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Billionaire financier Leon Black transferred at least $50 million in consulting and other fees to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, despite telling his investors that the pair’s relationship was “limited,” The New York Times reported on Monday.
Black, the founder, chairman, and chief executive of investment management firm Apollo Global Management, told investors in August 2019 that he only consulted Epstein on financial matters “from time to time.”
But according to documents seen by the Times, Black paid tens of millions of dollars to Epstein for advice and services between 2012 and 2018, including $22.5 million in consulting fees paid to a company that managed Epstein’s Gulfstream jet.
Two people familiar with the matter said that Black may have transferred up to $75 million to Epstein in total.
Four sources with knowledge of the pair’s relationship also told the paper the two men were close personally. Epstein regularly invited Black to his mansion in New York for breakfast or lunch, they said.
A spokesperson for Black confirmed that between 2012 and 2017 he had received “personal trusts and estates planning advice as well as family office philanthropy and investment services from several financial and legal advisors,” including Epstein.
Epstein, who was an American financier, was convicted for soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl in 2008 and served 13 months in a state jail. He was arrested again in July 2019, on federal charges for the sex trafficking of minors, and died in his jail cell in August 2019. His death was ruled a suicide.
Payment drew scrutiny at Deutsche Bank
According to documents reviewed by the Times, a company called BV70 LLC, which owned Black’s yacht, made a $22.5 million payment in 2017 to Plan D, a firm that managed Epstein’s Gulfstream jet.
The payment drew scrutiny at Deutsche Bank, where Epstein kept his accounts, according to a report from the bank reviewed by the paper. The report showed that the money was for consulting services for an entity Epstein operated in the Virgin Islands, the paper said.
BV70 also made a $10 million donation in 2015 to Gratitude America, an Epstein charitable foundation. The Deutsche Bank report showed that the company planned to make another $10 million payment to Epstein for advisory work, but it is unclear if the payment was ever made, the paper reported.
Stephanie Pillersdorf, a spokeswoman for Black, confirmed he had received advice from Epstein between 2012 and 2017. The advice was vetted by leading auditors and law firms, she said.
Black stopped business and communication with Epstein in 2018 following a “fee dispute,” Pillersdorf said.
Apollo never carried out any business with Epstein, she said.
Black “continues to be appalled by the conduct that led to the criminal charges” against Epstein, she said, adding that Black “deeply regrets having any involvement” with Epstein.
Business Insider reported in July 2019 that Epstein was listed as the director of the Leon Black Family Foundation from 2001 to 2012, according to tax filings. However, the foundation issued a statement the next day claiming that the tax returns …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Finance