A LESSON IN SCANDALS
JEFFREY, A CHILD MOLESTER
By Christine Cleopatra Djerf
In the months before he ran for president, Donald Trump was in a conversation with David Pecker, owner of the National Enquirer, about Jeffrey Epstein, how would his sexual abuse scandal affect the Clintons. “Trump said that Pecker had told him that the pictures of Clinton that Epstein had from his island were worse…”, says a former Trump Organization employee.
The financier, with ties to celebrities, politicians, and royalty, was arrested earlier this summer on multiple disturbing charges.
- Financier Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on July 2019 on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking. He was denied bail ahead of his trail.
- Epstein died in jail, and his death was officially ruled as suicide by hanging by the New York City medical examiner.
- His alleged victims have sued his estate.
- Epstein was a convicted sex offender, who just before served 13 months in Palm Beach County jail.
- He pleaded guilty to two prostitution-related charges, a plea deal that was heavily criticized.
- He was considered a VIP, and had a high-profile social circle. His former associates include Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, and Prince Andrew, son of Queen Elizabeth.
On July 8 2019, federal prosecutors charged financier Jeffrey Epstein with one count of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of conspiracy to sex trafficking. Per the accusation, “over the course of many years, Jeffrey Epstein, the defendant, sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations.”
The document told that “in order to maintain and increase his supply of victims, Epstein also paid certain of his victims to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused.” The prosecution alleged that he sexually assaulted girls as young as 14 years old.
Following the indictment, Epstein pleaded not guilty on both charges, and on August 10, several media outlets confirmed that Epstein had died by apparent suicide in jail. His death is currently under investigation, and on August 16, the New York City medical examiner ruled that his death was a suicide by hanging, a conclusion that came to change during the following week.
Who was Epstein?
Epstein started his career in New York City as a math teacher at the elite Dalton School. In the 1970s, he went to work at the investment bank Bear Stearns before founding his own firm, J. Epstein and Co.
In ’82, According to Vox, he specifically marketed his services to “those with assets worth more than $1 billion,” and operated his company outside the U.S. Virgin Islands for pure tax reasons.
While Epstein lived wealthy, in a massive townhouse, giving large sums of money to a variety of causes, the source of his money was not clear. He was widely called a billionaire, but Forbes disputed that claim, noting that he was more likely only “worth a fraction of that.”
In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to felony charge of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He served 13 months and was granted a work release, which allowed him to commute to an office outside the jail six days a week. He also registered as a sex offender.
Epstein’s disturbing beliefs.
Of the many causes to which Epstein donated, academic scientists were a notable subgroup. He apparently “dangled financing for their pet projects,” reports the New York Times, and attracted a distinguished group of acquaintances, including several Nobel laureates, to his home for parties and to scientific conferences he sponsored.
Epstein apparently had several scientific theories, including eugenics.
· Eugenics meaning: A Good Race. Practices to improve the genetic quality of the human population. Selective breeding.
The New York Times uncovered that one ambition he discussed was to impregnate multiple women, and trough this spread his DNA. A claim was for 20 women to bear his children, and that his ranch in New Mexico would be a base for his harem of future mothers. This was also a part of his interest in transhumanism, the study of how to improve the human population through technologies like genetic engineering and artificial intelligence.
Epstein’s high-profile social circle
Epstein was known to associate with politicians like (Bill Clinton and Donald Trump to name just two), numerous celebrities, and other people from the public sphere.
“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York magazine in 2002. “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.”
Following the news of his recent arrest, Trump told media, he distanced himself from Epstein in recent years. “I had a falling out with him,” quoting the President, according to the New York Times. “I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you.”
Former President Bill Clinton issued a public statement, acknowledging that he travelled on Epstein’s private plane, but that he was unaware of Epstein’s criminal activity.
“President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago or those with which he has been recently charged in New York” the statement read from a Clinton spokesperson.
“In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation.”
Epstein also had ties to Queen Elizabeth’s son Prince Andrew. How big their relationship was is somewhat unclear, but they were spotted walking together in Central Park in late 2010. At that point, he was already a convicted sex offender. And Prince Andrew was spotted in the home of Epstein talking to a young woman. He was also photographed holding a young girl around her waist, on the “Lollita Express”!
Prince Andrew recently spoke out against Epstein in a statement from Buckingham Palace:
“The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes. His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behavior is abhorrent.”
What do we know about the case against Epstein?
Epstein was first arrested at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey on July 6, after returning to the United States from France. He was then charged by federal prosecutors the following Monday but pleaded not guilty. Federal prosecutors also searched his New York City home following his arrest.
New York Times; “During the search of his townhouse on Saturday, investigators seized photographs of nude underage girls, federal prosecutors said.”
Prosecutors said the case involved a million pages of discovery, including evidence from his Manhattan mansion. The trial were to begin next June.
On July 18, Epstein was denied bail. He was willing to pay $100 million in bail. New York Times; “prosecutors argued that Mr. Epstein’s vast wealth, said to be more than $500 million, would make it possible for him to flee the country if he were not held in jail.”
NBC News reported that Judge Berman said, “‘I doubt any bail package can overcome’ any danger to the community.”
According to NPR, Epstein’s death “effectively ends” the criminal case, but several of his alleged victims have started to sue his estate.
Epstein died by suicide in his cell in August.
On July 24, Epstein was reportedly found injured in his cell, though it’s unclear at this point exactly what happened to him. He was reportedly found dead by apparent suicide on August 10, per the New York Times, and his death is currently being investigated by the FBI.
The official statement regarding his death from the Federal Bureau of Prisons:
On Saturday, August 10, 2019, at approximately 6:30 a.m., inmate Jeffrey Edward Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell in the Special Housing Unit from an apparent suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York, New York. Life-saving measures were initiated immediately by responding staff. Staff requested emergency medical services (EMS) and life-saving efforts continued. Mr. Epstein was transported by EMS to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries and subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff. The FBI is investigating the incident.
On Sunday, August 11, the New York medical examiner revealed that she had completed an autopsy of Epstein. On August 16 she ruled his death suicide by hanging.
If convicted of the charges, Epstein would have faced 45 years in prison.
Vanity Fair: He tipped them really well
“Locals say Epstein was flying in underage girls long after his conviction for sex crimes—and authorities did nothing to stop him. “It was like he was flaunting it,” says an employee at the airstrip on St. Thomas. “But it was said that he always tipped really well, so everyone overlooked it.”
HOW DID HE DIE?
An autopsy found that Jeffrey Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones and this deepened the mystery surrounding his death last week, the Washington Post reported.
Among the bones broken in the late financier’s neck was the hyoid bone, located near the Adam’s apple for men, the newspaper said. While such fractures can occur in those who hang themselves, especially if they are older, they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation, the Post reported, citing forensic experts and studies on the subject.
The New York City’s chief medical examiner, Barbara Sampson, did not comment on the injuries found in the autopsy, the Post said. After completing the autopsy, Sampson listed the cause as pending.
The death of Epstein, who was charged with molesting underage girls and sex trafficking, has prompted outrage with lawyers seeking justice for victims and set off a probe by the U.S. Department of Justice. Authorities are reviewing apparent irregularities related to Epstein’s death, including whether two guards responsible for him slept through checks of the prisoner they were supposed to conduct every 30 minutes and then falsified records to cover up the lapse.
The 66-year-old Epstein was found unresponsive in a Manhattan jail cell about 6:30 a.m. on August 10, after an apparent suicide attempt. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
His death came a day after the court unsealed documents in a civil suit, which allege he and a friend sent a young woman to have sex with a former governor, a former U.S. senator, and an asset manager when she was a minor. They all claimed the allegations were false.
He was a “collector” of rich and powerful people, Epstein had links to a Who’s Who of prominent political and business figures. That circle, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton and billionaire Leslie Wexner, whom distanced themselves from the financier after his arrest in July.
WHO WAS HIS KNOWN VICTIMS?
Those who openly stepped forward: Virginia Roberts Giuffre, Courtney Wild, Annie Farmer, and Michelle Licata.
After Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest, we’ve read more disturbing revelations about how he allegedly abused underage girls for years in plain sight. The case is full of horrifying details. Starting from Epstein’s elite social circle to his private “Pedophile Island”. But the part of the story that’s often missing is the voices of Epstein’s accusers.
Epstein and his lawyers worked hard for years to keep his victims out of the press but according to the Miami Herald, Epstein’s accusers still filed two-dozen lawsuits against him, some dating back as far as 2009. None of these suits ever went to trial.
Bloomberg reported that Epstein settled some of them for over $1 million apiece. In the past, Epstein’s lawyers have also tried to discredit his victims, many of whom are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, they claimed that the girls lied about their ages or made up allegations to extract money.
