Did Jeffrey Epstein’s Victims Fund Protect Its Allies?
“A very important principle which guides the various dioceses of Manhattan and Long Island is the fear that if the statute is reopened, and that there are people who did not participate earlier and who signed a waiver in this program, some of the allegations may be resolved on the courthouse steps in with a request for $ 5 million or a request for $ 2 million, ”Feinberg told leaders at the upstate church. “So far, we haven’t paid any claims, however gruesome, over $ 500,000.”
Biros, who was also on the call, said that – although the fund brags about its independence and said Biros and Feinberg have “complete autonomy” in their settlement decisions – they are in contact with the church as they ran their programs.
“I just want everyone to know that once we take charge and implement the program, it remains an open dialogue with the diocese,” Biros said on the call, according to the transcript. “We are constantly on the phone with New York, Brooklyn and now Rockville Center. If we have any questions about the priests, the file, the applicant, they are an incredible resource for us.
Feinberg and Biros did not respond to questions about the ABC News story.
Asked about her relationship to Epstein’s estate, Feldman – the administrator of the fund – said she had operated independently of Epstein’s estate and took steps to ensure the estate was not involved in the fund, for example by not giving the estate any access to the claims files of alleged victims of Epstein.
“I understand the skepticism, I too was skeptical at the start. When I was offered the position of director, full director independence was a key element that I emphasized, ”said Feldman. “I had complete autonomy over the program and insisted that the estate did not have the power to interfere with decisions about claims.”
“My credibility is the reason I got hired for these programs. Feldman added.
There was one thing, Feldman said, over which she had no autonomy: the scope of the discharge signed by the women who agreed to settlements promising they would not sue Epstein’s estate or the people he had employed in his alleged network of sex trafficking.
The number of people who could be immune from future lawsuits could be long. The women who accepted the money could not sue Maxwell, who is due to go on trial later this year for his alleged role in Epstein’s business, according to a claimant. Maxwell has been accused of helping recruit women for Epstein and, at times, participating in forced sexual encounters with them.
Other former allies of Epstein could still see a windfall of money from his estate, which estimated it at $ 190 million at the end of June, but whose beneficiaries are still unknown.
A court record filed by Epstein’s estate after his death showed only one person – his brother Mark – as a potential beneficiary of Epstein’s money if he had left no will. But Epstein had signed a will just days before his death, and he transferred all of his money to a trust whose beneficiaries are secret. Two of Epstein’s lawyers, Indyke and Kahn, are the executors of the estate and – although old acquaintances speculate on friends or former romantic partners that Epstein may have wanted to reward – it’s unclear who should get his money.
At the time of his death, Epstein’s wealth was staggering: he had $ 194,986,301 in “hedge funds and private equity investments,” $ 18,551,700 in “aircraft, automobiles and boats assets,” properties in Paris, Palm Beach, New Mexico and the Virgin Islands. , and its historic seven-story, 21,000-square-foot townhouse on the Upper East Side, valued at nearly $ 56 million, according to an account of its assets by the estate filed in the Virgin Islands Estates Court. . His personal property, which included works of art by Pablo Picasso and Paul Cézanne, had not yet been appraised, according to the accounts provided to the court.