A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal That Undid Him, and All the Justice That Money Can Buy : the Shocking True Story of Jeffrey EpsteinBook - 2016
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His love for science has inspired him to give millions to academics and institutions committed to studying mysteries of the brain and the arcana of physics. He’s given millions to Harvard. And he’s given money to politicians: Governor Eliot Spitzer, of New York, and Governor Bill Richardson, of New Mexico, where Epstein owns the largest home in the state. Epstein’s flown Bill Clinton to Africa on a private jet – not the Gulfstream he owns but his Boeing 727, customized with its own trading floor – so that the former president could promote his various and worthy causes. Just for fun, Chris Tucker, the comedian, and Clinton’s pal Kevin Spacey had tagged along for the ride.
The man has a long face, bushy eyebrows, and thick silver hair – and he’s fit. As fit as the jocks that Mary goes to school with. Not attractive, exactly. He’s way too old for that. But confident, in a way that makes an impression.
Once in a blue moon there are murders --- though these are so rare that they ten to be remembered for decades. Sometimes there are hurricanes to contend with, and, when the sea calms, human cargo washes up the shore. Sometimes traffickers aim the bows of their bots at the glow of the Breakers resort, order their passengers to go overboard, then tell them to swim. Most of the passengers are Haitian – men, women, and children who stake all they have on a chance at a life in America. From time to time, Palm Beach cops have to retrieve their bodies from the surf.
Chief Reiter’s authorized a “trash pull” – a legal way to collect discarded evidence.
Jeffrey Epstein’s garbage will never arrive at Mount Trashmore.
When he was through with his girlfriends, Epstein would say, they graduated up, not down, the ladder, moving from the status of “lover” to “friend.”
How did Jeffrey Epstein make all his money? Epstein would tell stories over the years about monies recovered from slippery characters. … Others said that what Epstein really did, at this stage in his career, was much more banal. According to them, Epstein spent most of his time coming up with creative new ways for the rich to avoid paying taxes. The commission for tax-avoidance deals was enormous, although the number of deals Epstein was involved with is a matter of conjecture, as is his record of successes and failures. … Pay me fifty million dollars. Or pay the IRS seven times that amount. … In the eighties, when tax rates on the top 1 percent were much, much higher than they are today, topping out at close to 50 percent, it was an extremely effective pitch. And then there were other ways to make money.
Before there was Bernie Madoff, there was Steven Hoffenberg. In 1987, Hoffenberg was the head of Towers Financial Corporation, a company that bought debts, such as unpaid medical bills, at a very steep discount while pressing the debtors to repay in full.
In the 1980’s, several major financial players were involved in the greenmailing of publicly trade companies. What greenmailing means, in practice, is that a brokerage house or group of investors will start buying shares in companies that seem to be vulnerable to takeover attempts. To ward off the attempts, executives at those companies will buy the shares back at a premium.
To cover his tracks, Hoffenberg had been taking money from investors and using it to pay previous investors. It was a classic Ponzi scheme – one of the biggest in history – and Hoffenberg ended up spending nineteen years in a federal prison.
When Wexner wanted to see Cats, Epstein arranged to have the cast perform in his mansion.
Wexner is also a steady, if indirect, source of beautiful women. After all, Wexner is the man in charge of Victoria’s Secret, part of the Limited family of companies and – better yet – in charge of the Victoria’s Secret catalog. What this means for Epstein is models galore. In fact, like a fox that’s gotten hold of the lease to a henhouse.
Brunel had also been a subject of a 60 minutes investigation, broadcast in 1988, into sexual exploitation in the modeling industry. That expose had caused Eileen Ford of the elite Ford modeling agency to sever ties with the playboy. (Brunel’s activities were also chronicled in a 1995 book about the fashion industry – Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women, by Michael Gross.)
