A bombshell documentary has put the “vague” origins of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s fortune under the spotlight, with one expert claiming it was “open for suspicion”.
The financier was facing up to 45 years in prison over federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges when his body was found in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan in August.
While Epstein was regularly described as a billionaire, at the time of his death, his self-reported assets totalled just over $US559.1 million, according to filings published by Courthouse News.
These included $56 million in cash, $14 million in a fixed income, $112 million in equities, $194 million in hedge funds and private equity, and the combined values of six properties.
But despite his lavish lifestyle — complete with private islands and a string of luxury properties — the source of Epstein’s wealth had long been shrouded in mystery — which new Fox Nation documentary The Twisted Life of Jeffrey Epstein aims to solve.
It revealed Epstein dropped out of New York City private college Cooper Union and then New York University — but still managed to score a plum job as a teacher at an upscale private school.
“Somehow he became a teacher at a very exclusive New York City private school, Dalton, despite not even having a BA (Bachelor of Arts). I mean nobody seems to understand how he became a teacher at a school like that,” radio host Howie Carr claims in the program.
The documentary claimed he was fired from that role under murky circumstances two years later — but that once again, he landed a finance job.
“He was hired almost immediately by Alan Greenberg, who is the head of Bear Stearns,” investigative reporter Judith Miller told Fox Nation.
“He rose quickly through the ranks, but once again a few years later he was fired for regulation offences — very vague.”
Then, in 1982, Epstein started his own company and ended up reincorporating his businesses into the US Virgin Islands, which is known for offering profitable tax breaks and incentives, and for being a place to “essentially try to hide as much money as they can away from the IRS”, Fox News correspondent Bryan Llenas said.
Others mentioned in the documentary claimed there was little public evidence of how exactly Epstein made his millions, with Mr Carr arguing Wall Street figures had “no idea where he got the money”.
And forensic lawyer Jennifer Lee Barringer said there was little proof Epstein was a genuine banker.
“$600 million as an investment banker is not a crazy amount of money … for an investment banker that is working every day,” she told Fox Nation.
“However, it’s my understanding, he wasn’t working every day and he didn’t have that many clients. So you have to wonder if it’s possible that he was being paid in other ways.
“Paid to keep information secret. Paid to — God forbid — have other people come or give young girls to other men. It is open for suspicion if nothing else.”
Shortly after Epstein allegedly took his own life, it emerged that he had signed a will on August 8 — just two days before he died.
All of his holdings had been placed in a trust, called The 1953 Trust, named after his year of birth.
Court papers showed Epstein’s only potential heir was his brother Mark Epstein.
Court papers revealed a breakdown of Epstein’s wealth and assets soon after his death. They include:
• Cash: $US56,547,773 ($A83,526,715)
• Fixed income: $US14,304,679 ($A21,129,441)
• Equities: $US112,679,138 ($A166,438,354)
• Hedge funds and private equity: $US194,986,301 ($A288,014,265)
• Properties including: 9 E 71st St, Manhattan, worth $US55,931,000 ($A82,615,680), 49 Zorro Ranch Road, Stanley, New Mexico, $US17,246,208 ($A25,474,373), 358 El Brillo Way, Palm Beach, Florida, $US12,380,209 ($A18,286,806), 22 Ave Foch, Paris, France, $US8,672,823 ($A12,810,626), Great St James Island in the Virgin Islands, $US22,498,600 ($A33,232,682) and Little St James Island, also there, $US63,874,223 ($A94,348,614)
• “Aviation assets, automobiles and boats” worth $US18,551,700 ($A27,402,716)
Originally published as ‘Suspicion’ over Epstein’s mystery millions