Jeffrey Epstein

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Jeffrey Epstein
Jeffrey Epstein at Harvard University.jpg
Born Jeffrey Edward Epstein
(1953-01-20) January 20, 1953 (age 65)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Residence Little Saint James, U.S. Virgin Islands
Palm Beach, Florida
New York City
Occupation

Jeffrey Edward Epstein (born January 20, 1953) is an American financier and registered sex offender.[1] Epstein began his career at the investment bank Bear Stearns before forming his own firm, J. Epstein & Co. In 2008, Epstein was convicted of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution, for which he served thirteen months in custody.[2] He lives in the United States Virgin Islands.

Early life[edit]

Jeffrey Epstein was born in 1953 to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York, but grew up in Coney Island. Epstein's father worked for New York City's parks. After graduating from Lafayette High School in 1969,[3][4] he attended classes at Cooper Union and dropped out in 1971.[5] He later attended at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, but left without receiving a degree.[4]

Career[edit]

Epstein taught calculus and physics at the Dalton School in Manhattan from 1973 to 1975.[4] Among his students was a son of Alan C. Greenberg, chairman of the investment bank Bear Stearns.[3] In 1976, Epstein started work as an options trader at Bear Stearns,[4] where he worked in the special products division, advising high-net-worth clients on tax strategies.[4] Proving successful in his financial career, Epstein became a partner at Bear Stearns in 1980.[4]

In 1982, Epstein founded his own financial management firm, J. Epstein & Co., managing the assets of clients with more than US$1 billion in net worth. In 1987, Les Wexner, founder and chairman of Ohio-based The Limited chain of women's clothing stores, became a well-known client.[4] Wexner acquired Abercrombie & Fitch the following year. In 1992, he converted a private school in New York's Upper East Side into an enormous residence. Epstein later bought that property, in the wealthiest part of Manhattan. In 1996, Epstein changed the name of his firm to the Financial Trust Company and, for tax advantages, based it on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.[4]

In 2003, Epstein bid to acquire New York magazine. Other bidders were advertising executive Donny Deutsch, investor Nelson Peltz, media mogul and New York Daily News publisher Mortimer Zuckerman, and former-film producer Harvey Weinstein. They were ultimately outbid by Bruce Wasserstein, a longtime Wall Street investor, who paid $55 million.[6] 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. Roshan, as its editor-in-chief, retained a small ownership stake.[7]

Residences[edit]

Epstein's New York home is reputedly the largest private residence in Manhattan;[8] it previously housed the Birch Wathen Lenox School. The 50,000-square-foot (4,600-square-metre), nine story mansion is just off Fifth Avenue and overlooks the Frick Collection. The financier's other properties include a villa in Palm Beach, Florida; an apartment in Paris; a 10,000-acre ranch with a hilltop mansion in Stanley, New Mexico;[9][10] and a private island near Saint Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands called Little Saint James, which includes a mansion and guest houses.

Science philanthropy[edit]

In 2000, Epstein established the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, which funds science research and education. Prior to 2003, the foundation funded Martin Nowak's research at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. In May 2003, Epstein established the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University with a $30 million gift.[11] Under the direction of Martin Nowak, the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics is a graduate department that studies the evolution of molecular biology with the use of mathematics, focusing on diseases such as cancer, HIV and other viruses.[4][12]

The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation has also funded genetic research leading towards advances in such fields as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, colitis and Crohn's disease. Epstein has given funds to the American Cancer Society for projects such as circulating tumor cell technology, a blood test to identify genetic mutations to anti-inhibitor cancer drugs.[13] Through such philanthropy, Epstein has associated with many well-known scientific figures, such as Gerald Edelman, Murray Gell-Mann, Stephen Hawking, Kip Thorne, Lawrence M. Krauss, Lee Smolin and Gregory Benford.[4][14][15] In 2006, Epstein's foundations sponsored a conference on St. Thomas with Hawking, Krauss, and Nobel laureates Gerard 't Hooft, David Gross and Frank Wilczek, covering such topics as unified gravity theory, neuroscience, the origins of language and global threats to the Earth.[15]

The foundation has backed research into artificial intelligence; it had been supporting Marvin Minsky at MIT (until his death) and is supporting Ben Goertzel in Hong Kong.[16][17]

