorneys for Epstein’s estate executors first filed a request in November 2019 to pursue a victim compensation fund. It took months of negotiation with several victims’ attorneys to finalize the fund.
According to court documents, the fund administrator, Jordana Feldman, known for her work as the former deputy special master of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, will review claims and determine how much each victim is awarded. At the insistence of the U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George, a child sexual abuse expert, Marci Hamilton, who heads Child USA, will be part of the compensation process.
As long as the estate funds last, there is no cap on the amount available to settle with eligible victims. Feldman said she expects “they will run from the thousands to the millions.” If victims accept compensation, they then waive their right to pursue future legal action against Epstein’s estate. The release doesn’t prevent a criminal case from being brought against anyone complicit in Epstein’s crimes, nor does it prevent victims from working with authorities or going public with their story.
“This Program provides victims of Jeffrey Epstein the opportunity to be heard outside the glare of public courtroom proceedings and to receive an acknowledgment by an independent third party as to the legitimacy of their experience and the long-term suffering it has wrought,” Feldman said in a statement.
According to a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of the US Virgin Islands, from 2001 through 2018, Epstein allegedly transported minor girls to his homes in the US Virgin Islands and forced them into sex work. Charged in a federal criminal case alleging that he ran a sex trafficking enterprise at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida, Epstein committed suicide by hanging in a federal detention facility in August 2019 before he could be brought to trial.
Epstein’s estate was valued in the ballpark of $560 million before the COVID-19 pandemic struck globally. The lawyers for the 70 victims that Feldman has been in contact with “have all expressed that their clients are interested in participating in the program.”
“Treating victims with dignity and respect and providing them with appropriate compensation is central to our work with the Program, even as we recognize that no amount of money will erase the years of pain these victims have endured,” Feldman said.
Victims looking to file a claim with the Epstein Victims Compensation Fund can call the toll-free number 877-312-3055, send an email to [email protected] or visit the website www.epsteinvcp.com. The fund will accept applications until March 25, 2021.
Horowitz Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse and has filed numerous sexual abuse claims on behalf of those who Jeffrey Epstein abused. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped, or sexually molested, by Jeffrey Epstein, contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.