Jeffrey Epstein

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American financier and sex offender

Jeffrey Edward Epstein (born January 20, 1953) is an American financier and registered sex offender, who was arrested in July 2019 for child sex trafficking.[1] Epstein began his career at the investment bank Bear Stearns, before forming his own firm, J. Epstein & Co. He lives in the United States Virgin Islands.

In 2008, Epstein was convicted of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution, for which he served 13 months in “custody with work release”, which meant he was allowed to spend 16 hours a day outside of prison.[2] Epstein was arrested again on July 6, 2019, on federal charges for sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York.[3][4]

Contents

  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Criminal proceedings
    • 3.1 Initial developments (2005–06)
    • 3.2 Conviction and sentencing (2008–11)
    • 3.3 Reactions
    • 3.4 Lawsuits
    • 3.5 Other civil lawsuits
    • 3.6 Appeals in 2019
    • 3.7 Trafficking charges
  • 4 Personal life
    • 4.1 Residences
    • 4.2 Science philanthropy
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 Further reading
  • 8 External links

Early life

Epstein was born in 1953 in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Coney Island, New York. Epstein’s father worked for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. After graduating from Lafayette High School in 1969,[5][6] he attended classes at Cooper Union and dropped out in 1971.[7] He later attended the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, but left without receiving a degree.[6]

Career

Epstein taught calculus and physics at the Dalton School in Manhattan from 1973 to 1975.[6] In 1976, Epstein started work as an options trader at Bear Stearns,[6] where he worked in the special products division, advising high-net-worth clients on tax strategies.[6] Proving successful in his financial career, Epstein became a limited partner at Bear Stearns in 1980.[6][5]

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 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.[6]

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 (then) film producer Harvey Weinstein. They were ultimately outbid by Bruce Wasserstein, a longtime Wall Street investment banker, who paid $55 million.[8] 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.[9]

Criminal proceedings

Initial developments (2005–06)

In March 2005, a woman contacted Florida’s Palm Beach Police Department and alleged that her 14-year-old stepdaughter had been taken to Epstein’s mansion by an older girl. There she was allegedly paid $300 to strip and massage Epstein.[10] She had allegedly undressed, but left the encounter wearing her underwear.[11]
Police began 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; subsequently, the police alleged that Epstein had paid several escorts to perform sexual acts on him.[12] Interviews with five alleged victims and 17 witnesses under oath, a high school transcript and other items found in Epstein’s trash and home allegedly showed that some of the girls involved were under 18.[13] 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.[11]

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.[14] Epstein allegedly “lent” girls to powerful people to ingratiate himself with them and also to gain possible blackmail information.[12] In 2015, evidence came to light that one of the powerful men at Epstein’s mansion may have been Prince Andrew, Duke of York.[12] A former employee told the police that Epstein would receive massages three times a day.[11] Eventually the FBI received accounts from 36 girls whose allegations of molestation by Epstein included overlapping details.[12]

The investigation resulted in a 53-page federal indictment. Alexander Acosta, then the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, agreed to a plea deal to grant immunity from all federal criminal charges to Epstein, along with four co-conspirators and any unnamed “potential co-conspirators”. The deal halted the investigation and sealed the indictment. Epstein agreed to plead guilty to state prostitution charges, register as a sex offender, and pay restitution to three dozen victims identified by the FBI.[15] The Guardian, a British newspaper, reported, “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.”[12]

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.[11][16]

Epstein’s team of defense lawyers included Gerald Lefcourt, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, and in 2007, Ken Starr.[10][17]

After the federal government agreed to charging Epstein on one count under state law, the prosecution convened a grand jury. Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter later wrote to State Attorney Barry Krischer to complain of the state’s “highly unusual” conduct and asked Kirchner to remove himself from the case.[10] The grand jury returned a single charge of felony solicitation of prostitution,[18] to which Epstein pleaded not guilty in August 2006.[19]

Conviction and sentencing (2008–11)

In June 2008, after Epstein pleaded guilty to a single state charge of soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14,[20] he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Instead of being sent to state prison as are the majority of sex offenders convicted in Florida, Epstein was housed in a private wing of the Palm Beach County Jail. He was able to hire his own security detail and was allowed “work release” to his downtown office for up to 12 hours a day six days a week.[21] He served 13 months before being released for a year of probation. While on probation he was allowed numerous trips on his corporate jet to his homes in Manhattan and the U.S. Virgin Islands.[22]

At release, he was registered in New York State as a level three (high risk of reoffense) sex offender, a lifelong designation.[23][24] Epstein has been a registered sex offender since 2008.[1]

Reactions

The immunity agreement and his lenient treatment were the subject of ongoing controversy. The Palm Beach police chief accused the state of giving him preferential treatment,[10] and the Miami Herald said U.S. Attorney Acosta gave Epstein “the deal of a lifetime.”[15]

After the accusations became public, several persons and institutions returned donations that they had received from Epstein, including Eliot Spitzer, Bill Richardson,[25] and the Palm Beach Police Department.[13] Harvard University announced it would not return any money.[25] Various charitable donations that Epstein had made to finance children’s education were also questioned.[20]