The extent of Epstein's claimed philanthropy is unknown. This foundation fails to disclose information, which other charities routinely disclose. Concerns have been raised over this lack of transparency, and in 2015 the Attorney General of New York has reported as trying to get information.[18]

Criminal proceedings[edit]

In March 2005, a woman contacted Palm Beach, Florida police and alleged that her 14-year-old stepdaughter had been taken to Jeffrey Epstein's mansion by an older girl. There she was paid $300 to strip and massage Epstein.[10] She had undressed, but left the encounter wearing her underwear.[19]

Police started an 11-month undercover investigation of Epstein, followed by a search of his home. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also became involved in the investigation.[8] Subsequently, the police alleged that Epstein had paid several escorts to perform sexual acts on him. Interviews with five alleged victims and 17 witnesses under oath, a high school transcript, and other items they found in Epstein's trash and home allegedly showed that some of the girls involved were under 18.[20] The police search of Epstein's home found large numbers of photos of girls throughout the house, some of whom the police had interviewed in the course of their investigation.[19]

The International Business Times reported that papers filed in a 2006 lawsuit alleged that Epstein installed concealed cameras in numerous places on his property to record sexual activity with underage girls by prominent people for criminal purposes, such as blackmail.[21] Epstein allegedly "loaned" girls to powerful people to ingratiate himself with them and also to gain possible blackmail information.[8] In 2015, evidence came to light that one of the powerful men at Epstein's mansion may have been Prince Andrew, Duke of York.[8]

A former employee told the police that Epstein would receive massages three times a day.[19] Eventually the FBI received accounts from about 40 girls whose allegations of molestation by Epstein included overlapping details.[8]

The Guardian said, "Despite this, the US government eventually agreed to allow Epstein to plead guilty to just one count of soliciting prostitution from an underage girl under Florida state law. ... Epstein agreed not to contest civil claims brought by the 40 women identified by the FBI, but escaped a prosecution that could have seen him jailed for the rest of his life. ... Prosecutors agreed not to bring far more serious federal charges against Epstein, and not to charge 'potential co-conspirators', including four named individuals."[8]

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.[19]

His team of defense lawyers included Gerald Lefcourt, Alan Dershowitz and later Ken Starr.[10] Epstein passed a polygraph test in which he was asked whether he knew of the underage status of the girls.[22]

After the federal government agreed to charging Epstein on one count under state law, the prosecution convened a grand jury. 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.[10] The grand jury returned a single charge of felony solicitation of prostitution,[23] to which Epstein pleaded not guilty in August 2006.[24]

Sentencing[edit]

In June 2008, after Epstein pleaded guilty to a single state charge of soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14,[25] he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He served 13 months before being released. At release, he was registered in New York State as a level three (high risk of re-offense) sex offender, a lifelong designation.[26][27]

Reactions[edit]

After the accusations became public, several persons and institutions returned donations that they had received from Epstein, including Eliot Spitzer, Bill Richardson,[12] and the Palm Beach Police Department.[20] Harvard University announced it would not return any money.[12] Various charitable donations that Epstein had made to finance children's education were also questioned.[25]

On June 18, 2010, Epstein's former house manager, Alfredo Rodriguez, was sentenced to 18 months incarceration after being convicted on an obstruction charge for failing to turn over to police, and subsequently trying to sell, a journal in which he had recorded Epstein's activities. FBI 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".[28][29]

Suit against federal government re: plea deal[edit]

In a separate case, on April 7, 2015, Judge Kenneth Marra ruled that the allegations made by Virginia Roberts against Prince Andrew had no bearing on a current (and longrunning) lawsuit by alleged victims seeking to reopen Epstein's non-prosecution plea agreement with the federal government; he ordered it to be struck from the record.[30] There was an effort to add Roberts and another woman as plaintiffs to that case. Judge Marra made no ruling as to whether claims by Roberts are true or false.[31] Marra specifically said that Roberts may later give evidence when the case comes to court.[32]

Civil proceedings[edit]

On February 6, 2008, an anonymous Virginia woman filed a $50 million civil lawsuit[33] 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". She claims she was taken to his mansion, where he exposed himself and had sexual intercourse with her, and paid her $200 immediately afterward.[23] A similar $50 million suit was filed in March 2008 by a different woman, who was represented by the same lawyer.[34] These and several similar lawsuits were dismissed.[35]

