December 2, 2022

A Jeffrey Epstein residence on East 71st Street is located on July 8, 2019 in New York on the Upper East Side of Manhattan

Kevin Hagen | Getty Images

A reported deal to sell the infamous New York mansion of sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein for about $ 50 million could thaw a compensation fund set up for the victims of the late money manager. The fund suspended settlement offers to applicants last month due to liquidity problems with its estate.

The Wall Street Journal report of the purchase agreement for the 28,000-square-foot Upper East Side townhouse to an unidentified buyer arrives three weeks before the deadline for submitting claims to the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program.

Brad Edwards, an attorney representing a number of Epstein’s victims, said he was “unaware of the sale” before being contacted by CNBC.

“But I am pleased to hear that the estate’s liquidity issues will soon be resolved to adequately compensate its many victims,” ​​said Edwards.

“The sale is monumental as it likely marks the end of the House of Secrets Epstein ran out of this mansion,” Edwards said.

The sale to the unidentified buyer, who would pay significantly less than the original price of $ 88 million, is ongoing.

The seven-story mansion with 40 rooms is currently being promoted as an active listing on the Modlin Group website. Adam Modlin, who is the property’s listing agent, did not respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.

The sale of Epstein’s mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, which the Journal reported that developer Todd Michael Glaser has signed a purchase agreement, has also not yet been completed. The Palm Beach mansion was originally priced at nearly $ 22 million.

The proceeds from both properties could be used for the compensation program if approved by the U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General, who holds liens on Epstein’s estate.

The fund, which was launched in June last year, received more than 150 claims and paid out more than $ 50 million before the settlement offers were suspended.

Federal prosecutors charged Epstein, 66, in July 2019 of child sex trafficking in connection with dozen of underage girls he was accused of sexually abusing his Manhattan and Palm Beach homes between 2002 and 2005.

Epstein, who pleaded not guilty in the federal case, killed himself a month later in a federal prison in Manhattan.

Eleven years before his death, the former friend of ex-presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton pleaded guilty in Florida. Epstein was imprisoned for 13 months in this case.

British celebrity Ghislaine Maxwell, a former friend and caretaker of Epstein, is currently being held without bail in a Brooklyn federal prison for allegedly recruiting and caring for several underage girls for sexual abuse by him in New York and Palm Beach, as well as at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and at her own residence in London.

Jordana Feldman, the independent administrator of Epstein’s Victims’ Compensation Program, announced on Feb. 4 that she would temporarily suspend offers of compensation to victims “due to the uncertainty about the liquidity” of the assets of Epstein’s estate.

Feldman’s move came a day after Epstein’s estate informed her that liquidity was insufficient to fund the Fund’s most recent replenishment request. The property said Feldman was working to secure additional liquidity.

“While I sincerely regret having to take this action, I have come to the conclusion that there is a need to protect the interests of eligible applicants who have not yet resolved their applications through the program,” Feldman said at the time.

“Submitting an offer of compensation that cannot be fully funded and paid for in a timely manner, which is how the program has operated to date, would jeopardize the interests of applicants and the guiding principles of the program,” she said.

Feldman added that she was committed to ensuring that all eligible claimants receive “the compensation and verification they deserve”.

The Fund stopped registering applicants on February 8th. The deadline for filing claims is March 25th.

A Feldman spokesman did not comment on the report of the sale of the Manhattan townhouse.

Daniel Weiner, an attorney for co-executors of Epstein’s estate, did not respond to requests for comment.

Weiner told CNN last month that co-executors had received “expressions of interest from numerous parties” regarding the possible purchase of the two Epstein Islands in the Virgin Islands, Little St. James and Great St. James.