Friday, July 12, 2019

Briefly Noted: About Epstein And His Money

Here are two articles from New York Magazine by two people who tried to find out where Epstein really got his money--and how much he actually had. The bottom line is that it remains a mystery, but the articles are easy reading and give you a feel for the Epstein story, that there must be more--much more--there.

Real Hedge-Fund Managers Have Some Thoughts on What Epstein Was Actually Doing 

Long before Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in Florida more than a decade ago, his fellow Palm Beach resident and hedge-fund manager Douglas Kass was intrigued by the local gossip about his neighbor.
“I’m hearing about the parties, hearing about a guy who’s throwing money around,” says Kass, president of Seabreeze Partners Management. ... Kass was more focused on how this obscure person, rumored to be managing billions of dollars, had become so wealthy without much of a track record.
Kass was well-connected on Wall Street, where he’d worked for decades, so he began to ask around. “I went to my institutional brokers, to their trading desks and asked if they ever traded with him. I did it a few times until the date when he was arrested,” he recalls. “Not one institutional trading desk, primary or secondary, had ever traded with Epstein’s firm.”
For decades, Epstein has been credulously described as a big-time hedge-fund manager and a billionaire, even though there’s not a lot of evidence that he is either. There appears little chance the public is going to get definitive answers anytime soon. ... 
Naturally, this air of mystery has especially piqued the interest of real-life, non-pretend hedge-funders. If this guy wasn’t playing their game — and they seem pretty sure he was not — what game was he playing? Intelligencer spoke to several prominent hedge-fund managers to get a read on what their practiced eyes are detecting in all the new information that is coming to light about Epstein in the wake of his indictment by federal prosecutors in New York. Most saw signs of something unsavory at the heart of his business model.

‘I Think He’s Engaged in Blackmail’: A Jeffrey Epstein Expert on Where He Made His Money 

Intelligencer spoke with Thomas Volscho, a sociology professor at the College of Staten Island who is working on a book about Epstein. 
For years, even before all the sordid details of his personal life were known, it has been a mystery to those reporting on Jeffrey Epstein how, exactly, he earned his prodigious fortune. You’re working on a book that explores this very topic. What’s the thrust of what you’ve found?
It’s very murky. I found a couple things, but it’s a mystery. I caught the Virgin Islands corporate filing where he listed his company as having $88 million. I found in a Citgroup court case that he was on the deed for 14 parcels of land for Elizabeth Ross Johnson, the Johnson & Johnson heiress. I don’t know in what capacity — he’s told people he’s a real-estate developer, so he might have helped her to develop Lightning Tree Farm in Dutchess County. That property is selling for $28 million. So that’s a client. 
But naming his clients or assets is very tough. One of the things I did, and I see NBC did a story on this, was look into the charities he’s running. He was running charities for [Leslie] Wexner [the retail billionaire and Epstein’s one major client], and then was running his own charities, and they always had $9 million or $10 million donations circulating around them. And I always suspected, but not got around to pursuing, that he was embezzling funds. And I can’t prove that, but that’s my suspicion right now. NBC is reporting that the charities hadn’t really received the donations that he’d reported. So that could be a source of his finances.

Here's a problem I see. If Epstein--a nobody--had started right out blackmailing powerful people like the Clintons, all on his own initiative, wouldn't he have been found dead somewhere long ago?


  1. Epstein's close associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, who attended Chelsea Clinton's wedding, is the daughter of the publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell. After the elder Maxwell fell off his yacht "The Lady Ghislaine" in November 1991 (he may have been murdered), it was found that he had stolen hundred of millions of pounds from his own companies' pension funds. Perhaps Epstein got his money from the stolen Maxwell funds.

  2. Epstein is a pimp working off-shore targets for CIA. They pay him with off-shore funds he keeps in off-shore banks. His reported business is simply a way to launder his money for transfer to U.S. banks. Hanging out with Epstein and his teenagers is legally OK (with the Feds) because his operation is sanctioned (by the Feds).

    The SDNY case will mysteriously stall once Barr is shown the Epstein file.

    1. Off shore targets? Bill Clinton?

      One wonders whether there will be a tie in to the Panama Papers. That hasn't gone away.

      And why the CIA? The Intel world is like an ocean--lots of fish in it. OTOH, intel services world wide wouldn't be doing their job if they hadn't been aware of this guy. It's not as if he kept a low profile.

    2. What does Trummp know? What has he known all along? This Deep State stuff ...

    3. IF the CIA isn't blackmailing people, they're not doing their job. Rational people in the know would want to stay away from this operation, but Clinton is an actual sex predator, so wouldn't be shy about visit Epstein's operation once he found out about it.
      Trump probably heard rumors about this operation years ago. If it is what I think it is, best thing for everybody involved is just to say nothing about it.