All other lawsuits were settled by Epstein out of court.[36] Epstein has made many out-of-court settlements with alleged victims and, as of January 2015, some cases remain open.[35]

A December 30, 2014, federal civil suit was filed in Florida against the United States for violations of the Crime Victims' Rights Act by the Department of Justice's agreement to Epstein's limited 2008 plea; the suit also accuses Alan Dershowitz of sexually abusing a minor provided by Epstein.[37] (See Two Jane Does v. United States.) The allegations against Dershowitz were stricken by the judge and eliminated from the case because he said they were outside the intent of the suit to re-open the plea agreement.[30][38] A document filed in court alleges that Epstein ran a "sexual abuse ring", and lent underage girls to "prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known prime minister, and other world leaders".[39]

A federal lawsuit filed in California in April 2016 against Epstein and Donald Trump by a California woman alleged the men sexually assaulted her at a series of parties at Epstein's Manhattan home in 1994, when she was 13 years of age. The suit was dismissed by a federal judge in May 2016 because it didn't raise valid claims under federal law. The woman filed another federal suit in New York in June 2016, but it was withdrawn three months later, apparently without being served on the defendants. A third federal suit was filed in New York in September 2016. The two latter suits included an affidavit by an anonymous witness who attested to the accusations in the suits. The plaintiff, who had filed anonymously as Jane Doe, was scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles press conference six days before the 2016 election, but abruptly canceled the event; her lawyer Lisa Bloom asserted the woman had received threats. The suit was dropped on November 4, 2016. Trump attorney Alan Garten flatly denied the allegations, while Epstein declined to comment.[40][41][42][43]

Virginia Roberts lawsuits[edit]

In January 2015, a 31-year-old American woman, Virginia Roberts, alleged in a sworn affidavit that at the age of 17, she had been held as a sex slave by Epstein. She further alleged that he had trafficked her to several people, including Prince Andrew and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz. Roberts also claimed that Epstein and others had physically and sexually abused her.[44]

Roberts alleged that the FBI may have been involved in a cover-up.[45] She said she had served as Epstein's sex slave from 1999 to 2002 and had recruited other under-age girls.[46] Prince Andrew, Epstein and Dershowitz all denied having had sex with Roberts. Dershowitz took legal action over the allegations.[47][48][49] A diary purported to belong to Roberts was published online.[50][51] Epstein entered an out-of-court settlement with Roberts, as he has done in several other lawsuits.[8]

The BBC television series Panorama planned an investigation of the scandal.[52] As of 2016 these claims had not been tested in any law court.[53]

Personal life[edit]

In September 2002, Epstein flew Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker to Africa in his private Boeing 727. Flight records show Bill Clinton flew on Epstein's plane 26 times.[4][54]

