One of the enduring mysteries of the super-wealthy pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is where, exactly, he got his money: a former math teacher, he styled himself a personal financial manager catering exclusively to billionaires, but had few-to-no clients, and did not own or trade assets that anyone could locate.
That said, there is one client of record for Epstein's "money-management" business: Leslie Wexner, the billionaire CEO of the company that owns Victoria's Secret and Bed, Bath and Beyond, whose finances Epstein managed for many years.
Wexner broke ties with Epstein after he was indicted on prostitution charges, but has said little since. Now, in a 564-word letter to the trustees of his family foundation, Wexner revealed that Epstein had power of attorney over his finances, and that he used that power to "misappropriate vast sums of money" from Wexner, only some of which Wexner was able to recover.
Wexner says he had no knowledge of Epstein's sex-trafficking enterprise -- which was generally considered to be an open secret, with Epstein's wealthy friends calling his private jet the "Lolita Express" -- prior to the charges.
Wexner detailed how Epstein transferred $21.2m from various Wexner family charities and to a charity that Epstein controlled called COUQ. Wexner said that Epstein eventually transferred $46m worth of securities and a property in the Virgin Islands to a charity controlled by Wexner's wife, which Wexner said was a way to repay funds misappropriated by Epstein from Wexner family foundation accounts.
Epstein reportedly exploited his connection with Wexner to procure young girls for sex, representing himself as a Victoria's Secret modelling agent.
“I first met Mr. Epstein in the mid-1980s, through friends who vouched for and recommended him as a knowledgeable financial professional,” Mr. Wexner wrote in the letter to the foundation. “Mr. Epstein represented that he had various well-known and respected individuals both as his financial clients and in his inner circle. Based on positive reports from several friends, and on my initial dealings with him, I believed I could trust him.”
That trust included a so-called power of attorney, which enabled Mr. Epstein to hire people, sign checks, buy and sell properties, and borrow money — all on Mr. Wexner’s behalf.
Mr. Wexner defended his decision to give Mr. Epstein power of attorney, calling it “common in that context” and saying, “He had wide latitude to act on my behalf with respect to my personal finances.”
Leslie Wexner Accuses Jeffrey Epstein of Misappropriating ‘Vast Sums of Money’ [Steve Eder and Emily Steel/New York Times]