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 64)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Residence Little Saint James, U.S. Virgin Islands
Palm Beach, Florida
New York City
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Occupation Financier
Owner, Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation

Jeffrey Edward Epstein (born January 20, 1953) is an American financier and registered sex offender in the United States.[1] He worked at Bear Stearns early in his career and then formed his own firm, J. Epstein & Co. In 2008, Epstein was convicted of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution, for which he served 13 months in prison,[2] he lives in the US Virgin Islands.

Early life[edit]

Epstein was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a middle-class Jewish family, his father worked for New York City's parks.[3]

Epstein attended Lafayette High School, he attended classes at Cooper Union from 1969 to 1971 and later at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. He left without a degree.[citation needed]


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 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, in 1980 Epstein became a partner at Bear Stearns.[4]

In 1982, Epstein founded his own financial management firm, J. Epstein & Co., managing the assets of clients with more than $1 billion 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.[4] Wexner acquired Abercrombie & Fitch the following year. In 1992 he converted a private school on the 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 publisher Mortimer Zuckerman, who had the New York Daily News, and film producer Harvey Weinstein. They were ultimately outbid by Bruce Wasserstein, a longtime Wall Street investor, who paid $55 million.[5]

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.[6]

In September 2002, Epstein flew Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker to Africa in his private Boeing 727.[4][7]

Epstein is also a longtime friend of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and has partied with celebrities such as Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, Charlie Rose, and Woody Allen.[8]


Epstein's New York home is reputedly the largest private residence in Manhattan;[9] it was originally built as the Birch Wathen School. The 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2), 9-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;[10][11] and a private island near St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands called Little Saint James that includes a mansion and guest houses.

Science philanthropy[edit]

In 2000 he established the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, which funds science research and education. Prior to 2003, Epstein's 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 to the university.[12] 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][13]

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.[14]

Through such philanthropy, Epstein has associated with many well-known scientific figures, such as Gerald Edelman, Murray Gell-Mann, Stephen Hawking, Kip Thorne, Lawrence Krauss, Lee Smolin and Gregory Benford.[4][15][16] 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, the origins of language and global threats to the Earth.[16]

The Jeffrey Epstein VI 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.[17][18]

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 New York Attorney General has reported as trying to get information.[19]

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,[11] she had undressed, but left the encounter wearing her underwear.[20]

Police started an 11-month undercover investigation of Epstein, followed by a search of his home, the FBI also became involved in the investigation.[9] 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,[21] 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.[20]

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.[22] Epstein allegedly "loaned" girls to powerful people to ingratiate himself with them and also to gain possible blackmail information;[9] in 2015, evidence came to light that one of the powerful men at Epstein's mansion may have been Prince Andrew of the UK.[9]

A former employee told the police that Epstein would receive massages three times a day.[20] Eventually the FBI received accounts from about 40 girls whose allegations of molestation by Epstein included overlapping details.[9]

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."[9]

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.[20]

His team of defense lawyers included Gerald Lefcourt, Alan Dershowitz and later Ken Starr.[11] Epstein passed a polygraph test in which he was asked whether he knew of the underage status of the girls.[23]

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,[11] the grand jury returned a single charge of felony solicitation of prostitution,[24] to which Epstein pleaded not guilty in August 2006.[25]


In June 2008, after Epstein pleaded guilty to a single state charge of soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14,[26] 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.[27][28]


After the accusations became public, several persons and institutions returned donations which they had received from Epstein, including Eliot Spitzer, Bill Richardson,[13] and the Palm Beach Police Department.[21] Harvard University announced that it would not return any money.[13] Various charitable donations that Epstein had made to finance children's education were also questioned.[26]

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".[29][30]

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.[31] 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.[32] Marra specifically said that Roberts may later give evidence when the case comes to court.[33]

Civil proceedings[edit]

On February 6, 2008, an anonymous Virginia woman filed a $50 million civil lawsuit[34] 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.[24] A similar $50 million suit was filed in March 2008 by a different woman, who was represented by the same lawyer,[35] these and several similar lawsuits were dismissed. [36]

All other lawsuits were settled by Epstein out of court.[37] Epstein has made many out-of-court settlements with alleged victims and, as of January 2015, some cases remain open.[36]

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.[38] (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.[31] [39] 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".[40]

Another woman, identified by the pseudonym "Katie Johnson",[41] filed a lawsuit in California federal court on April 26, 2016, accusing Epstein and real estate businessman Donald Trump (now President of the United States) of raping her in 1994, when she was 13 years old.[42][43][44] At the time of filing, Trump was campaigning to become the Republican Party candidate for the office of U.S. President. Judges Ronnie Abrams and James C. Francis IV presided over the case against Epstein and Trump.[45]

The suit, which Johnson had filed without counsel, was dismissed on technical grounds after the court determined that the address listed for "Katie Johnson" was a foreclosed abandoned home whose resident had died and the provided telephone contact information was also not a functioning contact,[42] the woman (now using the pseudonym "Jane Doe") filed a new lawsuit in June 2016, this time in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She excluded some of her previous accusations, such as that Trump threw money for an abortion at her and that he called Epstein a "Jew bastard".[46]

Following a delay caused by the accuser failing to show that the defendants had been served with formal notice of the suit,[47] the suit was voluntarily dismissed on September 16,[48] the woman's lawyer said she would re-file the lawsuit and would provide an additional witness to substantiate the claims.[49]

On September 30, 2016, the woman re-filed the lawsuit in New York, with an additional witness identified by the pseudonym "Joan Doe".[50][51] There was no further information available on the allegations outside the claims made anonymously by the two women, they were not made available for contact by the press.[42] Civil rights lawyer and legal analyst Lisa Bloom wrote in a June 2016 blog post for the Huffington Post that the claims by the anonymous individuals were credible enough to warrant further investigation.[44] Journalist Jon Swaine reported in The Guardian in July 2016 that the "Katie Johnson" lawsuits appeared to be orchestrated by Norm Lubow, a former producer on the The Jerry Springer Show, he described Lubow as "an eccentric anti-Trump campaigner with a record of making outlandish claims about celebrities".[52]

The woman failed to appear at a press conference announced by her attorneys, saying she was fearful because of threats, she granted an interview to The Daily Mail together with Bloom (whom the Daily Mail identified as her lawyer) and permitted photographs. Soon after that, the woman dropped her lawsuit against Epstein and Trump on November 4, 2016.[41][53][54] The Daily Mail said their reporters were aware of the woman's identity but were honoring her request to protect her privacy and not release her name, her attorneys said the woman dropped her suit out of fear, based on having received "numerous threats" against her life.[41]

In March 2017, some sources reported that President Donald Trump had been called as a witness in a new case against Epstein.

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, he trafficked her to several people, including Prince Andrew and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz. She claimed that Epstein and others had physically and sexually abused her.[55]

She alleged that the FBI may have been involved in a cover-up.[56] Roberts said she served as Epstein's sex slave from 1999 to 2002, and recruited other under-age girls.[57] Prince Andrew, Epstein and Dershowitz all deny having had sex with Roberts. Dershowitz reportedly was taking legal action over the allegations.[58][59][60] A diary purported to belong to Roberts was published online.[61][62] Epstein made a settlement with Roberts out of court, as he did in several other lawsuits.[9]

The BBC television series Panorama planned an investigation of the scandal,[63] as of 2016 these claims had not been tested in any law court.[64]


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