13 Aug 2019
The money, tens of millions of dollars of it, would flow among Jeffrey Epstein’s dozens of bank accounts, shell companies and, at times, charities linked to high-powered friends.
Where was the money going? What was it for? Who was actually sending and receiving it?
A convicted pedophile and accused sex trafficker who surrounded himself with an elite network of business and political leaders, Mr. Epstein enjoyed the trappings of great wealth: private jets, mansions, his own island. But much remains unknown about the sources of his wealth.
Legions of lawyers, bankers and accountants have been trying in recent weeks to solve that mystery, and their quest is unlikely to end after Mr. Epstein was found dead on Saturday morning. The answers could illuminate how Mr. Epstein allegedly operated a long-running sex-trafficking operation, whether he had help from others and who ”including Mr. Epstein’s victims ”will receive any of his remaining assets. It is not known if Mr. Epstein had a will.
Interviews with people briefed on various investigations into Mr. Epstein’s wealth, and legal and financial documents in multiple countries, show that tens of millions of dollars coursed through his offshore companies and foundations in sometimes unusual ways.
In the early 2000s, for example, $88 million appeared in Mr. Epstein’s Virgin Islands-registered company that normally was home to only small amounts of money. At another point, an entity once linked to Mr. Epstein sent tens of millions of dollars to the charity of a billionaire retail tycoon, Leslie H. Wexner — years after Mr. Wexner has said he severed ties with Mr. Epstein.
Executives at the companies with the deepest connections to Mr. Epstein expect that federal prosecutors will intensify their focus on his financial affairs. Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney for Manhattan, said on Saturday that his office’s investigation into Mr. Epstein and those around him would continue, despite his death.
Officials at JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank, the two banks that for years served Mr. Epstein, have spent recent weeks poring through their records, belatedly trying to ascertain how they ended up doing business with a sex criminal and what Mr. Epstein was using his bank accounts for, according to people familiar with the internal reviews.
Years before Mr. Epstein’s accounts were shut down, compliance officers and other employees at both banks had urged executives to stop serving Mr. Epstein, citing the legal and reputational risks of working with him, according to former Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan employees. At both banks, managers and executives rejected that advice and kept doing business with the lucrative client.
By Emily Steel, Matthew Goldstein, Steve Eder and
Read more at The New York Times
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