In a bombshell report published Monday by the New York Times
Although Jeffrey Epstein has been dead for over a year, having taken his own life in a Manhattan lockup in August 2019 while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges, many questions—including how extensive his alleged sex ring of underage girls actually was—remain. From a financial perspective, many people wonder how Epstein, born to a working-class family in Brooklyn, New York, managed to get his hands on hundreds of millions of dollars throughout his lifetime, and use some of those funds to prop up his alleged sexual predation.
Forbes was the first to report the revelation from podcast Broken: Seeking Justice that late British publishing magnate Robert Maxwell could have been one of Epstein’s earliest sources of wealth. Maxwell’s prized daughter, Ghislaine Maxwell, was reportedly introduced to Epstein by her father as early as 1988, before his mysterious drowning death off the Canary Islands in 1991. A deposition uncovered by the podcast revealed that Ghislaine Maxwell, who’s awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges in Brooklyn, may have had access to some of her father’s wealth after his death, including the $500 million in pension funds he stole from his own company.
During Epstein’s high-rolling years in the late 1990s, he managed the fortunes of L Brands
It remains unclear how qualified Epstein was to provide financial services for Black, the 69-year-old chief executive and chairman of Apollo Global Management
The son of Eli M. Black, the chief executive of the United Brands Company, Black studied philosophy and history at Dartmouth University and earned a Harvard MBA in the 1970s. He went on to join Drexel Burnham Lambert, an investment bank that sold junk bonds, and rose through the ranks to become head of mergers and acquisitions. The bank’s fortunes floundered in 1989, when senior advisor Michael Milken was convicted of securities fraud, forcing the firm into bankruptcy. (Milken, nicknamed the “junk bond king,” was pardoned by President Trump, a former Epstein friend, in February.) Black struck out on his own the following year, cofounding Apollo Advisors with colleagues Joshua Harris and Marc Rowan, both of whom are also now billionaires.
Since 1999, Black has increased his net worth a stunning 1,540%. Through his 23% stake in Apollo, he’s invested in a variety of industries, including retail (Linens ‘N Things), casinos (Harrah’s and Wyndham) and consumer packaged goods (Hostess
Those years also saw a number of transactions between Black and Epstein, according to the Times. In 2014, several million dollars were sent to Epstein from a company called Narrow Holdings, which Black has used to purchase his famously extensive art collection. In 2015, an LLC that owned Black’s yacht transferred $10 million to Epstein’s Gratitude America, a charitable foundation started by Epstein after his 2008 solicitation conviction. In 2017, $22.5 million was sent from Black’s yacht LLC to the company that managed Epstein’s private Gulfstream jet.
A spokesperson for Black declined to answer questions from Forbes about the nature of these payments, or the alleged “fee dispute” that ultimately killed their professional relationship.
Black has been facing questions about his dealings with Epstein ever since Epstein’s July 2019 arrest on federal sex trafficking charges. Less than two weeks before Epstein died by suicide, Black sent an email to Apollo employees saying that the firm has never done business with Epstein. He stressed that Epstein “provided professional services to my family partnership and related family entities, involving tax, estate planning and philanthropic advice,” and said he was “unaware” of Epstein’s alleged criminal conduct—claims that a Black spokesperson repeated on Monday in an emailed statement to Forbes and in a letter to Apollo investors that was obtained by Axios. Black also indicated he will cooperate with the U.S. Virgin Islands attorney general in her investigation of Epstein’s estate.