Epstein’s 2008 plea deal, which allowed him to avoid federal prosecution by pleading guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution in a Florida state court, was negotiated in secret. This went on without informing Epstein’s victims. The Herald reported that Epstein’s legal team’s demands were often focused on shutting out victims to try to make the scandal go away as quietly as possible.
“As soon as that deal was signed, they silenced my voice and the voices of all of Jeffrey Epstein’s other victims,” Courtney Wild, one of Epstein’s accusers, told the Herald. Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled that Florida prosecutors broke the law by making the plea deal without the victims’ knowledge.
At Epstein’s bail hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller said that since Epstein’s arrest, several new alleged victims have approached investigators — and at least two more accusers have come forward since Epstein was denied bail yesterday.
How Many Victims Are There?
Total number of girls said to have been abused by Epstein varies, ranging from a few dozen to over 100.
Since not all are coming forward, estimation can only be done through the known girls’ testimonies. The recent indictment charges Epstein with sexually exploiting and abusing “dozens” of underage girls at his homes in Manhattan, Palm Beach, and other locations, with allegations dating back as far as 2002.
Investigations into Epstein began in 2005 after the parents of a 14-year-old girl told Palm Beach police that Epstein had molested their daughter at his home. According to the Miami Herald, by 2008, when Epstein was granted his now-infamous plea deal, federal prosecutors had identified 36 underage victims.
Julie K. Brown, the Miami Herald journalist who published a series of articles on the allegations against Epstein, told the New York Times that early in the process of reporting, she received a heavily redacted police report that mentioned more than 100 Jane Does. In November 2018, Brown reported that the Herald had identified about 80 women who alleged that they were molested or sexually abused by Epstein between 2001 and 2006. Of these women, the Herald was able to locate around 60, eight of whom agreed to be interviewed.
Wild, who first met Epstein in 2002, when she was 14, told the Herald that by the time she was 16, she “had probably brought him 70 to 80 girls who were all 14 and 15 years old.” Wild said that Epstein told her he wanted girls “as young as I could find them” and that “he wanted as many girls as I could get him. It was never enough.” Other witnesses have testified in civil court that hundreds of girls were brought to Epstein’s homes.
How Many Victims Have Come Forward So Far?
Four of Epstein’s accusers spoke to the Miami Herald on the record last fall: Courtney Wild, Michelle Licata, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and Jena-Lisa Jones, who are now all in their 30s. Other accusers who have since come forward include Sarah Ransome, Maria Farmer, Annie Farmer, and Jennifer Araoz, as well as an unknown number of Jane Does. Epstein has settled lawsuits with Wild, Licata, Giuffre, and Ransome, among others. The Herald reported last week that since Epstein’s arrest, at least a dozen new victims have come forward with allegations.
Courtney Wild has been fighting for justice since 2011, when she and another anonymous victim sued the federal government to challenge Epstein’s 2008 non-prosecution agreement, claiming that, by not informing victims of the deal, prosecutors violated the Crime Victims Rights’ Act. A judge ruled in their favor earlier this year.
Wild told the Herald that at the time she met Epstein, her mother was on drugs and couldn’t provide for her. “Jeffrey preyed on girls who were in a bad way, girls who were basically homeless,” she said. “He went after girls who he thought no one would listen to, and he was right.” In a press conference on Tuesday, Wild urged other victims to come forward.
Michelle Licata first met Epstein when she was 16 and a sophomore at Palm Beach High School. At his Palm Beach home, Epstein took off her bra, touching her with one hand and masturbating with the other. “He kept trying to put his fingers inside me and told me to pinch his nipples,” Licata told the Herald.
Jena-Lisa Jones told the Herald that Epstein molested her when she was 14 and that she was paid $200 to give him a massage at his home; during the massage, she says, he told her to remove all of her clothing and fondled her. “If you think, at 14, $200 — that’s a lot of money at 14 years old,” Jones said in a 2018 video, adding that the other girls she knew who visited Epstein came from “trailer parks that were having gun shootings.”
Jones, now 30, said she’s been in therapy for ten years and has never told her therapist about Epstein’s abuse. “Nobody talked about it,” she said. “If I told anybody, they’d be like, You’re a whore, you wanted money, why would you do that? Nobody would understand.”
Virginia Roberts Giuffre was working at Mar-a-Lago when she was recruited by Ghislaine Maxwell to be a masseuse for Epstein. Describing her life before Epstein, she told the Herald, “I went from an abusive situation to being a runaway, to living in foster homes.” Giuffre settled a lawsuit against Epstein in 2009. In court documents, she said she was forced to have sex with Epstein and lent out to his friends, including Prince Andrew and Epstein’s attorney and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz. In 2015, Giuffre filed a defamation lawsuit against Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend, and alleged recruiter, who has repeatedly called Giuffre’s allegations “entirely false.” Maxwell settled with Giuffre, who is represented by David Boies, in 2017.
In April of this year, Giuffre filed a defamation lawsuit against Dershowitz, with whom she alleges she had sexual intercourse at least six times, starting when she was 16. Dershowitz denies this and told the Herald last fall: “I am the victim. David Boies and these women are the perpetrators. They have willfully and deliberately concocted stories in order to make money — millions and millions of dollars.” The lawsuit accuses Dershowitz of employing “a desperate barrage of false and increasingly defamatory attacks” against Giuffre.
Sarah Ransome, who says she was introduced to Epstein in 2006 when she was 22, filed an affidavit as part of Giuffre’s lawsuit against Dershowitz. Ransome alleges that, soon after meeting Epstein, he flew her to a private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands and ordered her to have sex with him and various other guests. She says that Epstein lent her out to friends for sex, including Dershowitz. Ransome settled a lawsuit with Epstein and Maxwell in December.
Maria Farmer also filed an affidavit as part of Giuffre’s suit in April. She says she met Epstein and Maxwell in New York City in 1995 when she was 26 and a grad student. Farmer alleges that the following year, the pair sexually assaulted her at Les Wexner’s mansion in Ohio and molested her underage sister at Epstein’s New Mexico ranch.
Farmer says that when she went to the police after her attack, she was told to contact the FBI, which she did. “To my knowledge, I was the first person to report Maxwell and Epstein to the FBI,” Farmer stated in court. The journalist Vicky Ward has said that Farmer and her younger sister, Annie Farmer, came to her with allegations of Epstein’s predatory behavior when she was writing a profile of the financier in 2003 but that Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter cut their claims from the piece.
Annie Farmer, Maria Farmer’s younger sister who was allegedly molested on a massage table at Epstein’s New Mexico ranch, appeared alongside Wild at Epstein’s bail hearing in Manhattan earlier this week. Farmer told the judge that she was 16 when she met Epstein in New York, and he flew her to New Mexico. “He was inappropriate with me,” she told the court, choking up.
On July 10, days after Epstein’s arrest, Jennifer Araoz appeared on the Today show, where she told Savannah Guthrie that she was 14 when a woman recruited her outside her New York City high school and introduced her to Epstein. For the next year, Araoz says she went to Epstein’s townhouse once or twice a week to massage him in her underwear. One day, Araoz says, Epstein told her to take off her underwear and get on top of him. When she declined, she says he raped her. After the attack, Araoz suffered from intense anxiety and panic attacks and dropped out of school. She says she regrets not coming forward earlier. “If I wasn’t afraid to come forward sooner, maybe he wouldn’t have done it to other girls. I feel really guilty,” she said. Araoz plans to file a suit against Epstein next month.
Girls “Recruiting” Other Girls?
Epstein allegedly offered girls a “bounty” for bringing other underage girls into his orbit, which police say operated like a sexual pyramid scheme. Wild told the Herald that by the time she was 16, she had brought Epstein more than 70 girls, “all ages 14, 15, 16 … people going from eighth grade to ninth grade,” who she recruited at school parties.
Giuffre said, “All Jeffrey cared about was, just bring me more girls. To me, still to this day, it is my biggest shame that I carry around that I will never get rid of. I’m really, really sad that I brought other girls my age and even younger into a world that they should have never been introduced to.”
In 2005, when the parents of a 14-year-old who said she was molested by Epstein first went to the Palm Beach Police, the girl told them that an older friend, Haley Robson, who was 19 at the time, had offered her an opportunity to make money and drove her to Epstein’s house one afternoon. When the police interviewed Robson, a local community college student, she told them that Epstein routinely paid her to bring teenage girls to his home. Robson told the girl that if Epstein asked, she should say she was 18.
Representing the Victims?
