While the questions about the conspiracy theories about Epstein’s death remain unresolved, attention is once again shifting to the following point of discussion: the ability of the wealthy abusive suspect. A private island, luxurious homes around the world and an annual income of more than 10 million dollars. What happens to all these properties now?
66-year-old Jeffrey Epstein was suspected of having abused dozens of underage girls in his residences in New York and Florida and risked up to 45 years in prison for this. On Saturday morning, however, he was found dead in prison after an apparent suicide. The criminal proceedings have been suspended, but the investigation into the abuse scandal is continuing. The question now arises as to what happens to the wealth of the wealthy Epstein and whether the victims are still entitled to compensation.
Epstein had a luxurious lifestyle with mansions in Florida, New York, and Paris, a private jet and a private island. And there is a strong price tag attached to it. His mansion in New York was valued at more than 56 million dollars and his villa in Palm Beach, Florida would be worth around 13 million dollars. A ranch in New Mexico and an apartment in Paris would also be good for more than 28 million euros. His private island in the Caribbean adds another 71 million euros to that fortune. In addition to all this, the annual income of the rich suspect is estimated at around 10 million dollars.
As part of his criminal proceedings, Epstein himself previously submitted a financial statement in which he estimated his assets at just under 500 million dollars. In all likelihood, however, that amount is much higher. He would estimate his property lower to limit the sky-high damages that were hanging over him. It is therefore unclear how large his possessions are. But whatever the size of the fortune may be, the struggle for immense capital will begin.
A first question that must now be answered is whether Epstein has prepared a will. Until now, it is unclear whether or not there is a will and to whom Epstein would have left the money. Epstein was not married and does not seem to have any official children. He does have a brother, Mark Epstein, a niece and a nephew who could all claim the estate.
The most important question that now arises among the victims is what the sudden death of the multi-millionaire means for the trial and the possible compensation that is expected.
The prosecutor of New York has already announced that with the death of Epstein, the criminal case has been suspended and the forfeiture of his property has been withdrawn. However, sudden death will not prevent the authorities from investigating the alleged sex crimes and finding other culprits. William Barr, the American attorney general, assured that the investigation of anyone who was an accessory will be continued: “possible co-conspirators will not get away easily, victims deserve justice and will receive it.”
Now that the criminal case is closed, victims can still start civil proceedings. A process that can drag on for years. New York lawyer Paul Callan doubts its success. “I suspect Epstein has found a way to protect his possessions,” he told Reuters. According to him, the victims will therefore not receive compensation. One of the victims’ lawyers did suggest transferring the full assets of Epstein to the women.