The Billionaire Who Stood by Jeffrey Epstein

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Mr. Epstein portrayed himself as a monetary guru to the rich, though for a few years his chief shopper was Mr. Wexner, the founding father of L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret. Mr. Epstein was first publicly accused of participating in intercourse with underage ladies in 2006, and Mr. Wexner mentioned he lower ties with Mr. Epstein on the finish of the next 12 months. (Mr. Wexner mentioned final 12 months that Mr. Epstein had misappropriated “vast sums” from him; Mr. Epstein had returned a minimum of $100 million to Mr. Wexner, The Times has reported.)

In 2008, Mr. Epstein pleaded responsible in Florida to a state prostitution cost with a minor and served 13 months in a state jail as a part of a plea settlement with federal prosecutors — an association that was saved confidential on the time. He saved a low profile for the subsequent decade, however after an investigation by The Miami Herald drew consideration to his plea deal, federal prosecutors in New York charged Mr. Epstein with intercourse trafficking in July 2019. His dying the subsequent month in a Manhattan jail cell was dominated a suicide.

Mr. Black knew Mr. Epstein for many years — in 1997 he made Mr. Epstein one of many unique trustees of what’s at the moment referred to as the Debra and Leon Black Foundation — and was amongst the high-profile figures who maintained ties with him following his prostitution arrest. They included Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder; Lawrence Summers, the previous president of Harvard; James E. Staley, now the chief govt of Barclays; and the hedge fund supervisor Glenn Dubin and his spouse, Eva.

Mr. Epstein continuously hosted Mr. Black at his New York mansion, normally assembly him for breakfast or lunch, in keeping with 4 individuals conversant in their relationship. In 2012, whereas on a household trip within the Caribbean, Mr. Black traveled by yacht to attend a cookout at Mr. Epstein’s non-public island residence within the U.S. Virgin Islands, two of the individuals mentioned.

In 2011, Mr. Epstein’s monetary advisory agency — Financial Trust — joined Mr. Black and members of his household in investing in a small emissions management firm, Environmental Solutions Worldwide, the place two of Mr. Black’s sons function board members. The firm didn’t reply to requests for remark.

According to an archived model of one in all Mr. Epstein’s web sites, the boys visited Mr. Black’s alma mater, Harvard, collectively. Although the college stopped accepting presents from Mr. Epstein after his 2008 plea, in keeping with a report by the college, Mr. Black had given a minimum of $5 million to professors and Mr. Epstein’s workers members had “played a role in facilitating the Black donations.”

Business information from the Virgin Islands reviewed by The Times final 12 months present how Mr. Epstein’s enterprise suffered following his 2008 case. The conviction coincided with the fallout from the monetary disaster, which value Financial Trust $150 million. The firm took in simply $200,000 in price earnings from 2008 to 2012 earlier than closing down that 12 months, the information present.

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