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, Sarah Ransome, Maria Farmer, and Annie Farmier are represented by Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. Courtney Wild and Michelle Licata are represented by Edwards Pottinger LLC, which also represents an unknown number of Jane Does. (Last week, the Herald reported that at least five victims had reached out to Brad Edwards and Palm Beach attorney Jack Scarola, both of whom have represented Epstein’s victims in the past.) Jennifer Araoz is represented by Daniel Kaiser. Lisa Bloom tweeted that she is representing three Epstein accusers.
After more than a dozen years after he was first charged with crimes that have brutalized countless girls and women, a serial rapist and pedophile may be brought to justice. But see this: the group of elites, who allowed Jeffrey Epstein to go about his dirty business with impunity. For decades, important, influential, “serious” people attended Epstein’s dinner parties, rode his Lolita Express, and furthered the fiction that he was some kind of genius hedge-fund billionaire. They got something in exchange from him, whether it was a free ride on the Lolita Express or some other form of monetary largesse is yet to be revealed.
According to Fox News, Bill Clinton was Epstein’s No. 1 pal and enabler. There are so many unanswered questions about Epstein, but one that looms over all of them is whether the bipartisan crowd who cleared a path for him will covered the tracks before we could get any answers.
It wasn’t just Clinton and all other’s at Epstein’s, but also institutions like Harvard, Dalton, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Here we found lawyers as the New York prosecutor Cy Vance Jr, whose office tried to downgrade Epstein’s sex-offender status. Kenneth Starr, who tried to pressure Republican Justice Department officials to keep the Epstein case from ever being prosecuted. Alan Dershowitz, who tried to pressure the Pulitzer Prizes to shut out the Miami Herald for its investigative reporting that cracked the case open.
In 2015, Gawker published Epstein’s “little black book,” which had surfaced in court proceedings after a former employee took it from Epstein’s home around 2005. He said that the book had been created by people who worked for Epstein and that it contained the names and phone numbers of more than 100 victims, and hundreds of social contacts. Along with the logs of Epstein’s private plane, released in 2015, the book showed a man entangled in the highest social circles.
These documents constitute the way society opened itself to Epstein in New York, Hollywood, and Palm Beach. In the weeks since his arrest, we learned how the elite protected him. Some observers likened Epstein’s rise as glamorous social magnet to that of Jay Gatsby, a more appropriate archetype may be the fixer, sexual hedonist, and lawyer Roy Cohn. In the ‘70s and early ’80s, Cohn was a favor broker for boldface chums as the top Democratic politicians, the mobster Carmine “Lilo” Galante, Nancy Reagan, the proprietors of Studio 54, the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, Andy Warhol, the publishers Rupert Murdoch and Si Newhouse, Dershowitz, and the ambitious young real-estate developer Donald Trump.
The project secures Epstein’s footing in elite spheres that helped hide his crimes. It includes influential names listed in his black book, people he flew and funded. Certainly, not everyone cited here knew of everything he was up to, Malcolm Gladwell told New York, “I don’t remember much except being baffled as to who this Epstein guy was and why we were all on his plane.”
Some say they never met Epstein at all or knew of him only through his ex-girlfriend and alleged accomplice, the socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. Others backed away from him after the scandal. But all of the influential people listed were attached in some way to Epstein’s world. The sum of their names constitutes a more concrete accounting of Epstein’s power than could any accounting of his disputed wealth.
IS HE REALLY DEAD
On Aug. 10, 2019, convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein died of an apparent suicide while in federal custody as he awaited trial on sex-trafficking charges. The circumstances, as well as his connections to a number of high-profile politicians, such as Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, raised a number of legitimate questions about his death.
Did the billionaire fake his own death with the help of authorities by using a body double. This theory is based on a set of photographs comparing a picture of Epstein when he was alive with a picture of Epstein’s corpse. Proponents of this theory claim that some notable differences in Epstein’s nose and ear are proof that the corpse photograph actually shows a different person.
· The dead man has a slightly crocked nose and the form of the ear are completely different.
This theory did receive some mainstream attention. The band Foster the People, for instance, shared the theory with their nearly 1 million followers on Twitter.
This idea would however have had bearing if “Epstein Alive” photo was recent. But the image used is nearly 15 years old. It’s much more plausible that these discrepancies were the result of aging, not evidence of a body double.
The “Epstein Alive” photo was taken on September 2004 and show Epstein in a conversation with his lawyer Alan Dershowitz. The image of “Epstein Dead” was taken from a news report filed by the NY Post. The picture was snapped by Post photographer William Farrington and shared by the outlet to the news site’s Twitter page.
Epstein’s facial features do not match up at all in these two photos.
The photos were taken years apart and suggest that the changes in appearance is due to aging. This is especially true for the areas around the nose and ears, which are made out of cartilage, not bone, and continue to change as we age.
The FARC (Functional Anatomy Research Center) researchers’ analyses, all measurements were significantly affected by age. Nasal volume, area, and liner distance increased. In other words, they found that noses get bigger over time.
Another finding is that the nasal tip angle, the angle along the bridge of the nose and around the tip to the vertical space above the upper lip, decreases, and tend to droop with age.
Several reasons have been adduced for the growth. Ears sag with age, thanks to both a loss of elasticity in the skin and to the effects of gravity. Earlobes droop. More controversially, it is suggested that because, unlike bone, cartilage continues to grow and ears are made of cartilage, that may also account for the phenomenon. But the evidence is sketchy, and some researchers argue that cartilage is only being replaced and does not account for the growth in ear size.
Epstein was found dead in his cell on the morning of Aug. 10. The U.S.
Department of Justice issued a news release stating that “inmate Jeffrey Edward Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell in the Special Housing Unit from an apparent suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York, New York.” The New York City medical examiner performed an autopsy on Epstein the following day (as reported by The New York Times):
The city’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Barbara Sampson, announced on Sunday night that her office had conducted an autopsy of Mr. Epstein, but she declined to release a determination about the cause of death.
She said a private pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, who was hired by Mr. Epstein’s lawyers, had observed the autopsy examination.
The medical examiner is confident the cause of death is suicide by hanging, but she wants more information from law enforcement before releasing her determination, a city official said.
“I was a friend of Jeffrey Epstein, Jesse Kornbluth writes in the Salon”
Jesse writes that Jeffrey Epstein had enablers and friends. In the ‘80s, she was one of his friends in the “transactional, Manhattan meaning of that word”, and she got a preview of his sickness.
When they met in 1986, Epstein’s double identity intrigued her, he said he didn’t just manage money for clients with mega-fortunes, he was also a high-level bounty hunter. Sometimes, he allegedly worked for governments to recover money looted by African dictators. Other times dictators paid him to help them hide their stolen money.
Epstein seemed pleased the Jesse was interested in writing about him.
Jesse’s wife-to-be was then a military historian, with a book about to be published. Interview Magazine photographed her in a buttoned-up military shirt, with a taut khaki tie. Jesse says she’s an attractive woman. But not a sexy look. Jeffrey Epstein had chatted her up at a few parties.
The night before their marriage, Epstein called. “It’s your last free night,” he told Jessse’s wife-to-be. “Why don’t you come over and fuck me?”
In June of 1987, Jeffrey Epstein became dead to the author.
Over the years, Jesse continues writing in Salon, he heard stories about Epstein, how Leslie Wexner either gave him the biggest townhouse in Manhattan or sold it to him for a dollar, how he worked out of Bennett Cerf’s old office and had no computer, how his friends included Donald Trump and Bill Clinton and the Duchess of York.
In the early ‘90s, at a Joan Rivers dinner party, Jesse and his wife encountered Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of disgraced British publishing mogul Robert Maxwell and Epstein’s girlfriend for a brief period in the ’90s. Jesse says he met her several times with Epstein, they were also “friends,” in “that transactional Manhattan way”. Then Ghislane says to Jesse, “If you lose 10 pounds, I’ll fuck you,” she was saying this, while Jesse’s wife was standing next to him. And she too became dead to the author.
Jesse continues writing in his article about his friendship with Epstein “In 2008, everybody knew: Epstein was arrested in Florida for soliciting underage girls for sex. He pleaded guilty to felony solicitation of prostitution and procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution. He served 13 months in a Palm Beach jail”…
Just a few months after leaving Florida, Epstein, with the help of publicist Peggy Siegal, hosted a buffet at his mansion in Manhattan. More than a hundred friends came, some with children. A few months later, Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, Woody Allen and other celebrities showed up at Epstein’s mansion for a dinner in honor of Britain’s Prince Andrew.
EPSTEIN’S BACKGROUND, WIKIPEDIA
Aerial view of Epstein’s childhood neighborhood of Sea Gate, Brooklyn.