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.”[26][27]

Lawsuits

The case was scheduled to be examined in court in December 2018 as part of a state civil lawsuit by attorney Bradley Edwards against Epstein. The trial was expected to provide victims with their first opportunity to make their accusations publicly. However, the case was settled on the first day of the trial, with Epstein apologizing to Edwards; other terms of the settlement were confidential.[28]

An additional long-running lawsuit is pending in federal court, aimed at vacating the federal plea agreement on the grounds that it violated victims’ rights.[28] On April 7, 2015, Judge Kenneth Marra ruled that the allegations made by alleged victim Virginia Roberts against Prince Andrew had no bearing on the lawsuit by alleged victims seeking to reopen Epstein’s non-prosecution plea agreement with the federal government; the judge ordered that allegation to be struck from the record.[29] Judge Marra made no ruling as to whether claims by Roberts are true or false. There was an effort to add Roberts and another woman as plaintiffs to that case.[30] Marra specifically said that Roberts may later give evidence when the case comes to court.[31]

Other civil lawsuits

On February 6, 2008, an anonymous Virginia woman filed a $50 million civil lawsuit[32] 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.[18] A similar $50 million suit was filed in March 2008 by a different woman, who was represented by the same lawyer.[33] These and several similar lawsuits were dismissed.[34]
All other lawsuits have been settled by Epstein out of court.[35] Epstein has made many out-of-court settlements with alleged victims and, as of January 2015, some cases remain open.[34]

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.[36] (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.[29][37] 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.”[38]

A federal lawsuit filed in California in April 2016 against Epstein and Donald Trump by a California woman alleged that the men sexually assaulted her at a series of parties at Epstein’s Manhattan home in 1994, when she was 13 years old. The suit was dismissed by a federal judge in May 2016 because it did not 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 affidavits by an anonymous witness who attested to the accusations in the suits, and an anonymous person who declared the plaintiff had told him/her about the assaults at the time they occurred. 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 that 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.[39][40][41][42][43]

In January 2015, a 31-year-old American woman, Virginia Roberts (now Virginia Giuffre),[44] 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.[45]
Roberts alleged that the FBI may have been involved in a cover-up.[46] She said she had served as Epstein’s sex slave from 1999 to 2002 and had recruited other under-age girls.[47] Prince Andrew, Epstein, and Dershowitz all denied having had sex with Roberts. Dershowitz took legal action over the allegations.[48][49][50] A diary purported to belong to Roberts was published online.[51][52] Epstein entered an out-of-court settlement with Roberts, as he has done in several other lawsuits.[12]
The BBC television series Panorama planned an investigation of the scandal.[53] As of 2016, these claims had not been tested in any court of law.[54]

Appeals in 2019

On February 21, 2019, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida Kenneth Marra said federal prosecutors violated the law by failing to notify victims before they allowed him to plead guilty to only the Florida offense. The judge left open what the possible remedy could be.[55]

On March 11, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit gave parties one week to provide good cause as to why the summary judgement and case documents should remain under seal, without which they would be unsealed on March 19, 2019.[56][57]

Trafficking charges

US v. Jeffrey Epstein indictment[58]

On July 6, 2019, Epstein was arrested at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey on sex trafficking charges. According to witnesses and sources, about a dozen FBI agents broke down the door to Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse, the Herbert N. Straus House, with search warrants.[59][60] Two days later, prosecutors with the Public Corruption Unit of the Southern District of New York charged him with sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex. Court documents allege that at least 40 underage girls were brought into Epstein’s mansion for sexual encounters.[3][4][61] Judge Kenneth Marra is currently deciding whether the non-prosecution agreement that protected Epstein from the more serious charges should still stand.[62]

Epstein owned a private Boeing 727 jet and traveled in it frequently, logging “600 flying hours a year (…) usually with guests on board.”[63] Epstein’s plane has been nicknamed the “Lolita Express” by media due to his conviction and the accusations of sexual involvement with underage girls made against him.[6][64][65][66]

Personal life

Previous longterm girlfriends associated with Epstein include publishing heir Ghislaine Maxwell.[5] Maxwell was implicated by several of Epstein’s accusers as serving as a ‘madam’ to recruit underage girls in addition to once being Epstein’s girlfriend.[67]

Epstein was a longtime acquaintance of Prince Andrew and Tom Barrack,[68] and has attended parties with many prominent people, including Bill Clinton, George Stephanopoulos, Donald Trump,[69] Katie Couric, and Woody Allen.[70] In September 2002, Epstein flew Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, and Chris Tucker to Africa in his private jet. Flight records show Clinton flew on Epstein’s plane 26 times.[6][64][71][72] On July 9, 2019, Clinton spokesman, Angel Ureña, confirmed that, in 2002 and 2003, the former president Bill Clinton “took four trips on Epstein’s plane with multiple stops and that staff and his Secret Service detail traveled on every leg.”[73]

In a profile of Epstein in New York magazine in 2002, former Democratic Senate leader George J. Mitchell said of Epstein, “I would certainly call him a friend and a supporter.” In the same article, Donald Trump remarked, “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. No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life.” Bill Clinton lauded Epstein as “a committed philanthropist” with “insights and generosity.” At the time Epstein was on the board of the Rockefeller Foundation, a member of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, and was a major donor to Harvard University.[74]

