The accusations were just the latest maneuver in the jockeying over the considerable sums remaining from the fortune Mr. Epstein left when he killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while facing federal sex-trafficking charges. The estate still has assets worth about $240 million after expenses, which include $190 million in federal taxes and $85 million in contributions to the victims’ compensation fund.
About 150 women have registered with the fund, a number “far exceeding expectations,” according to the fund’s independent administrator, Jordana Feldman. So far, the fund has paid out $55 million, and applicants have until March 25 to submit claims.
But last week, Ms. Feldman said she would stop the process of determining the payments for other victims until the estate could provide additional funds she had requested. The reason, the estate said, was cash flow: It has had a difficult time selling off some of Mr. Epstein’s assets, including two private islands.
But Ms. George, who had pushed for more safeguards for the fund, blamed mismanagement, saying the estate was paying millions of dollars in legal bills and other expenses. She asked a judge to bar the estate from making further payments, except to the victims’ compensation fund. Lawyers for two dozen accusers joined the attorney general in her request.
The executors countered that Ms. George was partly responsible for the delays in selling properties, including Mr. Epstein’s island hideaway off St. Thomas, because of liens she has put in place.
“If the attorney general actually had in mind the best interests of Mr. Epstein’s victims, she would grant the coexecutors’ repeated requests that she immediately release her liens on the two Virgin Islands properties owned by the estate and allow the coexecutors to sell those properties,” Mr. Weiner said in a statement Wednesday night.
The sprawling legal case started in January 2020, with Ms. George taking aim at the complicated web of businesses Mr. Epstein once operated out of the territory. Ms. George said she wanted to protect the rights of Mr. Epstein’s victims as well as those of the people of the Virgin Islands, who she contended were defrauded by Mr. Epstein as he ran a sex-trafficking operation out the territory.