New York mogul Epstein (center) awaits trial during his lifetime.
On Thursday, Feb. 4, the Epstein Foundation abruptly stopped awarding compensation to victims of sexual assault, forcing a temporary shutdown due to the foundation’s funding problems.
The Epstein Foundation’s Victim Compensation Program issued a statement saying that cash flow problems with real estate in the Genetic Society’s name prevented the foundation from continuing to pay compensation to Epstein sexual assault victims.
The Epstein Foundation was established in June 2020 with a pool of $630 million at its inception. Before this shutdown, the foundation had only officially paid $50 million to victims.
According to the foundation’s statement, it will not be reissued until March 25 of this year, which is also the last day to file a claim this year.
Previously, as many as dozens of women have declared themselves victims of Epstein’s assaults, with the youngest woman being as young as 14 when she was sexually assaulted by Epstein.
The foundation said it has received up to 150 claims, far exceeding the foundation’s expectations for compensation. When the foundation was founded last year, it expected to have just over 70 claims.
Jordy Feldman, the Epstein Foundation’s director of operations, said the genetic society has had to suspend compensation payments for now in order to protect victims who have filed but not yet received compensation in their cases.
“Failure to process claims in a timely manner can only harm the rights of claimants, which is contrary to the original purpose for which the program was established.”
One of the reasons the genetic society was created was to provide victims with avenues for compensation outside of the courts. Joining Friedman in overseeing the foundation is Kenneth Feinberg, who has provided compensation oversight services for 9/11 victims and victims of Roman Catholic sexual assault in the New York area.
Born in New York, Jeffery Epstein was a teacher before entering the financial industry. He was first investigated in 2005 for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, then reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and served 13 months in prison in 2008. Epstein was re-arrested in July 2019 and died in custody in Manhattan on August 10 while awaiting trial. The medical examiner ruled it a suicide, but many people doubt the cause of his death.