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Crime

Jeffrey Epstein estate pays out $50 million to victims — and tens of millions to lawyers

 

Nearly $50 million was paid out through the end of 2020 to Jeffrey Epstein’s victims through a special compensation fund, according to a new filing Monday by the late disgraced financier’s estate.

The report’s fine print showed that through last Dec. 31, the estate paid out about $49.8 million to an unspecified number of victims through the Epstein Victims Compensation Fund, which began operating last June. At the end of the estate report, a status update on lawsuits showed that at least 20 women who had brought suit have had their cases dismissed, suggesting that several of the more than 100 complaints to the compensation fund have already been settled.

The estate also now values Epstein’s 50% stake in a company that owns the American Yacht Harbor marina in the U.S. Virgin Islands at $5.4 million, and reported that his private jet, a Gulfstream G550, sold late last year. Listed proceeds on the sale: $10.5 million.

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The numbers came in the fifth quarterly accounting, which was filed to a judge in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein’s estate is being settled. It shows that by the end of the year, the estate was able to get valuations on his art collection, which was appraised at almost $339,000. The report also showed estate assets totaling about $240.8 million at the end of 2020 — including $49 million in cash on hand — after having total assets of almost $446 million on Sept. 30, 2020.

The estate reported new income greater than $11 million in the final three months of 2020, and $18.8 million in distributions from entities Epstein owned.

Epstein’s Virgin Island company Southern Trust Co. Inc., which received generous tax breaks in exchange for promises to create a data-mining business with lots of local hires, reported steep drops in value, from $128.2 million in the three months ending last Sept. 30 to about $61 million on Dec. 31.

The quarterly filing showed — as had prior ones — that the estate is paying out tens of millions of dollars to lawyers every three months. It also lists as a possible future claim against the estate a purchase contract dispute with Aviation Development Group LLC, which appears to be a company in Powder Springs, Georgia. An answering machine for the company voice mail registered as full and unable to take messages.

The report was an accounting document that offered little explanation for the decline in value of certain companies included in the estate, although it did provide some hints about Epstein’s tax burdens and by association his business empire. Little of Epstein’s personal finances has been revealed, but the tax payments disclosed in the public document are illuminating. One was a payment of about $162,000 to France in connection with Epstein’s luxury property in Paris. Another was a payment of just over $4 million for 2019 to the U.S. Virgin Islands, his principal residence thanks to generous tax breaks.

 

The Epstein estate paid the Virgin Islands another $2.65 million in what appears to be an estimated tax payment for 2020. It was due in July but the deadline was extended. That makes it appear to be a payment made on a quarterly basis — a tax strategy deployed by high net worth individuals to spread out the burden of their large tax hits. If it is a quarterly payment, it would suggest Epstein owes $10.6 million for the 2020 tax year.

Although the report includes proceeds from the sale of the jet, the Federal Aviation Administration directory still shows the Gulfstream as owned by Plan D LLC in the USVI, an Epstein company. That may simply be a reporting lag.

Flight registry records show the plane flew from Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City, Missouri, to Chino, California, and back this past Jan. 24.

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