Financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein got mansion for free: Report

A new report by Bloomberg outlines how the financier acquired the home in which he has been accused of sex trafficking minors

In 2011, a Manhattan mansion was transferred to billionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s Virgin Islands-based company Maple Inc. for $0. The mansion had previously been owned by L Brands CEO Les Wexner and was transferred from a company he used to purchase the home to Epstein’s company.

Epstein was a longtime money manager for Wexner and signed both sides of the transaction, according to reporting from Bloomberg.

On Saturday, Epstein was arrested and charged with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors. In the indictment unsealed Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice lists that Manhattan mansion under assets to be forfeited by Epstein.

“As alleged, Jeffrey Epstein abused underage girls for years, operating a scheme in which girls he victimized would recruit others for Epstein to exploit and abuse,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement. “Epstein exploited girls who were vulnerable to abuse, enticed them with cash payments, and escalated his conduct to include sex acts, often occurring at his residence on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.”

The townhome sits less than a block from Central Park and a stone’s throw from iconic cultural institutions like The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. It’s estimated by prosecutors to be worth $77 million, but a separate assessment, by the New York City Department of Finance, priced it down to $56 million, according to The New York Times. Epstein also has properties in New Mexico, Paris, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Palm Beach.

As one of the largest private homes in Manhattan, it spans 21,000 square feet with five bathrooms, a reception room, three three-room suits on one floor, a heated sidewalk to melt snow and many more bedrooms, according to The Times.

It was in that very home, one where Epstein is accused of abusing underage girls, that Epstein hosted former President Bill Clinton for a visit, according to the paper.

It’s not explicitly clear when Epstein took ownership of the home. Wexner purchased it in 1989 for $13.2 million – a record at the time, according to the New York Times – but never really spent time there. In a 1996 interview with the New York Times, Epstein said the mansion was now his, but the only record was the 2011 property transfer, according to the New York Times.

A 2002 New York Magazine report said Wexner turned it over to Epstein in 1995, but some stories say Epstein paid only $1 for the home and others say he paid full price.

Epstein, according to the indictment, sexually exploited and abused dozens of underage girls by enticing them to engage in sex acts with him for money, between 2002 and 2005. He allegedly worked alongside employees and associates to ensure he had a steady supply of underaged women to abuse and even paid several of those victims to recruit others.

Epstein kept high profile company, among them the aforementioned Clinton and current President Donald Trump, who once called Epstein a “terrific guy.” Both men, and other high profile names like rockstar Mick Jagger, were included in Epstein’s personal address book, which was obtained and published by Gawker.

Epstein was first indicted in 2007, but only ended up spending 13 months in county jail on charges of soliciting sex from girls as young as 14, after former federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta, who currently serves as U.S. Labor Secretary, cut Epstein a deal.

Email Patrick Kearns

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