Epstein was born in 1953 in the New York City borough of Brooklyn to Jewish parents Pauline (née Stolofsky, 1918–2004) and Seymour G. Epstein (1916–1991). His parents were married in 1952, shortly before his birth. Pauline worked as a school aide and was a homemaker. Seymour Epstein worked for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation as a groundskeeper and gardener. Jeffrey Epstein was the older of two siblings. Epstein and his brother Mark grew up in the middle-class neighborhood of Sea Gate, Coney Island, Brooklyn.
Epstein attended local public schools, first Public School 188 and then Mark Twain Junior High School nearby. In 1967, Epstein attended the National Music Camp at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He was a talented musician who learned to play the piano when he was five. He graduated in 1969 from Lafayette High School at age 16, having skipped two grades. Later that year, he attended classes at Cooper Union until he changed colleges in 1971. From September 1971, he attended the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University but left without receiving a degree in June 1974.
Epstein started working in September 1974 as a physics and mathematics teacher at the Dalton School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where Donald Barr was the headmaster until June 1974. Barr may have hired Epstein. Epstein taught at the exclusive private school from the fall of 1974 until he was dismissed on June 1976. While teaching at the school, Epstein became acquainted with Alan Greenberg, the chief executive officer of Bear Stearns, whose son and daughter were going to the school. Greenberg’s daughter, Lynne Koeppel, pointed to a parent-teacher conference where Epstein influenced another Dalton parent into advocating for him to Greenberg. Greenberg, impressed with Epstein’s intelligence and drive for financial success, offered him a job at Bear Stearns.
Epstein joined Bear Stearns in 1976 and learned the art of finance and trade on Wall Street in New York City.
Epstein joined Bear Stearns in 1976 as a low-level junior assistant to a floor trader. He swiftly moved up to become an options trader, working in the special products division, and then advised the bank’s wealthiest clients, such as Seagram president Edgar Bronfman, on tax mitigation strategies. Jimmy Cayne, the bank’s later chief executive officer, praised Epstein’s skill with wealthy clients and complex products. In 1980, four years after joining Bear Stearns, Epstein became a limited partner. He was asked to leave Bear Stearns in 1981, for policy violations which remain unclear. Even though Epstein departed abruptly, he remained close to Cayne and Greenberg and was a client of Bear Stearns until it collapsed in 2008.
In August 1981, Epstein founded his own consulting firm, Intercontinental Assets Group Inc. (IAG), which assisted clients in recovering stolen money from fraudulent brokers and lawyers. Epstein described his work at this time as being a high-level bounty hunter. He told friends that he worked sometimes as a consultant for governments and the very wealthy to recover embezzled funds, while at other times he worked for clients who had embezzled funds. Ana Obregón was one such wealthy Spanish client, who Epstein helped in 1982 to recover her father’s millions in lost investments, which had disappeared when Drysdale Government Securities collapsed because of fraud.
Epstein also stated to some people at the time that he was an intelligence agent. Whether this statement was truthful, in jest, or just plain false is not clear. During the 1980s, Epstein possessed an Austrian passport that had his photo but a false name. The passport showed his place of residence in Saudi Arabia. Investigative journalist Vicky Ward said she was told in 2017 by “a former senior White House official” that U.S. Florida District Attorney Alexander Acosta, who handled Epstein’s criminal case in 2008, said to Trump transition interviewers “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone” and that Epstein was “above his pay grade“.
During this period, one of Epstein’s clients was the Saudi Arabian businessman Adnan Khashoggi, who was the middleman in transferring American weapons from Israel to Iran, as part of the Iran–Contra affair in the 1980s. Khashoggi was one of several defense contractors that he knew. In the mid-1980s, Epstein traveled multiple times between the United States, Europe, and Southwest Asia. While in London, Epstein met Steven Hoffenberg. They had been introduced through Douglas Leese, a defense contractor, and John Mitchell, the former U.S. Attorney General.
Tower Financial Corporation
In 1987, Hoffenberg and Epstein unsuccessfully tried to take over Pan Am in a corporate raid.
Steven Hoffenberg hired Epstein in 1987, as a consultant for Tower Financial Corporation (unaffiliated with the company of the same name founded in 1998, and acquired by Old National Bancorp in 2014), a collection agency that bought debts people owed to hospitals, banks, and phone companies. Hoffenberg set Epstein up in offices in the Villard House and paid him US$25,000 per month for his consulting work (equivalent to $55,000 in 2018).
Hoffenberg and Epstein then refashioned themselves as corporate raiders using Tower Financial as their raiding vessel. One of Epstein’s first assignments for Hoffenberg was to implement what turned out to be an unsuccessful bid to take over Pan American World Airways in 1987. A similar unsuccessful bid in 1988 was made to take over Emery Air Freight Corp. During this period, Hoffenberg and Epstein worked closely together and traveled everywhere on Hoffenberg’s private jet.
In 1993, Tower Financial Corporation imploded as one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in American history which lost its investors over US$450 million. In court documents, Hoffenberg claimed that Epstein was intimately involved in the scheme. Epstein left the company by 1989 before it collapsed and was never charged for being involved with the massive investor fraud committed. It is unknown if Epstein acquired any stolen funds from the Tower Ponzi scheme.
Financial management firm
In 1988, while Epstein was still consulting for Hoffenberg, he founded his own financial management firm, J. Epstein & Company. The company was said by Epstein to have been formed to manage the assets of clients with more than US$1 billion in net worth, although others have expressed skepticism that he was this restrictive in the clients he took.
The only publicly known billionaire client of Epstein was Leslie Wexner, chairman, and CEO of L Brands (formerly The Limited, Inc.) and Victoria’s Secret. In 1986, Epstein met Wexner through their mutual acquaintances, insurance executive Robert Meister and his wife, in Palm Beach, Florida. A year later, Epstein became Wexner’s financial adviser and served as his right-hand man. Within the year, Epstein had sorted out Wexner’s entangled finances. In July 1991, Wexner granted Epstein full power of attorney over his affairs. The power of attorney allowed Epstein to hire people, sign checks, buy and sell properties, borrow money, and do anything else of legally binding nature on Wexner’s behalf.
By 1995, Epstein was a director of the Wexner Foundation and Wexner Heritage Foundation. He was also the president of Wexner’s Property, which developed the town of New Albany outside Columbus, Ohio where Wexner lived. Epstein made millions in fees by managing Wexner’s financial affairs. Although never employed by L Brands, he corresponded frequently with the company executives. Epstein often attended Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, and hosted the models at his New York City home, as well as helping aspiring models get work with the company.
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. By relocating to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Epstein was able to reduce federal income taxes by 90 percent. The U.S. Virgin Islands acted as an offshore tax haven, while at the same time offering the advantages of being part of the United States banking system.
In 2003, Epstein bid to acquire New York magazine. Other bidders included advertising executive Donny Deutsch, investor Nelson Peltz, media mogul, and New York Daily News publisher Mortimer Zuckerman, and film producer Harvey Weinstein. The ultimate buyer was Bruce Wasserstein, a longtime Wall Street investment banker, who paid US$55 million.
In 2004, Epstein and Zuckerman committed up to US$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. It folded after three issues.
Liquid Funding Ltd.
Epstein was the president of the company Liquid Funding Ltd. between 2000 and 2007. The company was an early pioneer in expanding the kind of debt that could be accepted on repurchase, or the repo market, which involves a lender giving money to a borrower in exchange for securities that the borrower then agrees to buy back at an agreed-upon later time and price. The innovation of Liquid Funding and other early companies was that instead of having stocks and bonds as the underlying securities, it had commercial mortgages and investment-grade residential mortgages bundled into complex securities as the underlying security.
Liquid Funding was initially 40 percent owned by Bear Stearns. Through the help of the credit rating agencies – Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service – the new bundled securities were able to be created for companies so that they got a gold-plated AAA rating. The implosion of such complex securities, because of their inaccurate ratings, led to the collapse of Bear Stearns in March 2008 and set in motion the Financial Crisis of 2007–2008 and the subsequent Great Recession. If Liquid Funding was left holding large amounts of such securities as collateral, it could have lost large amounts of money.
Epstein invested $80 million between 2002 and 2005, in the D.B. Zwirn Special Opportunities hedge fund. In November 2006, Epstein, while under federal investigation for sex crimes, attempted to redeem his investment after he was informed of accounting irregularities in the fund. By this time, his investment had grown to $140 million. Zwirn refused to redeem the investment. Zwirn worried that Epstein’s redemption could cause a “run on the bank” at the hedge fund. It is unknown how much Epstein personally lost when the fund was wound down in 2008.
