On June 25, 2020, the estate of Jeffrey Epstein opened the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program (Epstein VCP). Epstein — a millionaire and financier — was accused of sexually abusing and assaulting hundreds of girls and young women. He committed suicide in 2019.
More than 100 survivors of Epstein’s abuse are expected to file claims through the program. Single claims may receive compensation ranging from thousands to millions of dollars. The compensation will come from Epstein’s estate, which is allegedly worth $630 million.
All claims must be filed before the program deadline on March 25, 2021.
Jeffrey Epstein Sex Scandal
Epstein was accused of child sexual abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking and promoting prostitution. A lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands alleges 22 counts of these and other related crimes. The lawsuit cites aggravated rape, child abuse and neglect, human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution against Epstein.
According to legal filings, the majority of the criminal activity was committed against minors, ranging in ages from 11 to 18.
Epstein was a registered sex offender in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He owned two private islands in the territory. Due to the isolated nature of the islands, Epstein was able to engage in criminal sexual activity and evade the authorities.
In July 2019, Epstein was arrested for alleged crimes committed between 2002 and 2005. While awaiting trial, Epstein committed suicide by hanging himself in his prison cell. This was confirmed by the official ruling of the NYC Chief Medical Examiner’s Office.
What Is The Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program?
On June 25, 2020, the Epstein estate created the Epstein VCP. The program is designed to compensate victims of Jeffrey Epstein. Jeffrey Epstein’s estate will compensate victims through the program. The estate’s estimated worth is $630 million.
Several groups collaborated on the Epstein VCP including:
- The Epstein estate
- Victim attorneys
- The Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands
- Several administrators experienced in compensation programs
The administrators for this program include Jordana Feldman, Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros.
Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros worked together on several high-profile compensation programs. They designed several programs for Catholic dioceses accused of sexual abuse in multiple states.
Jordana Feldman will act as Administer of the Program. She will determine the awards on a case-by-case basis. Feldman previously served as the deputy special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
Professor Marci A. Hamilton — a nationally-recognized sex abuse expert — will also serve as a consultant to Feldman and her staff.
Epstein VCP Details
In press statements, Feldman recognized that money will not heal all the trauma experienced by survivors. However, she hopes that it will offer some “sense of validation and justice for victims.”
Key program details related to compensation include:
- Compensation through the program will not be capped.
- Compensation will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
- There is no time limit on claims. Older claims will be considered by the program as well as those cases still within the legal statute of limitations.
- Claimants who recruited other girls for Epstein under duress may also be considered for compensation.
Victims who receive compensation through the Epstein VCP waive their rights to future litigation against the estate. This is common among compensation funds and other settlement agreements. Victims can withdraw or reject the awarded compensation at any point before signing a settlement agreement.
The release of rights does not prevent victims from filing civil claims or lawsuits against people who played a negligent or abusive role in the scandal. However, it does protect employees of Epstein involved in the scheme from legal claims.
Filing An Epstein VCP Claim
When the Epstein VCP opened, administrators sent 100 claim packets to victims who had previously filed a claim of sexual abuse or other legal action against Jeffrey Epstein.
Survivors who have not yet reported the abuse or filed a lawsuit may still participate. These survivors must register with the Epstein VCP by February 8, 2021.
Once registered with the program, survivors must file claims of abuse to be considered for compensation. All sex abuse, assault, and trafficking claims must be submitted to the Epstein VCP by March 25, 2021.
Epstein Victims’ Compensation Fund. (N.D.) Registration Form.
Epstein Victims’ Compensation Fund. (N.D.) Welcome.
Fitzpatrick, S., Kaplan, A. (2020, June 25). Compensation fund for Jeffrey Epstein victims opens; more than 100 women expected to file claims. NBC News.
Hurtado, P., Wyss, J. (2020, June 25). Epstein Victims Get Chance to Claim Share of $600 Million Estate. Bloomberg.
Levenson, E., Schuman, M. (2020, January 15). Jeffrey Epstein allegedly sexually abused girls in the US Virgin Islands through 2018. CNN.
Winter, T. (2019, July 11). Who is Jeffrey Epstein, and why has he been arrested again? NBC News.