Prince Andrew has remained in the news in recent months predominantly due to the ongoing investigation surrounding his one-time friendship with financier Jeffrey Epstein. Following Epstein's 2019 death, his accusers stated that the two men had engaged in illegal activities and that the Duke of York allegedly "had knowledge" about "sexual trafficking and interaction with minors" that took place.

Now, the British royal family member is facing "further controversy" due to a "benefit" that was granted to one of his former employees.

According to Daily Mail, Amanda Thirsk, Prince Andrew's former private secretary, was paid £355,297 (approximately $437,930 USD) in what was called an unauthorized "trustee benefit." As stated by the publication, the one-time employee was paid the amount for "her work as a trustee of the Prince Andrew Charitable Trust (PACT)." Previously, she had also worked as director of its profit-making subsidies.

READ: Prince William, Kate Middleton Played Role In Blocking ABC News' Jeffrey Epstein Reporting

The amount was reportedly paid in installments over five years. However, those who work as charity trustees cannot receive payment solely for that role. Even though they can be paid for other services, such as secretarial and administerial work, it appeared as though Thirsk did not meet those requirements. As a result, the amount is set to be paid back by the Duke of York's household.

As reported by Daily Mail, a statement from PACT's trustees indicate that the payments were made to Thirsk as a result of her directorial role.

"In correspondence initiated by the current Trustees, the Charity Commission raised a concern about the remuneration paid to Amanda Thirsk, which the Commission considered to be an unauthorised Trustee benefit," it read, continuing, "Having considered the matter in light of the Commission’s concern, the Trustees concluded that the best interests of the Trust would be served by securing full reimbursement, which was agreed to and paid by HRH The Duke of York's office."

At this time, it has not been reported that Andrew's former secretary was involved in any wrongdoing.

READ: Jeffrey Epstein's Victims Ask For New Step After Additional Allegations Emerge During Investigation

Aside from the fresh criticism that the Duke is now facing, the royal has not only faced new legal action, but also reportedly offered "zero cooperation" regarding the current investigation. Additionally, it has been said that Epstein's victims have requested potentially-incriminating details about the Duke and have indicated that he could be sued if he is not "released" in certain documents.

The relationship between Epstein and Prince Andrew was recently explored in a new book, "Relentless Pursuit: My Fight for the Victims of Jeffrey Epstein," and in an upcoming Netflix docu-series, "Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich," which is set to premiere later this year.

Prince Andrew
Britain's Prince Andrew is pictured in January 2020. AFP/Lindsey Parnaby