Epstein is also a longtime friend of Prince Andrew and Tom Barrack,[55] and has partied with celebrities such as President Donald Trump[56], Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, and Woody Allen.[57] Trump said of Epstein in 2002: “I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”[58]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lewis, Paul (January 4, 2015). "Jeffrey Epstein: The rise and fall of teacher turned tycoon". Guardian. Archived from the original on November 26, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ Buncombe, Andrew (January 2, 2015). "Jeffrey Epstein: the billionaire paedophile with links to Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, Robert Maxwell – and Prince Andrew". The Independent. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Ward, Vicky (June 27, 2011). "The Talented Mr. Epstein". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on June 12, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Thomas, Landon Jr. (October 28, 2002). "Jeffrey Epstein: International Money Man of Mystery". New York. Archived from the original on November 10, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  5. ^ Callahan, Maureen (October 9, 2016). "The 'sex slave' scandal that exposed pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein". New York Post. Retrieved July 27, 2018. 
  6. ^ Carr, David (December 22, 2003). "Post-Mortems for a Media Deal Undone". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  7. ^ Carr, David (October 19, 2004). "Radar Magazine Lines Up Financing". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 10, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Lewis, Paul; Swaine, Jon (January 10, 2015). "Jeffrey Epstein: Inside the decade of scandal entangling Prince Andrew". Guardian. Archived from the original on May 22, 2016. 
  9. ^ Jennings, Trip (August 16, 2006). "Gov. to Give Away $50,000 Campaign Gift". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d Weiss, Philip (December 10, 2007). "The Fantasist". New York. Archived from the original on October 17, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  11. ^ Scharnick, Jacquelyn M. (June 5, 2003). "People in the News: Jeffrey E. Epstein". The Harvard Crimson. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c Ciarelli, Nicholas M. (September 13, 2006). "Harvard to Keep Epstein Gift". The Harvard Crimson. Harvard University. Archived from the original on October 27, 2007. Retrieved September 13, 2007. 
  13. ^ "A Vascular Cause For Alzheimers is Found". Reuters. June 18, 2012. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  14. ^ Gustini, Ray (June 21, 2011). "Vanity Fair Reminds Us When Jeffrey Epstein Wasn't a Creep". The Atlantic Wire. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Probasco, Mat (March 17, 2006). "Physicists Debate Gravity at St. Thomas Symposium". St. Thomas Source. Archived from the original on August 6, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  16. ^ Hendricks, Drew (October 2, 2013). "Science Funder Jeffrey Epstein Launches Radical Emotional Software". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  17. ^ Voakes, Greg (November 13, 2013). "Maverick Hedge Funder Jeffrey Epstein Funds the First Humanoids in Berlin". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Exclusive: New York attorney general seeks information on financier Epstein's philanthropy". Reuters. Archived from the original on October 6, 2015. 
  19. ^ a b c d "Billionaire in Palm Beach sex scandal; Investigators: Moneyman Jeffrey Epstein solicited teen masseuses". Smoking Gun. July 26, 2006. Archived from the original on January 12, 2015.  Cf. Palm Beach Police Dep't Probable Cause Aff. Archived January 12, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., May 1, 2006.
  20. ^ a b Marra, Andrew (August 14, 2006). "Jeffrey Epstein craved big homes, elite friends – and, investigators say, underage girls". The Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. 
  21. ^ Bhagat, Pooja (January 7, 2015). "Prince Andrew Might Have Been Caught On Tape With 'Sex Slave'". International Business Times Australia Edition. Retrieved November 8, 2016. According to recent reports, paper filed against his friend Jeffrey Epstein in 2006 mentioned that he had installed hidden cameras everywhere in his property to record the indecent acts of important people with underage prostitutes for further criminal use such as blackmail. [permanent dead link]
  22. ^ Gregorian, Dareh (November 12, 2007). "Cops' flops letting mogul get off easy". New York Post. Archived from the original on November 17, 2007. 
  23. ^ a b Keller, Larry (February 6, 2008). "Second teen-sex suit seeks $50 million from Jeffrey Epstein". The Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on February 9, 2008. 
  24. ^ Goodnough, Abby (September 3, 2006). "Questions of Preferential Treatment Are Raised in Florida Sex Case". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  25. ^ a b Swaine, Jon. "Jeffrey Epstein's donations to young pupils prompts US Virgin Islands review". the Guardian. Archived from the original on November 10, 2016. 
  26. ^ Dargan, Michele (November 22, 2011). "Jeffrey Epstein must register as NY's highest level sex offender". Palm Beach Daily News. Archived from the original on September 17, 2016. 
  27. ^ Sutherland, Amber (February 25, 2011). "Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein: I'm a sex offender, not a predator". New York Post. Archived from the original on January 13, 2015. 