The government began negotiation with Epstein for a plea agreement, as the hedge fund began to collapse. The fund’s collapse would trigger the Great Recession and lose Epstein millions.
In August 2006, Epstein, a month after the federal investigation of him began, invested $57 million in the Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage hedge fund. This fund was highly leveraged in mortgage-backed collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). On April 18, 2007, an investor in the fund, who had $57 million invested, discussed redeeming his investment. At this time, the fund had a leverage ratio of 17:1, which meant for every dollar invested there were seventeen dollars of borrowed funds; therefore, the redemption of this investment would have been equivalent to removing $1 billion from the thinly traded CDO market. The selling of CDO assets to meet the redemptions that month began a repricing process and general freeze in the CDO market. The repricing of the CDO assets caused the collapse of the fund three months later in July and the eventual collapse of Bear Stearns in March 2008. It is likely Epstein lost most of this investment, but it is not known how much was his.
By the time that the Bear Stearns fund began to fail in May 2007, Epstein had begun to negotiate a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office concerning imminent charges for sex with minors. In August 2007, a month after the fund collapsed, the U.S. attorney in Miami, Alexander Acosta, entered into direct discussions about the plea agreement. Acosta brokered a lenient deal, according to him, because he had been ordered by higher government officials, who told him that Epstein was an individual of importance to the government. As part of the negotiations, according to the Miami Herald, Epstein provided “unspecified information” to the Florida federal prosecutors for a more lenient sentence and was supposedly an unnamed key witness for the New York federal prosecutors in their unsuccessful June 2008 criminal case against the two managers of the failed Bear Stearns hedge fund. Alan Dershowitz, one of Epstein’s Florida attorneys on the case, told FOX Business “We would have been touting that if he had [cooperated]. The idea that Epstein helped in any prosecution is news to me.”
In 2015, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Epstein invested in the startup Reporty Homeland Security (rebranded as Carbyne in 2018). The startup is connected with Israel’s defense industry. It is headed by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who was also at one time the defense minister, and chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The CEO of the company is Amir Elihai who was a special forces officer, and Pinchas Bukhris, who is a director of the company, was at one time the defense ministry director-general and commander of the IDF cyber unit 8200. Epstein and Barak, the head of Carbyne, were close, and Epstein often offered him lodging at one of his apartment units at 301 East 66th Street in Manhattan.
First criminal case
Initial developments (2005–2006)
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 (equivalent to $380 in 2018) to strip and massage Epstein. She had allegedly undressed but left the encounter wearing her underwear.
Police began a 13-month undercover investigation of Epstein, including a search of his home. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also became involved. Subsequently, the police alleged that Epstein had paid several girls to perform sexual acts with him. 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. The police search of Epstein’s home found two hidden cameras and large numbers of photos of girls throughout the house, some of whom the police had interviewed in the course of their investigation.
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. Epstein allegedly “lent” girls to powerful people to ingratiate himself with them and also to gain possible blackmail information. In 2015, evidence came to light that one of the powerful men at Epstein’s mansion may have been Prince Andrew, Duke of York. A former employee told the police that Epstein would receive massages three times a day. Eventually, the FBI compiled reports on “34 confirmed minors” eligible for restitution (increased to 40 in the NPA) whose allegations of molestation by Epstein included corroborating details. Julie Brown‘s 2018 exposé in the Miami Herald identified about 80 victims and located about 60 of them. She quotes the then police chief, Michael Reiter, “This was 50-something ‘shes’ and one ‘he’—and the ‘shes’ all basically told the same story.”
After press reports that Epstein would be charged with one count of aggravated assault with no intent to commit a felony, Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter accused the Palm Beach County state prosecutor, Barry Krischer, of being too lenient and was instrumental in bringing in the FBI. Instead, Krischer convened a Palm Beach County grand jury, which was usually only done in capital cases. Presented evidence from only two victims, the grand jury returned a single charge of felony solicitation of prostitution, to which Epstein pleaded not guilty in August 2006.
Non-prosecution agreement (NPA) (2006–2008)
|Documentary: Who is Jeffrey Epstein, accused of sexually abusing teen girls? Perversion of Justice, Miami Herald, November 29, 2018.|
In July 2006, the FBI began its own investigation of Epstein, nicknamed “Operation Leap Year”. It resulted in a 53-page indictment in June 2007 that was never presented to a grand jury. Alexander Acosta, then the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, agreed to a plea deal, which Alan Dershowitz helped to negotiate, to grant immunity from all federal criminal charges to Epstein, along with four named co-conspirators and any unnamed “potential co-conspirators”. According to the Miami Herald, the non-prosecution agreement “essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes”. At the time, this halted the investigation and sealed the indictment. The Miami Herald said: “Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims.”
Acosta later said he offered a lenient plea deal because he was told that Epstein “belonged to intelligence”, was “above his pay grade” and to “leave it alone”. Epstein agreed to plead guilty in Florida state court to two felony prostitution charges, register as a sex offender, and pay restitution to three dozen victims identified by the FBI.
Conviction and sentencing (2008–2011)
On June 30, 2008, after Epstein pleaded guilty to a state charge (one of two) of procuring for prostitution a girl below age 18, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. While most convicted sex offenders in Florida are sent to state prison, Epstein was instead housed in a private wing of the Palm Beach County Stockade and, according to the sheriff’s office, was after 3 1⁄2 months allowed to leave the jail on “work release” for up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. This contravened the sheriff’s own policies requiring a maximum remaining sentence of 10 months and making sex offenders ineligible for the privilege. He was allowed to come and go outside of specified release hours.
Epstein’s cell door was left unlocked, and he had access to the attorney room where a television was installed for him before he was moved to the Stockade’s previously unstaffed infirmary. He worked at the office of a foundation he had created shortly before reporting to jail; he dissolved it after he had served his time. The Sheriff’s Office received $128,000 from Epstein’s non-profit to pay for the costs of extra services being provided during his work release. His office was monitored by “permit deputies” whose overtime was paid by Epstein. They were required to wear suits, and checked in “welcomed guests” at the “front desk”. Later the Sheriff’s Office said these guest logs were destroyed per the department’s “records retention” rules (although inexplicably the Stockade visitor logs were not). He was allowed to use his own driver to drive him between jail and his office and other appointments.
Epstein in 2013, photographed for sex offender registry
Epstein served almost 13 months before being released for a year of probation on house arrest until August 2010. While on probation he was allowed numerous trips on his corporate jet to his residences in Manhattan and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was allowed long shopping trips and to walk around Palm Beach “for exercise”.
After a contested hearing in January 2011, and an appeal, he stayed registered in New York State as a “level three” (high risk of repeat offense) sex offender, a lifelong designation. At that hearing, the Manhattan District Attorney argued unsuccessfully that the level should be reduced to a low-risk “level one” and was chided by the judge. Despite opposition from Epstein’s lawyer that he had a “main” home in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the judge confirmed he personally must check in with the New York Police Department every 90 days. Though Epstein had been a level-three registered sex offender in New York since 2010, the New York Police Department never enforced the 90-day regulation, though non-compliance is a felony.
The immunity agreement and his lenient treatment were the subjects of ongoing public dispute. The Palm Beach police chief accused the state of giving him preferential treatment, and the Miami Herald said U.S. Attorney Acosta gave Epstein “the deal of a lifetime”. Following Epstein’s arrest in July 2019, on sex trafficking charges, Acosta resigned as Secretary of Labor effective July 19, 2019.
After the accusations became public, several persons and institutions returned donations that they had received from Epstein, including Eliot Spitzer, Bill Richardson, and the Palm Beach Police Department. Harvard University announced it would not return any money. Various charitable donations that Epstein had made to finance children’s education were also questioned.
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.”
Jane Does v. Epstein (2008)
|How teen runaway Virginia Roberts became one of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims‘ Perversion of Justice, Miami Herald, November 30, 2018.|
On February 6, 2008, an anonymous Virginia woman filed a $50 million civil lawsuit 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. A similar $50 million suit was filed on March 2008, by a different woman, who was represented by the same lawyer. These and several similar lawsuits were dismissed. All other lawsuits have been settled by Epstein out of court. Epstein made many out-of-court settlements with alleged victims.
Victims’ rights: Jane Does v. the United States (2014)
December 30, 2014, federal civil suit was filed in Florida by Jane Doe 1 (Courtney Wild) and Jane Doe 2 against the United States for violations of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act by the U.S. Department of Justice‘s NPA with Epstein and his limited 2008 state plea. There was a later unsuccessful effort to add Virginia Roberts (Jane Doe 3) and another woman (Jane Doe 4) as plaintiffs to that case. The addition accused Alan Dershowitz of sexually abusing a minor, Jane Doe 3, provided by Epstein. 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. 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”.
