The disgraced sex offender and financier, Jeffrey Epstein, signed a trust fund just two days before his suicide in jail, which puts more than $577 million of his assets into a fund that could potentially make it more difficult for his dozens of accusers to collect damages.
Experts and estate lawyers say that it could be easy for the financier to divide up his riches over the years and open the trust to prying eyes.
According to Jennifer Freeman, the lawyer who advocates for victims of child sexual abuse, “even in his demise, this is the final demonstration of Epstein’s exploitation of the system.”
Many women claim that when they were teenagers, he sexually assaulted them, and suspicions were immediately raised when it was discovered that he had hidden money to facilitate these actions. The suspicions were also raised when a newly created will, named after the 1953 Trust, was found, revealing the year of his birth. Epstein, aged 66, who was awaiting trial on charges of federal sex trafficking, died by suicide in New York on August 10th.
The women are attempting to collect details from his estate in order to judge the persuasiveness of a business, whether they are individuals, other entities, or organizations. He is keeping their identities shrouded from the public view by placing his fortune in a trust.
If the court were to decide how much the beneficiaries named in Epstein’s will should receive, the judge would also have to consider whether the amounts given should be reduced. The women who were victims of Epstein’s sex crimes would have to convince the judge that they are entitled to compensation. Even if Epstein had not created a trust, the women would still choose to pursue legal action.
Attorney Lisa Bloom, who is the legal representative for multiple individuals who have accused Epstein, expressed, “We will advocate for the long-awaited justice that these individuals deserve, and if that does not happen, I am confident that the court and those in charge will prioritize justice for Epstein’s victims. Affluent individuals often try to conceal their assets using trusts or other legal strategies.”
According to her, Epstein’s property in the US Virgin Islands, where the will was submitted and where he possessed two islands, will be pursued by the lawyers representing the women.
Bloom deemed a will as a “timeless indication of imminent suicide” for an inmate. Bloom expressed that it was “extreme carelessness” on the behalf of Epstein’s attorneys and prison staff to permit him to execute a fresh will, considering that he had seemingly made a suicide attempt shortly prior.
If certain tax experts have raised doubts, the validity of the will could be contested due to improper witnessing or execution.
CBS Pace University law professor Bridget Crawford expressed, “It is by no means certain that Mr Epstein had the mental ability. It is important to verify that there was no deception, no excessive influence, and no coercion.”
The 20-page document lists assets that include collectibles and art that will be appraised, vehicles such as boats and aircraft valued at $18.5 million, properties in the Virgin Islands, New Mexico, Paris, Florida, and New York, as well as cash totaling more than $56 million.
Epstein’s sole known family member is his brother, Mark Epstein, aged 65, who has not replied to inquiries for remarks.
Although the siblings were linked through different monetary transactions, it is uncertain whether he was designated as a recipient and has remained a mysterious individual.
In an attempt to secure his bail on sex trafficking charges in July, Epstein proposed $100 million as collateral, which was significantly less than the estimated value of the Florida house, estimated at $100,000, that Mark Epstein was willing to offer, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Leslie Wexner, the creator of Victoria’s Secret, was Epstein’s primary patron and possessed a 200-unit condominium in Manhattan that the siblings were also associated with. Mark Epstein, formerly recorded as the president of a company affiliated with Epstein, was previously owned by Epstein’s most prominent customer.
Darren Indyke and Richard Kahn, who have acted as Epstein’s lawyers for an extended period, are recognized as the executors of Epstein’s assets.
If he were summoned, Nikolic would not carry out the responsibilities and informed Bloomberg that he was “astonished” to discover he was appointed. Boris Nikolic, a former scientific consultant to Bill Gates, was also designated as an alternative executor by Epstein.
Last week, Joi Ito, the director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, expressed regret for Epstein’s connections to the lab. Nicolic and several other science-related individuals, whom Epstein actively tried to develop relationships with in recent years, are now making efforts to separate themselves from him.
Untangling Epstein’s financial matters is expected to be expensive and time-consuming in any situation. After resolving all the allegations, the estate can only be subjected to taxation in accordance with the US tax code.
Crawford predicts that it might require approximately ten years to resolve the situation. In the event that there are no remaining funds to support it, the trust could be dissolved due to the increasing amount of allegations against Epstein’s estate.