Epstein’s mysterious career

NEW YORK MAGAZINE:

Billionaire is a word that’s often thrown around when discussing Jeffrey Epstein, but unlike some of his other common modifiers — convicted sex offender, pedophile — there’s scant proof as to his financial bona fides. The bulk of Epstein’s wealth is believed to come from his money-management firm for ten-figure investors, although his only known client is Victoria’s Secret founder Les Wexner, who reportedly ditched Epstein over a decade ago.

After sex-trafficking charges were handed down on Monday, executive-suite financiers discussed how absent Epstein was from the field: “He’s supposed to run an enormous FX [foreign-exchange] trading firm,” said Enrique Diaz-Alvarez, chief risk officer at Ebury. “But I never once heard of him or his firm or anyone who worked or traded with him.” And as Forbes wrote in a 2010 blog post with a very direct title — “Sex Offender Jeffrey Epstein Is Not a Billionaire” — his money-management firm based in the U.S. Virgin Islands “generates no public records, nor has his client list ever been released.”

As Bloomberg states, “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.” According to a document submitted in advance of Epstein’s bail hearing, his Manhattan townhouse is estimated to be worth around $77 million. Then there are the properties in New Mexico, Paris, the U.S. Virgin Islands, his private jet, a fleet of 15 cars, and a Palm Beach compound estimated at $12 million.

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