This long-running lawsuit is pending in federal court, aimed at vacating the federal plea agreement on the grounds that it violated victims’ rights. 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. Judge Marra made no ruling as to whether claims by Roberts are true or false. Though he did not allow Jane Does 3 and 4 to join the suit, Marra specifically said that Roberts may later give evidence when the case comes to court.
On February 21, 2019, in the case of the Two Jane Does v. the United States, Senior Judge of the U.S. 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 two Florida offenses. The judge left open what the possible remedy could be.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre v. Epstein (2015)
|Where are they now? The biggest players in the Jeffrey Epstein case Perversion of Justice, The Miami Herald, November 29, 2018.|
In January 2015, a 31-year-old American woman, Virginia Roberts (now Virginia Giuffre), 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 and the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell had trafficked her to several people, including Prince Andrew and retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz. Roberts also claimed that Epstein, Maxwell, and others had physically and sexually abused her. Roberts alleged that the FBI may have been involved in a cover-up. She said she had served as Epstein’s sex slave from 1999 to 2002 and had recruited other underage girls. Prince Andrew, Epstein, and Dershowitz all denied having had sex with Roberts. Dershowitz took legal action over the allegations. A diary purported to belong to Roberts was published online. Epstein entered an out-of-court settlement with Roberts, as he had done in several other lawsuits. The BBC television series Panorama planned an investigation of these claims. As of 2016, these accusations had not been tested in any court of law.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre v. Ghislaine Maxwell (2015)
As a result of Giuffre’s allegations and Maxwell’s comments about them, Giuffre sued Maxwell for defamation in September 2015. After much legal confrontation, the case was settled under seal in May 2017. The Miami Herald, other media, and Alan Dershowitz filed to have the documents about the settlement unsealed. After the judge dismissed their request, the matter was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
On March 11, 2019, in the appeal of the district judge’s refusal to unseal the documents relating to the 2017 defamation settlement of Giuffre v. Maxwell, the Second Circuit Court gave parties one week to provide good cause as to why they should remain under seal, without which they would be unsealed on March 19, 2019. Later the Court ordered these documents to be unsealed (after having them redacted to protect innocent parties). In Giuffre’s testimony, she claims that she was directed by Maxwell to give erotic massages and engage in sexual activities with Prince Andrew; Jean-Luc Brunel; Glenn Dubin; Marvin Minsky; Governor Bill Richardson; another unnamed prince; an unnamed foreign president; “a well known Prime Minister”; and an unnamed hotel chain owner from France, among others that she could not name. As Giuffre testified, “my whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy. Their whole entire lives revolved around sex.”
Jane Doe v. Epstein and Trump (2016)
A federal lawsuit filed in California on April 2016, against Epstein and Donald Trump by a California woman alleged that the two men sexually assaulted her at a series of parties at Epstein’s Manhattan residence 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 on 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 on September 2016. The two latter suits included affidavits by an anonymous witness who attested to the accusations in the suits, asserting Epstein employed her to procure underage girls for him, 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.
Sarah Ransome v. Epstein and Maxwell (2017)
Epstein was accused of sex trafficking of minors at his mansion at 9 East 71st Street.
In 2017, Sarah Ransome filed a suit against Epstein and Maxwell, alleging that Maxwell had hired her to give massages to Epstein and later threatened to physically harm her or destroy her career prospects if she did not comply with their sexual demands at his mansion in New York City and on his private Caribbean island, Little Saint James. The suit was settled in 2018 under undisclosed terms.
Bradley Edwards’ defamation v. Epstein (2018)
A state civil lawsuit in Florida filed by attorney Bradley Edwards against Epstein was scheduled for trial in December 2018. The trial was expected to provide victims with their first opportunity to make their accusations in public. However, the case was settled on the first day of the trial, with Epstein apologizing to Edwards; other terms of the settlement were confidential.
Maria Farmer v. Epstein and Maxwell (2019)
On April 16, 2019, a new accuser, Maria Farmer, went public and filed a sworn affidavit in federal court in New York, alleging that she and her 15-year-old sister, Anne, had been sexually assaulted by Epstein and Maxwell in separate locations in 1996. According to the affidavit, Farmer had met Epstein and Maxwell at a New York City art gallery reception in 1995. The following year, in the summer of 1996, they hired her to work on an art project in Leslie Wexner’s Ohio mansion, where she was then sexually assaulted. Farmer reported the incident to the New York City Police Department and the FBI.
Farmer’s affidavit also stated that during the same summer, Epstein flew her then-15-year-old sister to his New Mexico property where he and Maxwell molested her on a massage table.
Jennifer Araoz v. Epstein (2019)
On July 22, 2019, while in jail awaiting trial, Epstein was served with a petition regarding a pending state civil lawsuit filed by a Jennifer Araoz, who says Epstein raped her in his New York City mansion when she was 15. As of August 14, 2019, adult survivors of child sexual abuse will have one year from that date to sue for offenses in New York State, no matter how long ago the abuse took place.
Second criminal case
U.S. v. Jeffrey Epstein indictment
According to witnesses and sources on the day of his arrest, about a dozen FBI agents forced open the door to his Manhattan townhouse, the Herbert N. Straus House, with search warrants. The search of his townhouse turned up evidence of sex trafficking and also found “hundreds – and perhaps thousands – of sexually suggestive photographs of fully – or partially – nude females”. Some of the photos were confirmed as those of underage females. In a locked safe, compact discs were found with handwritten labels including the descriptions: “Young [Name] + [Name]”, “Misc nudes 1”, and “Girl pics nude”. Also found in the safe were $70,000 in cash, 48 diamonds, and a fraudulent Austrian passport, which expired in 1987, that had Epstein’s photo but another name. The passport had numerous entrance and exit stamps, including entrance stamps that showed the use of the passport to enter France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia in the 1980s. The passport showed his place of residence as Saudi Arabia. According to his attorneys, Epstein had been advised to acquire the passport because “as an affluent member of the Jewish faith”, he was prone to kidnappings whilst traveling abroad.
On July 8, 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. The grand jury indictment alleges that “dozens” of underage girls were brought into Epstein’s mansions for sexual encounters. Judge Kenneth Marra was to decide whether the non-prosecution agreement that protected Epstein from the more serious charges should still stand.
Epstein’s lawyers urged the court to allow Epstein to post bail, offering to post up to a $600 million bond (including $100 million from his brother, Mark) so he could leave jail and submit to house arrest in his New York City mansion. Judge Richard M. Berman denied the request on July 18, saying that Epstein posed a danger to the public and a serious flight risk to avoid prosecution.
On July 23, Epstein was found injured and semiconscious at 1:30 a.m. on the floor of his cell, with marks around his neck that were suspected to be the result of either a suicide attempt or an assault. His cellmate, former New York City police officer Nicholas Tartaglione, who is charged with four counts of murder, was questioned about Epstein’s condition. He denied having any knowledge of what happened. Epstein himself said he recollected nothing. According to NBC News, two sources said that Epstein might have tried to hang himself, a third said the injuries were not serious and could have been staged, while a fourth source said that an assault by his cellmate had not been ruled out.
Previous long-term girlfriends associated with Epstein include Eva Andersson-Dubin and publishing heiress Ghislaine Maxwell. Epstein was romantically linked with Andersson-Dubin in the 1980s and the two later remained friendly well after her marriage to Glenn Dubin. Epstein had met Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of disgraced media baron Robert Maxwell, by 1991. Maxwell was implicated by several of Epstein’s accusers as procuring or recruiting underage girls in addition to once being Epstein’s girlfriend. In a 2009 deposition, several of Epstein’s household employees testified that Maxwell had a central role in both his public and private life, referring to her as his “main girlfriend” who also handled the hiring, supervising, and firing of staff starting around 1992. In 1995, Epstein renamed one of his companies the Ghislaine Corporation in Palm Beach, Florida; the company was later dissolved in 1998. In the year 2000, Maxwell moved into a 7,000-square-foot townhouse, less than 10 blocks from Epstein’s New York mansion. This townhome was purchased for $4.95 million by an anonymous limited liability company, with an address that matches the office of J. Epstein & Co. Representing the buyer was Darren Indyke, Epstein’s longtime lawyer. In a 2003 Vanity Fair exposé, Epstein refers to Maxwell as “my best friend”.
