Sam Havelock, Founder, CEO | SOFX
The SOFX Mission is to Fight Evil and Avert Suffering at Scale. The way we do that is by empowering a global network of deeply committed humans with information and connectivity required to be successful achieving The Vision. In a nod to our Atlas Shrugged sensibility, we are pleased to present today’s original article aptly titled: “Who Is Jeffrey Epstein?”
Who is Jeffrey Epstein?
There is still much unknown about Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier accused this week of sex trafficking children and allegedly abusing dozens of underage girls, some as young as 14, for years. New York magazine described Epstein as an “international moneyman of mystery” in its 2002 profile. Author James Patterson, who wrote a book about the Epstein scandal, called him “a completely mysterious person.” Yet, Epstein’s list of acquaintances forms a veritable “Who’s Who” of global high society. Everything from prominent businessmen to celebrities and political figures. “This is Gatsby,” James Patterson told the CBS News on Tuesday, “He likes to be near famous people, and he likes to throw parties. Epstein likes stars.” And stars liked him back.
What is Jeffrey Epstein’s Background?
Epstein was born in 1953 in Brooklyn, New York, where his father worked for the city park department. Although he never obtained a bachelor’s degree, Epstein landed a job as a teacher of physics and mathematics in 1970 at The Dalton School, a prestigious private school in Manhattan. Epstein was reportedly hired by the principal at the time Donald Barr, father of Attorney General William Barr, according to Newsweek.
At 23 years old, Epstein was offered a job at Bear Stearns, where he allegedly found success building value for several very wealthy corporate clients. In 1981, Epstein went off on his own by starting his own business and becoming a financial advisor to Leslie Wexner, founder of the Limited Retail Empire. There Epstein met leaders of leading universities and national research laboratories, traveled with presidents and princes, and managed money for prominent business figures. At one point in time, Epstein is alleged to have said that the minimum investment portfolio he would handle was $1 billion.
Where did Epstein’s money come from?
Federal prosecutors allege that Epstein owns a menagerie of notable properties: Manhattan Townhouses worth millions of dollars, a Palm Beach plantation, a farm in New Mexico, a house in Paris, and a private island in the Caribbean. Jeffrey Epstein’s house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is said to be the largest private home in the city, worth $ 77 million. His land in Palm Beach, Florida, rivals Donald Trump and other billionaires. He also owns two private jets.
Jeffrey Epstein is often referred to as a billionaire, and his lawyer claimed a decade ago that he was fit enough to qualify for this term, however, there does not seem to be an independent accounting for his wealth to substantiate this rumor and the source of his money is still obscure.
A Master Networker: Epstein’s Business, Political and Influential Connections are Vast
From Nobel winners and sex advisers to directors, prominent journalists, politicians, and celebrities, Epstein’s circle was staggering. On one occasion Epstein flew former President Bill Clinton and actor Kevin Spacey to Africa to promote AIDS awareness. Epstein’s black book contacts, a printed telephone directory stolen by his Palm Beach butler, Alfredo Rodriguez and later acquired by the FBI, included contacts as varied as Michael Jackson and Mick Jagger, more than a dozen Clinton facilitators, notable celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Naomi Campbell and Jimmy Buffett, media giants such as Rupert Murdoch, Conrad Black and Michael Bloomberg, and business kings such as Richard Branson, Steve Forbes and Edgar Bronfman Jr.; Kennedy, Rockefeller and Rothschild.
The book also included 16 telephone numbers for the Duke of York and his aides and 18 for the Duchess of York and her palace. There are Democrats and Republicans, movie stars and film moguls, an Israeli prime minister (Ehud Barak) and Saudi nobility (Bandar and Salman), prime minister and many billionaires. “Hollywood celebrities, politicians and producers hang out with Epstein for one reason. . . he’s got all the toys,” remarked Conchita Sarnoff, executive director of the Alliance to Save Victims of Trafficking in Persons and author of a book on the Epstein case: TrafficKing. He was said to be fun, smart, charming, and not afraid to flaunt his wealth.
Epstein has a Past
In 2008, Epstein entered a plea agreement, carried out in secret with U.S. lawyers for the Southern Florida District. According to the Washington post, Epstein allegedly engaged a team of female assistants who in turn “would recruit underage women to travel to their homes in Palm Beach to engage in obscene behavior in exchange for money.” Some were alleged to have visited 100 times or more. Epstein pled guilty to lower state charges. He served 13 months in a county jail but remarkably was permitted to participate in a work-release program that enabled him to spend most of his waking hours at his office. Epstein was required to register as a sex offender. The agreement is now being investigated by the US Department of Justice.
What we know about the case so far
Epstein is currently in jail awaiting his bail hearing on July 15 and has pleaded not guilty. In the years since the charges against Epstein first appeared, a number of women announced allegations. Courtney Wild, now 30, told The Miami Herald that she was victimized by Epstein beginning at the age of 14. Jennifer Araoz, now 32, told NBC News that Epstein raped her at his mansion in New York when she was only 15 years old. In a recent Florida investigation, Palm Beach Detective Joe Recarey remarked that his team found nude photos of underage girls in Epstein’s closet. According to the Miami Herald, during the initial investigation in Florida, officers observed that “there would likely be many Jane Does to follow: Jane Doe No. 3, Jane Doe No. 4, Jane Does 5, 6, 7, 8 — and as the years went by — Jane Does 102 and 103.”
The world is watching now, waiting to see how far his circle of influence and power truly reaches, what his black book will reveal about the people within it. It will be interesting to observe how the Justice department navigates Mr. Epstein’s prosecution this time around.