January 20, 1953 |
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Residence||U.S. Virgin Islands; Palm Beach, Florida; New York City, New York; Paris, France; Stanley, New Mexico|
|Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation|
Epstein is known for funding eminent scientists around the world, some of whom have won the Nobel Prize; much of this research is geared towards discovering new medical treatments. He is responsible for founding The Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University, one of the first academic departments to study the mathematics of evolution.
In 2008 he was convicted of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Epstein attended Lafayette High School. He attended classes at Cooper Union from 1969 to 1971 and then at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, leaving without a degree. From 1973 to 1975 he taught calculus and physics at the Dalton School, before becoming an options trader at Bear Stearns.
Epstein began his financial career in 1976 as an options trader at Bear Stearns. He specialized in mathematical models such as the Black-Scholes model for options pricing, and he later worked in the special products division, advising high-net-worth clients on tax strategies. In 1980, Epstein became a partner at Bear Stearns. In 1982, Epstein founded his own financial management firm, J. Epstein & Co., managing the assets of clients with more than a billion dollars in net worth. In 1987, Leslie Wexner, founder and chairman of Ohio-based The Limited chain of women's clothing stores became a well-known client. Wexner acquired Abercrombie & Fitch the following year, and in 1992 converted a private school into an enormous residence that later became Epstein's in the wealthiest part of Manhattan. In 1996, Epstein changed the name of his firm to The Financial Trust Company and based it on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In 2003, Epstein publicly bid for New York magazine. Other bidders were advertising executive Donny Deutsch, investor Nelson Peltz, media mogul and N.Y. Daily News publisher Mortimer Zuckerman, and film producer Harvey Weinstein. They were ultimately outbid by longtime Wall Street investor Bruce Wasserstein, who paid $55 million. In 2004, Epstein and Zuckerman committed up to $25 million to finance Radar, a celebrity and pop culture magazine founded by Maer Roshan. Epstein and Zuckerman were equal partners in the venture, and Mr. Roshan, as its editor-in-chief, retained a small ownership stake.
Since all but one of his financial clients are anonymous, it has been speculated that much of Epstein's lavish lifestyle was once financed by Wexner. In September 2002, he flew Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker to Africa in his private Boeing 727 to promote the former president's anti-AIDS efforts. He is also an old friend of Prince Andrew, Duke of York—they have stayed at each other's palatial homes, and have vacationed together in Thailand. The prince was a guest in Epstein's New York residence for several days in December 2010, shortly after Epstein completed his Florida sentence for soliciting an underage girl. His dinner with Andrew at the mansion was also attended by (among others) Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, Charlie Rose, and Woody Allen. The 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) 9-story mansion is just off Fifth Avenue and overlooks the Frick Collection. It is reported to be the largest private residence in Manhattan, having originally been built as the Birch Wathen School.
Epstein also owns a villa in Palm Beach, Florida, an apartment in Paris, France, and a 10,000-acre ranch including a 26,700-square-foot hilltop mansion in Stanley, New Mexico, south of Santa Fe. He also owns a mansion with guest houses on his private island called Little Saint James near St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Epstein is a major financial supporter of the sciences. In 2000 he established the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, which funds science research and education around the world. In 2003, Epstein donated $30 million to Harvard University to set up the university's Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, which studies evolution and the evolution of microbiology from a purely mathematical point of view. Under the direction of Martin Nowak, Epstein was solely responsible for financing new research such as the first mathematical model of cancer cell evolution and one of the first models of virus growth, including HIV. Such models led to approaches to treating genetic resistance to inhibitor drugs. Epstein also funded Nowak's original research on the origin of life, RNA replication on Earth and the evolution of language. Prior to 2003, Epstein's foundation funded Nowak's research at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.
The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation has also funded genetic research leading towards advances in such fields as Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, colitis and Crohn's disease. Epstein has given substantial funds to the American Cancer Society, notably to CTC technology, a blood test to identify genetic mutations to anti-inhibitor cancer drugs.