Epstein was a longtime acquaintance of Prince Andrew and Tom Barrack, and attended parties with many prominent people, including Bill Clinton, George Stephanopoulos, Donald Trump, Katie Couric, and Woody Allen. His contacts included Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, Richard Branson, Michael Jackson, Alec Baldwin, Kennedys, Rockefellers, and Rothschilds. His contacts also included Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, British prime minister Tony Blair, and Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Both Clinton and Trump claimed that they never visited Epstein’s island. Epstein owned a private Boeing 727 jet, nicknamed the “Lolita Express“, and traveled in it frequently, logging “600 flying hours a year … usually with guests onboard”. In 2009, Epstein’s brother Mark claimed Trump had flown on Epstein’s plane at least once. He later told The Washington Post that Trump flew “numerous times” on Epstein’s airplane, although Mark was only present on one of the flights. According to Michael Corcoran, Trump flew Epstein on his own airplane at least once. In September 2002, Epstein flew Clinton, Kevin Spacey, and Chris Tucker to Africa in this jet. Flight records obtained in 2016 show Bill Clinton flew 27 times to at least a dozen international locations. Flight logs did not list any Secret Service detail for at least five flights, all in Asia, and Secret Service stated that there is no evidence of the former President making a trip to his private island. In 2019, a Clinton spokesperson stated that, in 2002 and 2003, Clinton took four trips on Epstein’s airplane, making stops on three continents, all with his staff and Secret Service detail. At the time of Epstein’s 2019 arrest, Clinton’s spokeswoman Angel Ureña stated that Clinton had “not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.” In documents unsealed the day before Epstein’s death, the deposition of alleged sex slave Virginia Giuffre includes her allegations that when she was 17, Clinton visited Little St. James Island, that underage girls were present, and that Epstein threw a dinner party for Clinton. She stated Secret Service was present, but not at all times. The Secret Service told Fox News in 2016 it had no record of agents being on the island. The unsealed court documents also showed Giuffre stated that she was never sexually abused by Clinton. Giuffre claims Maxwell told her she flew Clinton to the island on her helicopter, although she conceded, “I heard a lot of things from Ghislaine that sounded too true – too outrageous to be true, but you never knew what to believe.”
President Trump states “I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him”. July 2019 video from the White House.
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.” In July 2019, Trump said “I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him,” stating four times he had not been “a fan” of Epstein and that he had not spoken to him in about fifteen years. A video shot in 1992 surfaced showing the two men partying together at Mar-a-Lago. By 2007, Trump reportedly banned Epstein from his Mar-a-Lago club. The ban allegation was included in court documents filed by attorney Bradley Edwards, although Edwards later said it was a rumor he could not confirm. Clinton lauded Epstein as “a committed philanthropist” with “insights and generosity”. At the time Epstein was on the board of Rockefeller University, a member of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, and was a major donor to Harvard University.
Epstein visited the White House while Clinton was president on four known occasions. In 1993, during he went to a donor event at the White House with his companion Ghislaine Maxwell. Around the same time, he also met with President Clinton’s aide Mark Middleton on at least three occasions at the White House. In 1995, financier Lynn Forester discussed “Jeffrey Epstein and currency stabilization” with Clinton. Epstein, according to his own accounts, was heavily involved in the foreign exchange market and traded large amounts of currency in the unregulated forex market. In 1995, Epstein also attended a small political fundraiser dinner for Bill Clinton which included 14 other people such as Ron Perelman, Don Johnson, Jimmy Buffett, and dinner organizer Paul Prosperi.
From the 1990s to mid-2000s, Epstein often socialized with the future President Donald Trump. Author Michael Wolff wrote that Trump, Epstein, and Tom Barrack were at the time like a “set of nightlife musketeers” on the social scene. Epstein and Trump socialized both in New York City and Palm Beach, where they both had houses. A porter who worked next door to Epstein’s house on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 2000 stated to The Mail on Sunday in reference to people coming and going from Epstein’s house that “I often see Donald Trump and there are loads of models coming and going, mostly at night. It’s amazing he’s got so many ladies, as Mr. Epstein, and always has a new one on his arm, it seems.” In April 2003, New York magazine reported Epstein hosted a dinner party in his Manhattan residence to honor Bill Clinton, who did not attend, although Trump did attend. According to The Washington Post, one person who knew Epstein and Trump during this time noted that “they were tight” and “they were each other’s wingmen“. In November 2004, Epstein and Trump’s friendship ran into trouble when they became embroiled in a bidding war for a $40 million mansion, Maison de L’Amitie, which was being auctioned in Palm Beach. Trump won the auction for $41 million and successfully sold the property four years later for $95 million to the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. That month was the last time Epstein and Trump were recorded to have interacted.
In 2008, when Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida to soliciting and procuring prostitution, his lawyers stated he was a billionaire with a net worth of over one billion dollars. A number of sources, however, have questioned the extent of Epstein’s wealth and his status as a billionaire. According to an article in The New York Times, his “fortune may be more illusion than fact”. Epstein lost “large sums of money” in the 2008 financial crisis, and “friends and patrons”—including retail billionaire Leslie H. Wexner, “deserted him” following his pleading guilty to prostitution charges in 2008. New York magazine claimed that “there’s scant proof” of Epstein’s “financial bona fides”, and Forbes also ran an article entitled “Why sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is not a billionaire”.
Spencer Kuvin, an attorney for three of Epstein’s alleged victims in the case where Epstein pleaded guilty to sexual activity with minors, stated that “he and his team ‘pursued every possible angle’ to find out Epstein’s net worth but found that much of his wealth is offshore.” An investigation by the Miami Herald of the Swiss Leaks documents indicated that Epstein had multiple financial accounts with millions of dollars in offshore tax havens. In the Paradise Papers, records showed that Epstein on February 1997, became a client of Appleby, a Bermuda-based law firm which specialized in the creation of offshore companies and investment vehicles for the ultra-wealthy. A client profile of Epstein described his job cryptically as the “Manager of Fortune”.
Federal prosecutors on July 12, 2019, stated in court documents that, based on records from one financial institution, that Jeffrey Epstein was “extravagantly wealthy” and had assets worth at least $500 million and earned more than $10 million a year. The extent of his wealth, however, was not known, since he had not filled out a financial affidavit for his bail application. According to Bloomberg News, “Today, so little is known about Epstein’s current business or clients that the only things that can be valued with any certainty are his properties.” The Miami Herald in their investigation of the Paradise Papers and Swiss Leaks documents concluded that Epstein’s wealth is likely spread secretly across the globe.
Epstein’s private island of Little St. James in the US Virgin Islands.
Epstein owned the Herbert N. Straus House on 9 East 71st Street in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City. It was originally purchased for $13.2 million in 1989 by Epstein’s mentor, Les Wexner, who renovated it completely. Epstein moved into the mansion in 1995 after Wexner married and moved with his wife to Columbus, Ohio, to raise their family. He took full possession of the mansion in 1998 when he paid Wexner $20 million for it. The mansion is reputedly the largest private residence in Manhattan at 21,000 sq ft (2,000 m2). Hidden under a flight of stairs, there is a lead-lined bathroom fitted with its own Closed-circuit television screens and a telephone, both concealed in a cabinet under the sink. It also has its own heated sidewalk to melt away the snow. The entrance hall is lined with rows of individually framed prosthetic eyeballs which were made for injured English soldiers.
The financier’s other properties include a residence in Palm Beach, Florida, purchased in 1990; 7 units in an apartment building near the Arc de Triomphe at 22 Avenue Foch in Paris, France; a 7,500-acre (30 km2) ranch named Zorro Ranch near Stanley, New Mexico, purchased in 1993; a private island near Saint Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands called Little Saint James, which includes a mansion and guest houses, purchased in 1998; and the neighboring island of Great Saint James purchased in 2016. Epstein was building a compound on the latter including an amphitheater and “underwater office & pool” but ran into problems when a stop-work order was issued in late 2018; work continued despite the order.
Epstein, previous to his final Manhattan home, lived in a spacious townhouse, which was a former Iranian government building that had been taken over by the State Department during the Iranian revolution, at 34 East 69th Street for a rate of $15,000 a month from 1992 to 1995. He also previously owned a mansion outside Columbus, Ohio, near Wexner’s home from 1992 to 1998 which he purchased from his mentor. Before the Herbert Straus house was purchased, Wexner purchased in 1988 the adjacent townhouse at 11 East 71st Street. Like in the case of the 9 East 71st Street house, Epstein was on the deed of the 11 East 71st Street house as the trustee. The townhouse was sold in 1996 to the Comet trust which holds part of the assets of the de Gunzburg/Bronfman family.
