A fund set as much as present cash to scores of girls who say they have been abused by financier Jeffrey Epstein after they have been as younger as 14 has abruptly suspended payouts over unsure funding.
The Virgin Islands attorney-general on Thursday blamed the transfer on Epstein’s property as she moved to freeze its belongings.
The announcement by the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program got here by way of a launch that attributed the suspension to uncertainty concerning the liquidity of property belongings wanted to finance payouts.
Officers mentioned the fund, which operates independently of the property, would have as much as $US630 million ($A830 million) when it started operations final June.
It mentioned funds, which have topped $US55 million ($A72 million), is not going to resume earlier than March 25, the deadline to file claims. The deadline to register for this system is Monday.
Late Thursday, US Virgin Islands Legal professional Common Denise N. George mentioned in an announcement that her workplace was in search of a court docket order to freeze all funds and gross sales of belongings by the co-executors of Epstein’s property to protect and defend its belongings.
George mentioned she was unaware that the property was defaulting on deposits it was required to make till the property knowledgeable her Wednesday that it couldn’t make its agreed-to fee and didn’t know when it may.
She mentioned the property had breached an settlement with the federal government of the Virgin Islands and attorneys for victims that was authorized by the Probate Courtroom of the US Virgin Islands.
In an announcement, the property mentioned it has to date funded this system with over $US87 million ($A115 million) to pay claimants and that over $US55 million ($A72 million) has been paid out.
It mentioned the property completed 2020 with $US240 million ($A316 million) in belongings, however that lots of them have been residential properties, non-public investments and plane that must be bought, a course of hampered by the coronavirus pandemic and lawsuits the property should defend in opposition to.
In response to the discharge from the fund, this system’s 150 claims so far have far exceeded expectations; when the fund started, this system mentioned there was anticipated to be over 70 claims.
The fund was financed with cash from the property of Epstein, 66, who killed himself at a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019 whereas he awaited trial on intercourse trafficking fees that alleged he abuse girls and ladies below 18 at his Florida property and his Manhattan mansion within the early 2000s.
Messages in search of response to the fund’s shutdown have been despatched to a number of attorneys concerned in litigation on behalf of girls who say they have been sexually abused by Epstein.