What was Jeffrey Epstein's job that made him so much money?
Photo credit: Rick Friedman - Getty Images
Since it became generally known that Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in a prison cell after a suicide bombing last year, has been charged with sex trafficking with minors, there has been a keen interest in the life of a philanthropic multimillionaire. It was even the subject of a popular Netflix series, Filthy Rich.
Many of Epstein's famous collaborators, such as ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew, were also scrutinized. While they both denied all of the unsavory allegations against her, the alleged victims, including Virginia Giuffre (who claims the king had sex with her minor after Maxwell dragged her to Epstein's dirty world - are something the prince has refuted several times ), still struggling to be heard.
Much about Epstein and his world remains cloudy and dark, including Maxwell's whereabouts, and many people have also wondered how he got so rich in the first place.
Related video: A look at the friendship of Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein
Although Epstein is known to have worked on Wall Street once, his fortune was so large that he had luxury homes around the world - from Paris to New York to Palm Beach, Florida - and his own 70-hectare remote island , where it is alleged that he mistreated young women privately and took their passports with them if they tried to escape.
How did Jeffrey Epstein accumulate so much wealth?
Forbes reported a month before Epstein's death: "The source of his wealth - a money management company in the US Virgin Islands - has not generated any public records, nor has his client list ever been released." It is estimated that the registered sex offender has accumulated a total of £ 505 million in assets.
Epstein started out as a math professor (after lying about his qualifications). He was released for "poor performance" and then offered a role with Bear Stearns, an investment company. He worked there for many years as a dealer and then as a partner until it turned out that he had breached security breaches and then lost his job.
Credit: Patrick McMullan - Getty Images
After leaving Bear Stearns in 1981, Epstein founded his own company - a consulting firm called Intercontinental Assets Group Inc. - that, ironically, helped clients recover stolen money from fraudulent lawyers and brokers.
It is also later claimed that Epstein was involved in a so-called "Ponzi program" in 1993 - a fraudulent investment fraud in which investors are mistakenly told that there are high returns with low risk. Steven Hoffenberg, who was imprisoned for eighteen years because of his role, said about Epstein: "[He had] no moral compass. He was a brilliant, seductive, criminal mastermind."
As with many things related to Epstein, it is unclear why he was never charged for participating in the scam or whether he benefited financially from it.
Another lawsuit against Epstein comes from a former friend and customer, Les Wexler, owner of Victoria's Secrets, who said after Epstein's death that the shamed sex offender had "misused" $ 46 million of his own money.
Photo credit: Bill Tompkins - Getty Images
What happened to Jeffrey Epstein's money when he died?
Epstein is reported to have signed a will on August 8, 2019, just two days before his death, stating that all of his assets and money would be transferred to a trust fund in the event of his death. This move has made it difficult for suspected victims to seek financial compensation for their death.
"This is the last act of Epstein's manipulation of the system, even in death," said lawyer Jennifer Freeman, who represents child sexual abuse victims, according to The Guardian.
By deciding to turn his fortune into a trust, Epstein has hidden the identity of who (or what, as organizations might have) received money from him and his estate. The women who are trying to receive financial payments from Epstein to compensate for the horrors he is accused of having subjected her to must now persuade a judge to publicize these details.
Unfortunately for those seeking justice, this is only the first step in a long process. They must then have a judge agree that they deserve compensation as a victim of sexual crime.
It would also be up to a judge to decide what each person should receive and whether the amounts granted to beneficiaries named by Epstein should be reduced. These beneficiaries could also go to court to claim that they are entitled to the full amount that Epstein has left them.
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