Epstein has provided millions of dollars to scientists such as Gerald Edelman, Murray Gell-Mann, Stephen Hawking, Kip Thorne, Marvin Minsky, Lawrence Krauss, Lee Smolin and Gregory Benford. In 2006, Epstein's foundations sponsored a conference on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands with Hawking, Krauss, and Nobel laureates Gerard 't Hooft, David Gross and Frank Wilczek, covering such topics as unified gravity theory, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, the origins of language and global threats to the Earth.
More recently, the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation has backed research into artificial intelligence, notably efforts to map and better identify the workings of the human brain. Epstein currently sits on the Mind, Brain and Behavior Advisory Committee at Harvard University, and is actively involved in the Santa Fe Institute, the Theoretical Biology Initiative at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and the Quantum Gravity Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a former member of the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the New York Academy of Science and a former board member of Rockefeller University.
Solicitation of prostitution
In March 2005, a woman contacted Palm Beach police, concerned that her 14-year-old daughter had been taken to Epstein’s mansion by an older girl and paid $300 after stripping and massaging him. She had told him that she was 18 years old. She undressed but had left on her underwear. By 2011 at least 40 girls had come forward with similar stories, some saying Epstein sexually assaulted them during the massage.
Police started an 11-month undercover investigation of Epstein, followed by a search of his home. Subsequently, they alleged that Epstein had paid several escorts to perform sexual acts on him. Interviews with five alleged victims and 17 witnesses under oath, phone messages, a high school transcript and other items they found in Epstein's trash and home allegedly show that some girls were under 18, although some maintained to him at the time that they were of ″proper″ age. A search of Epstein's home found numerous photos of girls throughout the house, some of whom had been interviewed earlier by the police. He had set up a system of young women recruiting other women for his massage services. Two housekeepers stated to the police that Epstein would receive "massages" every day whenever he stayed in Palm Beach. In May 2006, Palm Beach police filed a probable cause affidavit saying that Epstein should be charged with four counts of unlawful sex with minors and one molestation count. His team of lawyers included Gerald B. Lefcourt, Alan Dershowitz and later also Kenneth Starr. Epstein passed a lie detector test in which he was asked whether he knew of the under-age status of the girls. They also questioned the credibility of the teenage accusers, based in part on their MySpace postings and information obtained by private investigators.[not in citation given]
Instead of following the recommendation of the police, the prosecutors considered the evidence weak and presented it to a grand jury, an uncommon procedure in non-capital cases. Former chief of Palm Beach police Michael Reiter later wrote to State Attorney Barry Krischer to complain of the state's "highly unusual" conduct and asked him to remove himself from the case. The grand jury returned only a single charge of felony solicitation of prostitution, to which Epstein pleaded not guilty in August 2006.
In June 2008, after pleading to a single state charge of soliciting prostitution, Epstein began serving an 18-month sentence. He served 13 months in jail of his 18-month sentence as a convicted sex offender in the state of Florida for soliciting an underage girl for prostitution. He is a registered sex offender.
After the accusations became public, several parties returned donations they had received from Epstein, including Eliot L. Spitzer, Mark A. Green, Bill Richardson, and the Palm Beach Police Department. Harvard announced that it would not return any money.
On June 18, 2010, Epstein's former butler, Alfredo Rodriguez, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for trying to sell a journal that he said recorded Epstein's activities. Special Agent Christina Pryor reviewed the material and agreed it was information "that would have been extremely useful in investigating and prosecuting the case, including names and contact information of material witnesses and additional victims."
On February 6, 2008, an anonymous Virginia woman filed a $50 million civil lawsuit in federal court against Epstein, alleging that when she was a 16-year-old minor in 2004-2005, she was "recruited to give Epstein a massage." After being brought to his Palm Beach mansion, she claims that he exposed himself and had sexual intercourse with her, and paid her $200 immediately afterward. A similar $50 million suit was filed by a different woman in March 2008 who was represented by the same lawyer. Several of these lawsuits were dismissed and all other lawsuits were settled out of court. He has so far made 17 out-of-court settlements, and some cases are ongoing.
- Landon Thomas Jr. (2002-10-28). "Jeffrey Epstein: International Money Man of Mystery". New York.
