Billionaire financier Leon Black reportedly transferred at least $50 million to Jeffrey Epstein in the years after the financier had been convicted of child sex offences.
Financial documents show Wall Street executive Black, who is a lead partner of Apollo Global Management, gave $10 million to one of Epstein’s foundations alone, The New York Times reports.
On Monday, following news of the payments, the value of Black’s hedge fund plunged by $500 million, with its stock down nearly 5 per cent.
Black is also understood to have sent a letter to Apollo investors on Monday where he confirmed paying Epstein ‘millions of dollars annually for his work’. He also confirmed a family picnic with the disgraced financier on his private island residence, dubbed Pedophile Island.
Sources told the paper Black could have wired up to $75 million to the convicted sex offender after he was first jailed in 2008. He is said to have received several million dollars in fees from Black in 2014.
The figures help shed some light on how Epstein died with a net worth estimated at $634 million. There is still some mystery as to how he managed to acquire such astronomical sums of money before his death while awaiting trial over sex trafficking claims in August last year.
A spokesman for Black said he ‘received personal trusts and estates planning advice as well as family office philanthropy and investment services from several financial and legal advisers, including Mr. Epstein’ between 2012 and 2017.
But it is not clear exactly what role Epstein played to receive such large sums of money; he had no formal legal or tax training.
Billionaire financier Leon Black, left, reportedly transferred at least $50 million to Jeffrey Epstein, right, in the years after the financier had been convicted of child sex offences
The two men are said to have known each other since at least 1997 and they are reported to have regularly met up for lunches and dinners.
Under a 2008 non-prosecution agreement, Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges in Florida of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor and another similar prostitution charge.
That allowed him to avoid federal prosecution and a possible life sentence, instead serving 13 months in a work-release program. He was required to make payments to victims and register as a sex offender.
In 2012, four years after Epstein’s conviction, Black is even said to have gone for dinner at Epstein’s private island residence, dubbed Pedophile Island, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In 2018 they are said to have cut ties over ‘a fee dispute’.
In 2019, following Epstein’s arrest for sex trafficking, Black, who is the chairman of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), said he had a ‘limited relationship’ with the disgraced financier.
He wrote to staff at Apollo to say: ‘I want to emphasize that Apollo has never done any business with Mr. Epstein at any point in time.
‘I was completely unaware of, and am deeply troubled by, the conduct that is now the subject of the federal criminal charges brought against Mr. Epstein.’
Jeffrey Epstein, Pepe Fanjul and Leon Black pictured in 2005 in New York City. Epstein and Black are said to have known each other since at least 1997 and they are reported to have regularly met up for lunches and dinners
Stephanie Pillersdorf, a spokeswoman for Black, told The New York Times: ‘The trusts and estate planning advice was vetted by leading auditors and law firms.’
She added that Black ‘continues to be appalled by the conduct that led to the criminal charges against Mr. Epstein, and he deeply regrets having any involvement with him’.
Epstein did not carry out work for Apollo, Pillersdorf said.
Epstein was known for hobnobbing with the rich, famous and influential, including presidents and a prince.
He owned a private island in the Caribbean, homes in Paris and New York City, a New Mexico ranch, and a fleet of high-price cars. His friends had once included Britain’s Prince Andrew, former President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump.
Leon Black and Debra Black pictured in November 2017 in New York City. In 2012, four years after Epstein’s conviction, Black is even said to have gone for dinner at Epstein’s private island residence, dubbed Pedophile Island, in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Victoria Secret’s mogul Leslie H. Wexner hired Epstein as his personal money manager in the 1990s and claims that more than $46 million was ‘misappropriated’ from his personal fortune during that time.
‘Being taken advantage of by someone who was so sick, so cunning, so depraved, is something that I’m embarrassed I was even close to. But that is in the past,’ Wexner told investors one month after Epstein hanged himself
Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in August last year. His death was ruled a suicide.