Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers can finally get some justice — the dead pedophile’s victims compensation fund is now taking claims, the fund administrator announced Thursday.
“This Program provides victims of Jeffrey Epstein the opportunity to be heard outside the glare of public courtroom proceedings, and to receive acknowledgment by an independent third party as to the legitimacy of their experience and the long-term suffering it has wrought,” fund administrator Jordan Feldman said in a statement.
The program — which was created in November by the same people involved in the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund — is being run independently of his $634 million estate, which will ultimately pay the victims.
It provides a confidential forum for at least 70 women, who say they were sexually abused by the 66-year-old convicted-pedophile hedge funder, to receive monetary compensation without having to fight their cases publicly in court.
Accusers can apply even if their cases would have been time-barred in court — or if they had a prior settlement. And the standard for proving their accusations is “more relaxed” than it would have been in court, the administrators said.
The victims may opt-in or out of the fund but must sign a release not to bring more legal action against the estate if they participate.
Epstein’s estate and executors will not have any say in whether a case is accepted or rejected, the administrators said.
Anyone who has not already filed suit or staked a claim in the estate can register with the program online. The fund will accept applications until March 25, 2021, the administrators said.
“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.
Feldman added that the fund “is committed to processing the victims’ claims in a prompt, fair and effective manner.”
The fund was stalled in court for months as the victims’ lawyers, estate executors and the Attorney General of the US Virgin Islands negotiated over how it should be run. It was finally approved by a Virgin Islands judge earlier this month.
Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide by hanging last August in a Lower Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
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