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Tales of the new gilded age

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Jeffrey Epstein and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz enjoy a quiet moment together

This theory is all-too-plausible.

(1/13) Let’s take as our starting points two givens.


(A.) You are a committed, unrepentant pedophile


(B.) Because of your old job in private banking, you are very connected to lots of very, very wealthy people


We’ll also assume a goal:


(Z.) You want to become very rich


(2/13) The obvious route is, well, obvious: you could just be a pimp, offering underage prostitute services to very rich people. This has two problems: you’re very disposable (see: DC madam), and it’s also not super lucrative. You can’t charge millions of dollars up front.


(3/13) The second level though follows instantly: You don’t need to charge up front, just get them to have underage sex, and then blackmail them afterwards for hush money. Better ROI, but you’re still a liability, and producing and receiving big bribe money raises big questions.


(4/13) So, what to do? Well, the second idea has some merits. First, you need to recruit people in. Have lots of massive parties at your spacious home (check), invite top academics, artists, politicians to encourage people to come (check), and supply lots of young women (check)


(5/13) You don’t even have to do anything, and most people invited might even be totally unaware of the real purpose of the parties! But, sooner or later, some billionaire will get handsy, she’ll escort him to a room with a hidden camera, things happen. Morning after, you strike.


(6/13) You inform him she was really 15, but you offer him a nice, neat way to buy your silence: a large allocation to your hedge fund, which charges 2/20 (check). To ensure nobody else asks questions, you also take the extraordinary step of demanding power of attorney (check)


(7/13) The fund is offshore in a tax haven (check) and nobody will see the client list (check). Of course, you don’t really know anything about investing, instead making up some nonsense about currency trading (check), and nobody on Wall Street has ever traded with you (check)


(8/13) The fund itself doesn’t need investment personnel (check), only some back office people to process the wires (check). You don’t want to money from non-pedophiles, or they’ll notice you’ve just put it in a S&P 500 fund, so you reject all incoming inquiries (check)


(9/13) A $20 million wire from Billionaire X to you with no obvious reason will raise many questions, and the IRS will certainly want to know what you did to warrant it. A $5 million quarterly fee for managing $1 billion in assets? Nobody bats an eye.


(10/13) Because of this structure, you’re extraordinarily secretive about client lists (check) because they aren’t clients, they’re pedophiles paying you bribes, and they also are very secretive, which is why no letters or return streams ever leak (check)


(11/13) Occasionally you may also try this trick on other people: important political figures, mayors, prosecutors, etc. They don’t invest in the fund, but it’s nice to have them in your pocket. Others (academics, artists, etc.) can just be bought with money as a PR smokescreen.


(12/13) And, of course, the scam can be kept going as long as people are willing to pay, which is forever. If you’re ever caught, just lean on some of your other friends in government to lean on the prosecutor to get you a sweetheart deal. There’s almost zero risk.


(13/13) And the last piece of the puzzle is the evidence. You’d want it somewhere remote, but accessible: a place the US can’t touch but you have an excuse to visit all the time to update. Remember that offshore fund?

I bet there’s a *very* interesting safe deposit box there.

True story: Two-time college dropout Jeffrey Epstein was hired to “teach” tenth-graders at the hyper-exclusive Dalton School by none other than Bill Barr’s father. Barr has just recused himself from the Epstein case, supposedly because he subsequently joined the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis many years after K&E did some legal work for Epstein:

“I’m recused from that matter because one of the law firms that represented Epstein long ago was a firm that I subsequently joined for a period of time,” Barr told reporters in Southern Carolina.

Sure Bill.

ETA: Now Barr has suddenly un-recused himself. Curiouser and curiouser.

We shook hands and I started away. Just before I reached the hedge I remembered something and turned around.


“They’re a rotten crowd,” I shouted across the lawn. “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”


I’ve always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end. First he nodded politely, and then his face broke into that radiant and understanding smile, as if we’d been in ecstatic cahoots on that fact all the time. His gorgeous pink rag of a suit made a bright spot of color against the white steps, and I thought of the night when I first came to his ancestral home, three months before. The lawn and drive had been crowded with the faces of those who guessed at his corruption — and he had stood on those steps, concealing his incorruptible dream, as he waved them good-by.


I thanked him for his hospitality. We were always thanking him for that — I and the others.

How to win friends and influence people:

Since the 1990s, the company has been incorporated in the U.S. Virgin Islands and is now called Financial Trust Co. A person answering the phone at the Saint Thomas-based company hung up after a request for comment was made.


The main client was Wexner, the founder of underwear maker L Brands. Epstein started managing his money in the 1980s and a 2003 Vanity Fair profile noted the pair had a close relationship, close enough for Epstein to acquire the Manhattan mansion from Wexner.


It’s unclear how much Epstein paid and when he actually took ownership.


Wexner had purchased the property from the Birch Wathen School, a Manhattan prep school in 1989, according to city records. He sold it in 1998 to a Virgin Islands entity called NES LLC, according to a person familiar with the matter. Epstein is affiliated with NES, public records show.


There are no New York property records documenting a transfer until 2011, when the company that Wexner used to purchase the townhouse transferred it to Epstein’s Virgin Islands-based Maple Inc. for $0. Epstein signed for both sides of the transaction.


“People have said it’s like we have one brain between two of us: each has a side,” Epstein said in the 2003 profile.


Wexner, who has a $6.7 billion fortune on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, declined to comment.

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