Jeffrey Epstein signed a will just two days before he killed himself in his New York prison cell, new records show.
It opens a new legal front in what could be a years-long battle over the disgraced financier’s fortune.
Court papers filed last week in the US Virgin Islands list no details of beneficiaries, but put the estate at more than $577m (£475m), including more than $56m in cash.
The existence of the will has raised new questions about the 66-year-old’s final days inside the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan, where he had been awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.
His signing of the document foreshadowed his 10 August suicide, which sparked outrage as he was facing a 45-year sentence if convicted of multiple counts of sexually abusing under-age girls.
On Monday, prosecutors moved to dismiss the indictment against Epstein, saying they were considering whether to charge others with facilitating his alleged abuse of dozens of girls.
The filing of the will had been closely watched by lawyers representing women who accuse Epstein of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers and recruited into his residences to provide him massages.
Several lawyers vowed to go after his assets even if the will had named beneficiaries since his death means there will be no trial on the criminal charges against him.
One of the lawyers, Lisa Bloom, wrote in an email: “Give his entire estate to his victims. It is the only justice they can get.
“And they deserve it. And on behalf of the Epstein victims I represent, I intend to fight for it.”
Epstein had more than $112m (£92m) worth of equities, according to the will, and nearly $200m (£165m) in “hedge funds and private equity investments”.
His properties will be subject to appraisal and valuation along with is collection of fine arts, antiques and other collectables.
As part of his 2008 plea deal to Florida state charges, Epstein, a former hedge fund manager, made undisclosed financial settlements with dozens of his victims.
However it remains unclear how those settlements may affect any new claims made on his estate.
Lawyer for Epstein’s estate William Blum said that any debts or claims against the estate will be “fairly administered”, adding that the document was Epstein’s original last will.
Epstein was a registered sex offender after pleading guilty in 2008 to Florida state charges of unlawfully paying a teenage girl for sex.
However that conviction was also shrouded in controversy, as he pleaded guilty in exchange for the justice department’s agreement not to prosecute him on similar charges.
He served 13 months in jail and agreed to register as a sex offender under the 2008 plea deal, which is now widely seen as too lenient.
Source: SKY NEWS