- Epstein, Jeffrey (14 May 2012). "Harvard University and The Jeffrey Epstein Foundation Search for The Origin of Life". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- Mulholland, Helene; Watt, Nicholas (2011-03-07). "Prince Andrew must decide whether to continue in trade role, says Vince Cable". The Guardian (London).
- "JPMorgan’s Hersch succeeds colorful money manager". Reuters (Thomson Reuters). 2008-02-11.
- Carr, David (2003-12-22). "MEDIA; Post-Mortems for a Media Deal Undone". The New York Times.
- Carr, David (2004-10-19). "Radar Magazine Lines Up Financing". The New York Times.
- Trip Jennings (August 16, 2006). "Gov. to Give Away $50,000 Campaign Gift". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- [dead link]
- "The Fantasist". New York. 2007-12-10.
- "Exceptional Public Schools Cited By Obama, Get Critical Backing From Investor, Jeffrey Epstein". finance.boston.com. 2012-07-05. Retrieved 13 July 2012. "By: http://www.jeffreyepstein.org via PR Newswire"
- Epstein, Jeffrey (March 12, 2012). "Cooperation as a Major Force for Evolution". Newsblaze. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "Harvard to Keep Epstein Gift". The Harvard Crimson (Harvard University). 2006-09-13. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
- "Jeffrey Epstein, Philanthropist, and the American Cancer Society Tackle Genetic Resistance to Drugs | Stock Market Summary (NSDQ, NYSE, AMEX and more) on Boston.com". Finance.boston.com. 2012-09-28. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "Genetic Approach for Crohn's and Colitis". The Boston Globe. 3 July 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "A Vascular Cause For Alzheimers is Found". Reuters. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer Gets Substantial Support from Science Investor, Jeffrey Epstein". The Wall Street Journal. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "Vanity Fair Reminds Us When Jeffrey Epstein Wasn't a Creep - Ray Gustini". The Atlantic Wire. 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "Science Funder Jeffrey Epstein Launches Radical Emotional Software". Forbes. Oct 2, 2013.
- "Maverick Hedge Funder Jeffrey Epstein Funds the First Humanoids in Berlin". Huffington Post.
- "Jeffrey Epstein Science: Profile".
- Leonard, Tom (2011-03-02). "Prince Andrew risks losing ambassador job as girl in underage sex case reveals meeting him". London: Daily Mail.
- "Billionaire In Palm Beach Sex Scandal - Investigators: Moneyman Jeffrey Epstein solicited teen masseuses". The Smoking Gun. Archived from the original on 2008-05-13.
- "Jeffrey Epstein craved big homes, elite friends - and, investigators say, underage girls". Palm Beach Post. 2006-08-14. Archived from the original on 2011-06-16.
- Gregorian, Dareh (2007-11-12). "Cops' flops letting mogul get off easy". New York Post.
- Goodnough, Abby (2006-09-03). "Questions of Preferential Treatment Are Raised in Florida Sex Case". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- Keller, Larry (2008-02-06). "Second teen-sex suit seeks $50 million from Jeffrey Epstein". Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on 2008-02-09.
- Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein: I'm a sex offender, not a predator" New York Post February 25, 2011 Retrieved 2011-03-07
- "FBI to reopen case against sex offender friend of Prince Andrew" Mail Online 5 March 2011 Retrieved 2011-03-07
- Dargan, Michele (June 18, 2010). "Former Epstein house manager Alfredo Rodriguez sentenced to 18 months". Palm Beach Daily News. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
- Spencer-Wendel, Susan (February 1, 2010). "Ex-Epstein worker faces obstruction charges". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
- "Billionaire Faces $50M Sexual Assault Lawsuit". FindLaw. 2008-02-06.
- Keller, Larry (2008-03-05). "Third alleged victim files sex suit against Jeffrey Epstein". Palm Beach Post.
- "Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein shells out more money in latest sex abuse lawsuit". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- Churcher, Sharon (2011-03-02). "Prince Andrew and the 17-year-old girl his sex offender friend flew to Britain to meet him". The Daily Mail (London: Associated Newspapers Ltd). Retrieved 2 March 2011.