Epstein rented offices for his business dealings in the Villard House at 457 Madison Avenue. Steven Hoffenberg originally set up the offices for Epstein in 1987 when he was consulting for Tower Financial. Epstein used these offices until at least 2003. Around this time, Michael Wolff saw the financier in his office, which in the past were the offices of Random House. Wolff noted that Epstein’s offices were a strange place which did not have a corporate feel at all. Wolff stated that the officers were “almost European. It’s old—old-fashioned, unrehabbed in its way.” Wolff continued that “the trading floor is filled with guys in yarmulkes. Who they are, I have no idea. They’re like a throwback, a bunch of guys from the fifties. So here is Jeffrey in this incredibly beautiful office, with pieces of art and a view of the courtyard, and he seems like the most relaxed guy in the world. You want to say ‘What’s going on here?’ and he gives you that Cheshire smile.”
Epstein rented multiple apartment units for his employees, models, and guests since the 1990s at 301 East 66th Street. The majority of the apartment complex at this address is owned by Ossa properties, which is owned by Jeffrey Epstein’s brother, Mark, who purchased the complex in the early 1990s from Wexner. Over the years Epstein has housed different friends at 11 East 71st Street, including his ex-girlfriend Eva Andersson, who is now married to his hedge-fund friend Glenn Dubin, MC2 Models founder Jean-Luc Brunel, and on occasions former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. He has housed some of his workers, including his pilot, housekeeper, and office work staff, in the apartment complex. Epstein has also housed underage girls, who Brunel scouted from South America, Europe, and the former Soviet Union, for the MC2 modeling agency owned by Jean-Luc Brunel, at the location. On August 6, 2012, a model and party promoter associated with MC2, Pedro Gaspar, who lived above another of the modeling agency’s locations in Manhattan, died of what some consider to be a suspicious drug overdose.
Epstein contributed $50,000 to Democrat Bill Richardson‘s successful campaign for New Mexico Governor in 2002 and again for his successful run for reelection in 2006. Also that year, he contributed $15,000 to Democrat Gary King‘s successful campaign for New Mexico Attorney General. He later contributed $35,000 to King’s 2014 unsuccessful campaign for Governor. Other contributions in New Mexico included Epstein $10,000 toward Jim Baca‘s campaign to become head of the land commission and $2,000 toward Santa Fe County Sheriff Jim Solano’s bid for reelection. In 2010, Epstein received a notice from New Mexico Department of Public Safety which said, “You are not required to register [as a sex offender] with the state of New Mexico.” This was in contravention of federal law, which would seem to say that the conviction in Florida required him to register in New Mexico.
Epstein donated millions of dollars to Harvard University over the years for different causes.
In 1991, Epstein was one of four donors who pledged to raise US$2 million for a Hillel student building Rosovsky Hall at Harvard University. 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 pledged a series of donations totaling US$30 million to create a mathematical biology and evolutionary dynamics program at Harvard which was run by Martin Nowak. According to The Boston Globe, the actual amount received from Epstein was US$6.5 million. In 2019, Forbes deleted a 2013 article that called Epstein “one of the largest backers of cutting edge science” after The New York Times revealed its author, Drew Hendricks, had been paid $600 to submit it falsely as to his own.
According to attorney Gerald B. Lefcourt, Epstein was “part of the original group that conceived of the Clinton Global Initiative“. Epstein co-organized a science event with illusionist and skeptic Al Seckel called the Mindshift Conference. The conference took place in 2010 on Epstein’s private island Little Saint James. In attendance were scientists Murray Gell-Mann, Leonard Mlodinow, and Gerald Sussman.
The true extent of Epstein’s donations is unknown. The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation fails to disclose information which other charities routinely disclose. Concerns have been raised over this lack of transparency. In 2015, the Attorney General of the state of New York was reported to be trying to gain information but was refused since the charities were based outside of the state and did not solicit in New York State. Epstein, besides making donations through the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, also made a number of charitable donations through his three private charities: Epstein Interest, the COUQ Foundation, and Gratitude American Ltd. According to federal tax filings, Epstein donated $30 million between 1998 and 2018, through these three charities.
Interest in eugenics and transhumanism
According to various sources, Epstein, beginning in the early 2000s, showed a strong interest in improving the human race through genetic engineering and artificial intelligence, including using his own sperm. He addressed the scientific community at various events and occasions and communicated his fascination with eugenics. It was reported in August 2019 that Epstein had planned to “seed the human race with his DNA” by impregnating up to 20 women at a time using his New Mexico compound as a “baby ranch”, where mothers would give birth to his offspring. He was an advocate of cryonics and his own idiosyncratic version of transhumanism and had said that he intended to have his penis and head frozen.
Main article: Death of Jeffrey Epstein
Epstein’s body moved from New York hospital to medical examiner’s office, video from Voice of America
On July 23, three weeks prior to his death, Epstein was found unconscious in his jail cell with injuries to his neck. After that incident, he was placed on suicide watch. Six days later on July 29, Epstein was taken off suicide watch and placed in a special housing unit with another inmate. Epstein’s close associates said he was in ‘good spirits’. The jail had informed the Justice Department that Epstein would have a cellmate and that a guard would look into the cell every 30 minutes. These procedures were not followed on the night of his death. On August 9, Epstein’s cellmate was transferred out, and no new replacement cellmate was brought in. Later in the evening, in violation of the jail’s normal procedure, Epstein was not checked every 30 minutes. The two guards who were assigned to check his jail unit that night fell asleep and did not check on him for about three hours; the guards falsified related records.
Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City at 6:30 a.m. EDT on August 10, 2019. The Bureau of Prisons said lifesaving measures were initiated immediately upon the discovery of Epstein’s body. Emergency responders were called and he was taken to a hospital. On August 10, the Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Attorney General William Barr called the death an apparent suicide, although no final determination had been made. The circumstances leading up to his death are being investigated by the Justice Department.
On August 11, an autopsy was performed. The preliminary result of the autopsy found that Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones, among the bones broken in Epstein’s neck was the hyoid bone. Such breaks of the hyoid bone can occur from those who hang themselves, but they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation. A 2010 study found broken hyoids in one-fourth of cases, and a larger study conducted from 2010 to 2016 found hyoid damage in just 16 of 264 cases or six percent of cases. Hyoid bone breaks are more common in older individuals, as the bones become more brittle upon reaching middle age. Forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht noted that hanging by leaning forward would not result in broken cervical bones.
On August 16, the New York City medical examiner ruled Epstein’s death a suicide by hanging. Epstein’s estate independent pathologist, Michael Baden, who was at the examination, was unable to discuss the result, since, as of August 16, he was bound by a gag order from the medical examiner office and Epstein’s estate. Epstein’s defense lawyers were not satisfied with the conclusion of the medical examiner and were conducting their own independent investigation into the cause of Epstein’s death, including taking legal action, if necessary, to view the pivotal camera footage near his cell during the night of his death.
On August 18, it was reported that Jeffrey Epstein had signed his last will and testament on August 8, two days before his death. The signing of the will was witnessed by two attorneys that knew him. The will named two longtime employees as executors, and immediately gifted all of his assets, and any assets remaining in his estate, to a trust.
Attorney General Barr ordered an investigation by the Department of Justice Inspector General in addition to the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, saying that he was “appalled” by Epstein’s death in federal custody. Two days later Barr said there had been “serious irregularities” in the prison’s handling of Epstein, promising “We will get to the bottom of what happened, and there will be accountability.”
On August 14, 2019, Manhattan federal court judge Richard Berman, who was overseeing Epstein’s criminal case, wrote to the Metropolitan Correctional Centre warden Lamine N’Diaye inquiring as to whether an investigation into the millionaire’s apparent suicide would include a probe into his prior (July 23rd) injuries. Judge Berman wrote that to his knowledge it has never been definitely explained what they concluded about the incident.
The national president of the Council of Prison Locals C-33, E. O. Young, stated that prisons “can’t ever stop anyone who is persistent in killing themselves”. Between 2010 and 2016, around 124 inmates killed themselves while in federal custody, or around 20 prisoners per year, out of an inmate population of 180,000. The previously reported inmate suicide in the MCC facility in Manhattan was in 1998. The union leader Young said it was unclear if there was video of Epstein’s hanging or direct observations by jail officials. He said that while cameras are ubiquitous in the facility, he did not believe that the interior of inmates’ cells was within their range. Young said union officials had long been raising concerns regarding staffing, as the Trump administration had imposed a hiring freeze and budget cuts on the BOP, adding “All this was caused by the administration.” President Serene Gregg, of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3148, said MCC is functioning with fewer than 70 percent of the needed correctional officers, forcing many to work mandatory overtime and 60 to 70-hour workweeks. The White House did not respond to requests for comment. In previous congressional testimony, Attorney General Barr admitted the BOP was “short” about 4,000 to 5,000 employees. He had lifted the freeze and was working to recruit sufficient new officers to replace those who had departed.