Jeffrey Epstein’s $600 million Virgin Islands estate is bouncing checks to pay for basic bills including electricity and pest control due to court liens, lawyers say
- Attorneys for the estate filed court request in Virgin Islands on Thursday
- They say estate is bouncing checks due to liens by territorial attorney general
- Claim funds are needed to pay caretakers and utility bills at his properties
Epstein was found dead in his cell in August 2019 while facing sex trafficking charges
Sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein’s $600 million estate is bouncing checks to pay for basic upkeep due to a legal hold on his accounts, attorneys for the estate have said.
Lawyers for Epstein’s $600 million estate told a U.S. Virgin Islands court on Thursday that liens imposed by the attorney general there leave them unable to pay bills to maintain his various properties, the Miami Herald reported.
The filing asked the court to strike down the liens, or at least make exceptions to pay bills such as utilities and caretaker wages at the various properties in the estate.
The estate’s probate matters are being settled in the Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned an island. He also owned multi-million properties in New York, Florida, and New Mexico.
The filing stated that the estate’s lawyers have ‘had returned for ‘insufficient funds’ multiple payments for upkeep of the Estate’s properties (including electric bills and pest-control services).’
Little St. James Island, one of the properties of financier Jeffrey Epstein, is seen in an aerial view. Probate matters are for his estate being handled in the Virgin Islands
Houses are seen at Little St. James Island, one of the properties of financier Jeffrey Epstein
As a result they have ‘been unable to pay the salaries of caretakers for the estate’s residences in Florida, New Mexico and New York’ the filing said.
‘The harm caused by the Government’s Lien-imposed freeze on the Estate’s account at FirstBank is no longer theoretical — it is now immediate and real,’ the lawyers wrote.
They said that checks to pay employee health insurance coverage have bounced and that power may soon be turned off at properties.
Epstein died behind bars at age 66 in what was officially ruled a suicide. At the time he was facing charges he abused and sexually trafficked dozens of women and girls from 2002 to 2005 in Manhattan and Florida. He had pleaded not guilty.
Virgin Island Attorney General Denise George placed the liens on his estate on January 31 as part of a civil enforcement action.
In her lawsuit, George said Epstein’s misconduct on the Virgin Islands ran from 2001 to 2018, and included raping and trafficking in dozens of women and girls on Little St. James, a private island he saw as ‘the perfect hideaway.’
More than 20 Epstein accusers have filed civil lawsuits against the estate. Tuesday’s hearing discussed those cases, some of which may be resolved through the compensation fund.
Epstein’s Manhattan mansion is seen. His lawyers say that they cannot pay bills for upkeep on his properties due to liens on the estate by the Virgin Islands attorney general
Zorro Ranch, one of the properties of financier Jeffrey Epstein, is seen in an aerial view near Stanley, New Mexico in a file photo
Attorneys for the estate have previously blamed the liens for its inability to begin payouts to victims of the late financier’s sexual abuse.
At a hearing in federal court in Manhattan earlier this month, the lawyer Bennet Moskowitz said George’s lawsuit and filing of liens against the estate, plus her intervention in the probate of Epstein’s will, have left the estimated $577.7 million estate unable to pay even basic expenses.
He said that hurts Epstein’s accusers, the ‘vast majority’ of whom have expressed interest in participating in a fund to compensate them, and none of whom is represented by George.
‘Very regrettably,’ Moskowitz said, ‘the attorney general for the Virgin Islands has decided for whatever reason to impede the program.
‘As I sit here today, I don’t know when the program will be established, but time is of the essence … and we may miss the window for fulsome participation.’
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