DNew York hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein has long been a well-known figure in the elitist circles of power and money. When real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump served the tabloids with his escapades, the later American president of the magazine "New York" gave a meaningful quote for a portrait of Epstein in 2002. Epstein is a "great guy", he has known for 15 years. "It's a lot of fun to be with him. It even means that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. "More recently, Epstein was arrested for dealing with very young women – still at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, after serving with his Private plane had returned from Paris.
The New York federal prosecutor accuses the 66-year-old financier of abusing dozens of minor girls and building an illegal sex trade ring between 2002 and 2005. Some of the girls were only 14 years old, the prosecution said. Hundreds of nude photos of underage girls were taken during a house search. Epstein's House is Manhattan's largest estate, a townhouse in a prime location on the posh Upper East Side.
The deal with Epstein's lawyers
The rumors and allegations against Epstein, who once counted former President Bill Clinton and British Prince Andrew as his friends, have been around for years. The man is registered as a sex offender and served a 13-month prison sentence in Florida ten years ago. But the regional newspaper "Miami Herald" recently revealed in a series of investigative stories how Epstein had escaped harsher punishment because of his good connections.
For example, during his detention in Florida, Epstein was a prisoner and was able to work six days a week in his office during that time. The Florida Attorney General initially prepared a lawsuit, but then gave up prosecution and got involved in a deal with Epstein's lawyers. Under the agreement, Epstein pleaded guilty to two Florida-related crimes involving prostitution in a Florida state court – for which he was given the short prison term. In the case of a federal conviction, Epstein would have been sentenced to life imprisonment. In New York, he is now facing a maximum of 45 years imprisonment.
Spicy is the matter, because Florida State Attorney Alexander Acosta, then Minister of Labor in the Cabinet of Donald Trump is. Acosta was personally involved in the case and met privately with one of Epstein's lawyers, one of his former colleagues. Virginia Giuffre, one of the women who accused Epstein of sexually abusing her as a teenager, was working at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, owned by Trump. A lawyer from Trump has since denied that the president used to socialize with Epstein.
Epstein is often referred to as a billionaire, but the sources of his wealth are a mystery in the financial industry. "He is supposed to lead a huge foreign exchange trading company. But I have never heard of him or his company, neither worked nor traded with him, "said Enrique Diaz-Alvarez, who is responsible for risk management at UK investment firm Ebury. The only known fact is that Epstein grew up in New York's Brooklyn neighborhood and studied at two universities, which he left without a degree.
Rumors: how he came to his fortune
In the 1970s, he worked for two years as a math teacher at the exclusive New York private school Dalton and then moved to the investment bank Bear Stearns as an assistant to a stock trader. The son of former Bear Stearns Chairman Alan Greenberg had been one of his students. Epstein specialized in options trading and only became a partner four years later. In 1981, Epstein Bear left Stearns and became self-employed with a hedge fund. Bear Stearns is said to have been a client until its near-collapse and distressed sale during the financial crisis.
Apart from that, not much is known about Epstein's then hedge fund J. Epstein & Co., which has been based in the US Virgin Islands since the 1990s and now trades under the name of Financial Trust Co. According to media reports Epstein should only accept billionaires as customers, have charged a flat fee and finally have had complete control over the facilities. There were rumors in the financial scene that Les Wexner, the now 81-year-old CEO of clothing retailer L Brands (Victoria's Secret), was the biggest customer and main source of his fortune.
Epstein sat on the advisory board of Wexner's Foundation. Wexner is said to have also overriden the Epstein townhouse in Manhattan. Meanwhile, its value is estimated at 77 million dollars. Wexler, who once praised Epstein's ability to "identify patterns in politics and financial markets," had turned away from Epstein after the first charges of sexual abuse. The business magazine "Forbes," known for its list of the richest Americans, made it unmistakably clear in a blog after Epstein's release from prison ten years ago that his fortunes were well below the media's estimates. "Sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is not a billionaire," was the headline.
In New York, meanwhile, it is suspected that prosecutors are now not just targeting Epstein. The responsible prosecutors are not specialized in sexual offenses, but on "public corruption", ie bribery, embezzlement or fraud with authorities. One may assume that the finances of Epstein are now examined more closely.
. (tagsToTranslate) Donald Trump (t) Jeffrey Epstein (t) Alexander Acosta (t) Bill Clinton (t) Prince Andrew (t) Bear Stearns (t) Public Prosecutor