Nobody Knows Exactly How Jeffrey Epstein Became a Billionaire

While Jeffrey Epstein has been back in the news for his arrest on child sex trafficking conspiracy charges, a decades-old mystery has resurfaced. Nobody can seem to figure exactly out how Epstein became a billionaire with multiple homes, a private jet, and a private island. 

Who: Jeffrey Epstein, supposed billionaire high roller who was arrested on sex trafficking charges Saturday.

What: How Jeffrey Epstein made his billions is a mystery. It was the subject of a New York Magazine piece Tuesday.

“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,” the piece said. “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.'”

Forbes claimed in 2010 that Jeffrey Epstein is not, in fact, a billionaire. There are no business records from his management firm, J. Epstein & Co., and none of the names of his clients have ever been released. An 800 page deposition released this week from Epstein’s 2007 criminal case of solicitation of an underage prostitute, shows that Epstein owned a Ferrari, but the title to the car was in someone else’s name.

Several theories – all posited by New York Magazine – abound. One is that Epstein owned a Ponzi scheme, similar to that of Bernie Madoff’s. Another is that he is a federal government asset. A third? Money laundering and offshore accounts.

The only real answer is that there isn’t one.

When: Questions began to re-arise about Epstein’s wealth when he arrested Saturday.

Where: Numerous web publications have noted that the source of Epstein’s wealth is unknown.

Why It Matters: Epstein has been in the spotlight for his documented history of sexual exploitation.

This site reported on right-wing pundit Ann Coulter’s take on Epstein earlier Wednesday. She believes that Epstein might have been part of a blackmail operation:

According to Coulter, Epstein had a “state sponsor” for a “blackmailing” operation, meant to entrap powerful men so that some higher entity could control them with threats of their dirty deeds being exposed. Coulter noted that she has long been making this claim, and cited Epstein’s light sentence on state charges for soliciting an underage prostitute in 2007 as evidence. The light charges and prison sentence allowed Epstein to roam free until he was arrested again Saturday.

“Epstein, according to both the girls’ accounts, he wanted them to have sex with powerful men, come back to him and report on it, describe what they wanted what their fetishes were and he had cameras throughout the house so this is obviously for blackmailing purposes,” Coulter said on radio 790 KABC.

“It just seems to me something much bigger is behind this – perhaps a state sponsor – powerful enough people. It just seems to me there’s something – a very powerful force behind what’s going on here – and I am still nervous about this not coming to a conclusion, somehow this getting compromised,” she continued.

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