Although Donald Trump initially was subpoenaed to give a deposition in 2008-2009 by attorney Brad Edwards the subpoena was withdrawn as Trump voluntarily helped. Edwards said Trump was “open and forthright”.[75] Edwards represented several accusers of Epstein, asserting in court documents that Epstein was barred from Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago after he sexually harassed an underage girl in 1999,[76] but later conceded he was unable to confirm that. Neither Trump nor Mar-a-Lago have confirmed the account. Author James Patterson recounted the alleged episode in his 2016 book Filthy Rich.[77][78][79][76]

Residences

Epstein owns the Herbert N. Straus House on East 71st Street in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City. It is reputedly the largest private residence in Manhattan at 21,000-square-foot (2,000-square-meter)[80][12] The financier’s other properties include a villa in Palm Beach, Florida; an apartment in Paris; a 10,000-acre (40 km2) ranch with a hilltop mansion in Stanley, New Mexico;[81][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

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.[82]

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 was reported to be trying to get information.[83]

See also

  • Biography portal
  • Criminal justice portal
  • Sexuality portal
  • Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation
  • Little Saint James

References

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  • ^ Calahan, Maureen (October 9, 2016). “The ‘sex slave’ scandal that exposed pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein”. New York Post.
  • ^ Brown, Julie K. (July 7, 2019). “With Jeffrey Epstein locked up, these are nervous times for his friends, enablers”. The Miami Herald. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  • ^ Wolff, Michael (2018). Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. New York City: Henry Holt and Company. p. 53. ISBN 978-1-250-15806-2 – via Google Books.
  • ^ Fisher, Marc. “Trump’s Labor nominee Acosta cut deal with billionaire in underage sex abuse case”. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  • ^ 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.
  • ^ Bryant, Nick (January 22, 2015). “Flight Logs Put Clinton, Dershowitz on Pedophile Billionaire’s Sex Jet”. Gawker. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  • ^ Calahan, Maureen (October 9, 2016). “The ‘sex slave’ scandal that exposed pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein”. New York Post.
  • ^ Colvin, Jill (July 9, 2019). “What did Jeffrey Epstein’s famous friends know and see?”. AP NEWS. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  • ^ Thomas, Landon Jr. (October 28, 2002). “Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery”. New York. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  • ^ “Epstein Sex Slave Lawyer: Donald Trump ‘No Way Involved In Any Untoward Activity’ | Radar Online”. April 28, 2016.
  • ^ a b Patterson, James; Connolly, John (October 10, 2016). Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal that Undid Him, and All the Justice that Money Can Buy: The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein. ISBN 9780316362450.
  • ^ Miles, Frank (July 7, 2019). “Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking involved locations in NY, Virgin Islands, Florida, NM ranch: attorney”. Fox News.
  • ^ Saunders, Debra J. (July 9, 2019). “Trump backs Labor secretary as Democrats demand resignation”. Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  • ^ Raymond, Chas Danner, Matt Stieb, Adam K. (July 8, 2019). “Everything We Know About the Sex Crimes Case Against Jeffrey Epstein”. Intelligencer.
  • ^ Matthew Haag (July 8, 2019). “$56 Million Upper East Side Mansion Where Epstein Allegedly Abused Girls”. New York Times. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  • ^ Jennings, Trip (August 16, 2006). “Gov. to Give Away $50,000 Campaign Gift”. Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  • ^ 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.
  • ^ “Exclusive: New York attorney general seeks information on financier Epstein’s philanthropy”. Reuters. Archived from the original on October 6, 2015.
  • Further reading

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    • Brown, Julie K. (November 28, 2018). “How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime”. Miami Herald.
    • Brown, Julie K. (November 28, 2018). “Cops worked to put serial sex abuser in prison. Prosecutors worked to cut him a break”. Miami Herald.
    • Brown, Julie K. (November 28, 2018). “Even from jail, sex abuser manipulated the system. His victims were kept in the dark”. Miami Herald.
    • Brown, Julie K.; Albright, Aaron (November 28, 2018). “He was over 50. They were little girls. Their stories were almost identical. The evidence was substantial”. Miami Herald.
    • Brown, Julie K. (November 28, 2018). “For years, Jeffrey Epstein abused teen girls, police say. A timeline of his case”. Miami Herald.
    • Brown, Julie K. (November 28, 2018). “How the Miami Herald investigated Jeffrey Epstein—and his many enablers”. Miami Herald.
    • Edelman, Susan; Vincent, Isabel (December 1, 2018). “Manhattan DA sided with pedophile billionaire after botching investigation”. New York Post.
    • Coaston, Jane; North, Anna (December 4, 2018). “Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained”. Vox.

    External links

    Jeffrey Epsteinat Wikipedia’s sister projects

    • Media from Wikimedia Commons
    • Quotations from Wikiquote
    • Data from Wikidata
    • Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation (discontinued; archived in 2014)
    • Collected news and commentary at The New York Times
    • Collected news at the New York Daily News
    • FBI records


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