Epstein Estate Seeks to Set Up Fund to Compensate His Victims

(Bloomberg) -- The estate of Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in New York before he could be prosecuted for sexually assaulting teen girls, is seeking to set up a fund to compensate his victims.

Executors of the estate outlined their plans Thursday in the U.S. Virgin Islands court, where Epstein’s will was filed. They asked permission from a probate judge to establish a confidential system for allowing eligible victims to resolve claims out of court, according to a statement by three lawyers hired to set up the program.

Jordana H. Feldman, Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille S. Biros will design the program, develop criteria and eligibility requirements and craft the claims process. Feldman, who recently served as deputy special master of compensation funds for victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, will be the administrator. The fund could be operational within 90 days of court approval, Biros said in a telephone interview.

“We haven’t begun the process of starting to draft the design and criteria and the eligibility,” said Biros, a longtime Feinberg associate who has worked on compensation funds for victims of sexual abuse in various Roman Catholic dioceses. “We’re going to start very soon. We’re very eager to get started on it.”

Feinberg’s firm specializes in dispute resolution. It was tapped to administer compensation funds for the 2010 BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and hired by Volkswagen AG to pay car owners affected by the diesel emissions-cheating scandal. The firm is currently leading settlement talks in litigation over thousands of suits claiming Bayer AG’s Roundup weed killer causes cancer.

Epstein died alone in his jail cell about five weeks after his arrest on charges of trafficking underage girls for sex. The city’s chief medical examiner ruled that he hanged himself.

How Epstein was able to kill himself -- and thus escape facing his accusers in court -- remains controversial. Earlier he’d been found unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck and been placed on suicide watch, then removed from continuous observation. More than a half-dozen of his victims have filed civil suits against his estate since his death.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.