    4. "Trump probably heard rumors about this operation years ago."

      I agree. I'm curious whether he was looking for an opportunity to use this against his enemies--the timing couldn't have been better. OTOH, we've seen repeatedly that the courts don't do his bidding, so ...

    5. This case is different than The Grand Hoax. Ordinary people connect to this on a more personal level than what many consider the "dirty politics as usual" of Coupegate. After the satisfaction of idle or salacious curiosity come the inevitable, "Who knew and when did they know it", not to mention, "why was this allowed?" The answers may give Trump more political leverage to clean the Augean Stables of D.C. than Coupegate by itself would have.
      Among other things Media Inc. is looking very bad/complicit. Nothing is being printed today that wasn't in plain sight ten years ago, but those few who actually attempted to "commit journalism", as Tommy Robinson would say, were minimized or shushed by their own editors/publishers/producers. Why and to whose benefit?

    6. "Ordinary people connect to this on a more personal level"

      Good point

  3. So now Acosta takes the hit. And in some respects Round One goes to the Dems: Acosta is a Republican. He f'ed up with the prosecution (and non-prosecution) in 2008 and so he (and his GOP higher ups) must somehow be in cahoots with Epstein. There are pictures of Trump with Epstein back in the day and Acosta serves in Trump's cabinet. Connect the dots...Orange Man Bad! And yes, what does Trump know...

    Thankfully, though, we are just through Round One. This will be a long bout. A 10-rounder, no doubt.

    Now...let's find out...

    1. Who is Jeffrey Epstein and where does his money come from?
    2. Who at DOJ was overseeing the Epstein case and pushing for the NPA? And who were they getting their orders from?
    3. If Epstein is 'Intel's Guy', what's up with that?
    4. What is the nature and extent of Epstein's relationship with Bill...and Hillary...Clinton?
    5. Was the Non-prosecution agreement an attempt to protect Hillary Clinton's run for President in 2008?
    6. Why were big name Republican lawyers so involved in protecting Epstein?
    7. Why was Epstein never prosecuted in NYC by the Manhattan DA (Cyrus Vance, Jr.) or the US Atty?
    8. Does Epstein have photographs, video or audio of his friends with his girls?
    9. What's up with Ghislaine Maxwell? Was her father Mossad? Is she? Is Epstein? Again, where does his money come from?

    Lastly, if Bill Clinton did take 27 flights with Epstein, some without his wife or Secret Service, but with Epstein's girls on board, what are the chances he didn't partake? Wouldn't that -- best case -- be statutory rape? Does Epstein have evidence? Is there a victim waiting in the wings to step forward and accuse Clinton? I can imagine that protecting Bill Clinton could be sufficient compelling reason for all of the steps taken to corrupt our system of justice and set the stage for the national nightmare we have been living through for the last ten years (or longer).

    1. Inquiring minds want to know ... ALL of that. Also, why Chuck Schumer took money from Epstein.

    2. Oddly enough what's came out so far makes Trump look like the most stand-up guy in the bunch. At least he took positive action, as a private citizen, by making Epstein persona-non-grata at his hotels. No one else did anything other than cashing Epstein's checks and hobnobbing with him.
      Also find it interesting that the Brit's went from adamantly defending their Ambassador to him quietly resigning as lots of pics of Epstein in company of Royals started showing up. Connected, maybe not. Then again what is the rule about coincidence in politics?

    3. Also, Bradley Edwards, a lawyer for the victims, says that Trump spoke to him voluntarily without time limit and provided valuable info that checked out.

  4. Epstein is a tool, not a spy. And no, he is not a tool of any nation's intelligence service (that is misdirection). He works for a private cabal. They pay the bills and provide protection. They also benefit from the compromising evidence that he obtains from his surveillance of deviant (and sometimes) illegal acts conducted at his residences. This is a story of extreme criminality, not corruption in a direct sense (although some of the participants are current or former politicians).

    Acosta has now resigned (which is a good sign). Now he needs to go see Durham quickly. If Epstein is successful in getting a house detainment ruling from Brennan, he'll be dead within two weeks and the coverup will move into high gear.

    1. "Epstein is a tool, not a spy."

      I don't think anyone's claiming he was a spy, per se. But a tool of whom? Intel of one country or another? It's a reasonable supposition that can't be dismissed out of hand--too much smoke. All avenues need to be explored.

  5. "All avenues need to be explored."

    Agreed. Wouldn't it be nice if we had an honest and competent federal agency to undertake this task. One that isn't under the shadow of sedition. Does anyone really think that Wray is up to it? And since all avenues should be explored, what if Wray is a member of the cabal? How would we ever know? Brennan and Comey destroyed the integrity of the CIA and FBI. Why should any citizen trust the current Directors to right the ship? What have they done to merit a return of public confidence?

    1. We may be getting there with DoJ--new post just up.