Epstein prefers diminutive women, but Nadia is tall. She’s rail-thin and blond like the sun, with glowing skin, a wide smile, and sky-high cheekbones. On a good day, she could pass for a Bond girl – a woman caught up in a web of crime and intrigue. But of course, that’s exactly what she is.
In certain circles, the academics and the women in Epstein’s orbit are a joke. In a 2003 profile of him, New York magazine quotes Harvard PROFESSORE (“He is amazing”), Princeton professors (“He changed my life”), MIT professors (“If I had acted upon the investment advice he has given me over the years, I’d be calling you from my Gulfstream right now”), and other luminaries, up to and including Bill Clinton. “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years,” says Donald Trump. “Terrific guys; he’s a lot of fun to be with.” No one knew then that someday Trump would run for president (*** now elected *** When he does, he attack Hillary Clinton for Bill Clinton’s own entanglements with Epstein.)
“The trading desks don’t seem to know him.” He says. “It’s unusual for animals that big to not leave any footprints in the snow.”
For Graydon Carter, just posing the question Is Epstein some sort of scam artist, like Rigley? had been question enough. And throughout the piece, there were ironies readers wouldn’t miss as they drew their own conclusions about Epstein’s life story.
According to Meister, Epstein used to boast that he “liked to go into insane asylums because he liked to fuxk crazy women.”
So you’d run the numbers: this many parties, that many women, even with the connection to Victoria Secret, the women didn’t add up, either. Throw in the modeling agency, it makes more sense. Then you plug in the parties. The scene brings Eyes Wide Shut to mind.
“How does a yutz like Epstein get beautiful women?” At Harry Cipriani, the question lingers in the air.
As a result of this encounter with Epstein, Jane experienced confusion, shame, humiliation and embarrassment, and has suffered severe psychological and emotional injures.
“It’s the Icarus story, someone who flies too close to the sun,” that journalist said in reference to “the agony” of Epstein’s legal “ordeal.” “Did Icarus like massages?” Epstein responded.
Alan Dershowitz had represented Claus von Bulow, the British socialite who was acquitted of the murder of his wife, Sunny. Dershowitz had been on O.J. Simpson’s team ... And rich as von Bulow and Simpson had been, neither one had had the resources that Epstein was willing and able to deploy in his own defense.
By this point, Epstein’s defense dream team included Jack Goldberger, Alan Dershowitz and Gerald Lefcourt. ... Dershowitz and Lefcourt were two of America’s most famous lawyers, and before long, another celebrity lawyer – Ken Starr, the former solicitor general who had had Bill Clinton impeached for perjury ...
At the time of this writing, that case is winding its way through the courts. It has all the earmarks of a modern-day Bleak House – The Charles Dickens novel about a legal case that is so massive and so complex that it drags on forever and drags everyone involved into the mire.
At the request of Epstein’s attorneys – a request that is confirmed by a court order – Epstein is quickly granted “work release.” What it means in practice is that six days a week, for up to sixteen – sixteen! Hours each day, Epstein is allowed to leave the Stockade to be driven by a designated driver in a car earmarked especially for him to any one of three places: his lawyer Jack Goldberger’s office in downtown West Palm Beach, the Palm Beach office of a science foundation that he’s established and his house on El Brillo Way.
R. Alexander Acosta’s letter to the general public March 20, 2011 ... The federal inquiry was eventually dropped after Epstein negotiated a deal with prosecutors in which he agreed to plead guilty to a relatively minor state charge relating to soliciting paid sex with a minor.
Jeffrey Epstein walks out of the Stockade on July 21, 2009, having served less than thirteen months of his eighteen-month sentence.
… the locals have taken to referring to Epstein’s 727 as the Lolita Express.
Six weeks before probation ends, he settles with seven women who sue him in civil court.
He (Alfredo Rodriguez, Epstein’s houseman) received a sentence of eighteen months. It was the same punishment that Jeffrey Epstein had gotten for his crimes. But until Epstein, Alfredo Rodriguez served his time in a federal prison and did not ask for, or receive, permission to go on work release.
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