Jeffrey Epstein's Manhattan mansion sold for US$51m after judge lifts asset freeze

Several other major transactions loom including sales of his other homes, two private islands

Published Sat, Mar 13, 2021 · 05:50 AM

New York

JEFFREY Epstein's Manhattan mansion has been sold to an unidentified buyer for about US$51 million, which will go to a fund providing restitution for the disgraced financier's sexual abuse victims.

A lawyer for Epstein's estate said the seven-storey mansion on East 71st Street was sold earlier this week for considerably less than the initial US$88 million asking price. The sale was completed after a judge in the US Virgin Islands rejected an attempt by the territory's attorney-general to freeze the sale of any further assets by his estate, which is now worth about US$240 million.

Once valued at nearly US$600 million, the estate has been paying out expenses including taxes and contributions to the restitution fund, which has distributed about US$55 million to dozens of Epstein's accusers. The attorney-general, Denise George, requested the asset freeze after the estate said a cash crunch was preventing it from providing new money to the restitution fund. The judge overseeing the administration of Epstein's estate ruled that Ms George did not have legal standing to request the asset freeze.

A deed for the sale has yet to be recorded, but Daniel Weiner, one of the estate's lawyers, said in an email that funds from the sale were being transferred to the compensation programme so that it could "resume issuing new claims determinations". Several other major transactions loom, including the sales of Epstein's homes in Palm Beach in Florida, Paris, New Mexico, and the two private islands he owned in the Virgin Islands.

The sale of the islands, however, will not happen anytime soon. Ms George's office has placed a lien on them as part of the civil racketeering lawsuit she filed last year against Epstein's estate.

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Epstein killed himself while in federal custody in August 2019, a month after his arrest on sex trafficking charges. To date, about 150 women - most of whom claim they were sexually abused by Epstein as teenagers - have registered with the restitution fund to submit claims. NYTIMES

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