  28. ^ Dargan, Michele (June 18, 2010). "Former Epstein house manager Alfredo Rodriguez sentenced to 18 months". Palm Beach Daily News. Archived from the original on March 13, 2011. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  29. ^ Spencer-Wendel, Susan (February 1, 2010). "Ex-Epstein worker faces obstruction charges". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  30. ^ a b "US judge strikes out Prince Andrew sex claims". BBC News. April 7, 2015. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved November 8, 2016. 
  31. ^ Sherwell, Philip (April 7, 2015). "Prince Andrew sex abuse allegation thrown out by judge". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on July 19, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  32. ^ Swaine, Jon. "Judge orders Prince Andrew sex allegations struck from court record". the Guardian. Archived from the original on May 6, 2016. 
  33. ^ "'Jane Doe' v. Jeffrey Epstein: Billionaire faces $50M sexual assault lawsuit". FindLaw. Thomson Reuters. February 6, 2008. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. 
  34. ^ Keller, Larry (March 5, 2008). "Third alleged victim files sex suit against Jeffrey Epstein". The Palm Beach Post. Fla. Archived from the original on March 8, 2008. 
  35. ^ a b Lewis, Paul; Ball, James (January 3, 2015). "Prince Andrew named in U.S. lawsuit over underage sex claims". Guardian. Archived from the original on December 19, 2016. 
  36. ^ Rush, George; Molloy, Joanna (January 10, 2010). "Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein shells out more money in latest sex abuse lawsuit". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on December 5, 2014. 
  37. ^ Gerstein, Josh (December 31, 2014). "Woman who sued convicted billionaire over sex abuse levels claims at his friends". Politico. Archived from the original on January 4, 2015. 
  38. ^ Murphy, Sean P. (April 7, 2015). "Judge drops Dershowitz from lawsuit involving 'lurid' allegations". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  39. ^ Lewis, Paul. "Jeffrey Epstein: the rise and fall of teacher turned tycoon". The Guardian. Archived from the original on November 26, 2016. 
  40. ^ "Woman suing Trump over alleged teen rape drops suit, again". Retrieved August 15, 2018. 
  41. ^ "Trump teen rape accuser abruptly calls off news conference". Retrieved August 15, 2018. 
  42. ^ California suit, April 2016: https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000158-267d-dda3-afd8-b67d3bc00000
  43. ^ New York suit, September 2016: https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000158-26b6-dda3-afd8-b6fe46f40000
  44. ^ Withnall, Adam (February 8, 2015). "Virginia Roberts claims FBI has videos of her having underage sex with Jeffrey Epstein and 'powerful friends'". The Independent. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  45. ^ Swaine, Jon (February 7, 2015). "Jeffrey Epstein accuser: video exists of underage sex with powerful men". the Guardian. Archived from the original on November 1, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016. 
  46. ^ Withnall, Adam (January 4, 2015). "Teenage 'sex slave' Virginia Roberts claims she was paid $15,593.58 by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew". The Independent. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. 
  47. ^ Han, Esther (January 6, 2015). "Virginia Roberts' new lease on life after escaping from billionaire sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on January 7, 2015. 
  48. ^ Boren, Zachary (January 5, 2015). "Prince Andrew 'sex slave' scandal: Virginia Roberts 'met the Queen'". Independent. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Roberts' father claims she was introduced to the Queen, but Buckingham Palace has 'no record' of a meeting. 
  49. ^ "U.S. lawyer Dershowitz sues in Prince Andrew sex claim case". BBC News UK. January 6, 2015. Archived from the original on January 11, 2015. 
  50. ^ Virginia Roberts: 'Sex slave diary' published containing alleged intimate details about Prince Andrew" Archived September 25, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., The Independent
  51. ^ "Prince Andrew under renewed pressure to speak about 'sex abuse' claims after flight logs emerge" Archived March 2, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., Daily Telegraph
  52. ^ Nigel Pauley (February 28, 2015). "BBC planning Panorama probe on Prince Andrew's US sex scandal". mirror. Archived from the original on March 3, 2015. 
  53. ^ Greenslade, Roy (January 5, 2015). "Prince Andrew story runs and runs – but editors should beware". The Guardian. Archived from the original on March 16, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2017. 
  54. ^ Zimmerman, Malia (May 13, 2016). "Flight logs show Bill Clinton flew on sex offender's jet much more than previously known". Fox News. Archived from the original on October 9, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2016. 
  55. ^ Michael Wolff: Fire and Fury:Inside the Trump White House, p.53, 2018, Henry Holt and Company, New York, NY, ISBN 978-1-250-15806-2. (preview at Google Books)
  56. ^ Fisher, Marc. "Trump's Labor nominee Acosta cut deal with billionaire in underage sex abuse case". Retrieved August 12, 2018. 
  57. ^ Harris, Paul (March 12, 2011). "Prince Andrew's link to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein taints royalty in US". The Guardian. Archived from the original on November 8, 2016. 
  58. ^ "Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery". NYMag.com. Retrieved August 12, 2018. 

External links[edit]