Saturday, April 13, 2024

Jeffrey Epstein victims’ fund awards US$121m to survivors

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Washington – The compensation fund set up for the sexual abuse victims of Jeffrey Epstein has completed its work, paying out around US$121m (£90m) to 150 people.

The announcement comes about two years after Epstein’s suicide in a New York prison while awaiting trial.

The independent administrator of the fund, which comes from Epstein’s estate, said it received nearly twice the number of claims expected.

Several victims rejected the offer, clearing the way for lawsuits.

Following the death of the disgraced financier, the executors of his estimated US$600m fortune established the fund and asked victims to get in touch.

Of the 225 people who stepped forward, 150 were adjudged to have legitimate claims. The fund was also open to victims who had previously received compensation after Epstein’s 2008 conviction for soliciting sex from an underage girl.

About 92 per cent of eligible victims have now accepted a final settlement, according to fund administrator Jordana Feldman. A handful of individuals have not, allowing them to pursue future civil actions in the courts.

“I am proud of what we were able to accomplish with this programme, but also recognise that no amount of money will erase the years of pain these victims have endured because of Jeffrey Epstein,” Feldman said in a statement on Monday.

“My hope is that the programme provided his victims a meaningful measure of justice and a step on the path toward healing.”

Epstein’s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that she conspired with him in the abuse of four under-age girls.

She is due to stand trial in November. (BBC)

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