Saturday, January 24, 2015

Is Jeffrey Epstein another Madoff? Or...something else?

There have been interesting developments on the Jeff Epstein front, including some indications that Alan Dershowitz is not telling the truth. We'll talk about those developments very soon. Right now, I'd like to address a fascinating question which most writers have overlooked...

How did Epstein make his billions? We're talking about a guy who is not just wealthy but fabulously wealthy. The most elaborate home in New York City. The largest house in New Mexico. Another home in West Palm Beach. His own damned island.

He says that he manages money for billionaires, and only for billionaires. He also says that he does what he does in complete secrecy, which means that we have no way to double-check his assertions. If you read this all-important 2003 profile by Vicky Ward, published by Vanity Fair, you'll see that these claims are problematical.

First, the guy leaves little or no trace of his business activities. How can anyone be that invisible, even to fellow members of the elite?

Second, the number of billionaires in this world is limited, and most members of that club seem quite able to chart their courses without using the services of Jeffrey Epstein. Given the man's rep -- and there have been disturbing whispers about the guy since his departure from Bear Stearns -- I'm not sure that there are a whole lot of affluent people would would trust this guy with their money.

Third, his company seems to employ no actual portfolio managers or analysts.

Fourth, Ward's profile proves that Epstein has made claims in interviews that do not match what he says in legal depositions, or which do not match other evidence. In other words, we should take what he says with a chunk of salt so sizable as to test Morton's granulating capabilities.

There's one thing you have to understand about Epstein: He didn't start to make it big -- as in big big -- until he left Bear Stearns and joined forces with Steven Jude Hoffenberg. And the thing you have to understand about Hoffenberg is this:
He is currently incarcerated in the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts, serving a 20-year sentence for bilking investors out of more than $450 million in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in American history.
Hoffenberg's business was, officially, a collection agency. Yes, you can use debt as the basis for a ponzi operation.

It's hard to avoid the suspicion that Epstein followed in the footsteps of his mentor, doing the same thing, but bigger and better. Someone who manages the money of a billionaire may have a lot of capital to play with, and could keep the ponzi-party going for an indefinite amount of time. Vicky Ward's profile gives the impression that Epstein knows a lot about getting hold of other people's money and using it to further his own interests.

I'm hardly the first to think these thoughts. In 2009, Business Insider asked some remarkably pertinent questions.
The way Epstein is compensated is also a bit suspicious. Last year in the New York Times, Landon Thomas reported that Epstein charges a flat fee on the assets entrusted to him, anywhere from $25 million to $100 million, but doesn't collect any portion of the profits. This is oddly reminiscent of Bernie Madoff's compensation scheme.

Here's something else: how could Epstein's one-man show not fall apart while he was in jail during one of the most volatile years in history? We don't know for sure that Epstein's business has kept humming along.
This next bit is particularly telling:
On the other hand, there are no SEC filings disclosing Epstein's holdings. Not one. It's hard to see how he could be managing billions without ever tripping a disclosure trigger, unless he avoids the stock market altogether and only invests in private deals. This is another red flag.
You may also want to take a look at Vicky Ward's most recent piece on Epstein, published a couple of weeks ago in The Daily Beast. She tells us that Hoffenberg is out of jail now, and has been "pestering" Ward to write a movie. I'm not sure what to make of that development, but I'd like to learn more.

There's another side to this story. The Epstein sex scandal figures in the tale of yet another ponzi schemer, a lawyer named Scott Rothstein. Brad Edwards (one of the lawyers that Alan Dershowitz hopes to disbar) was a lawyer at Rothstein's firm in those days.

Basically, Rothstein's scam was selling "interests" in confidential lawsuit settlements. Until very recently, I had no idea that one could sell such a thing, but apparently one can.

Then as now, crusading lawyer Brad Edwards represented various women in the Epstein scandal. Rothstein led his investors to believe that Epstein would soon be making huge settlement payments to these women. To "sell" this story, Rothstein apparently relied on flight logs and other evidence that Brad Edwards had acquired.

As it turned out, Brad Edwards knew nothing about Scott Rothstein's activities. Nevertheless, Jeff Epstein filed three lawsuits against Edwards in 2009. Near as I can tell, these cases went nowhere. During the legal back-and-forth, the name of none other than Alan Dershowitz arose; even then, it seems, Brad Edwards was very keen to depose him. 

The Rothstein story is very intriguing, but it doesn't tell us anything about the question of how Jeff Epstein made his money -- although it does establish that ponzi schemes are rather more common than many might think.

The Israel connection. To be frank, I do not enjoy writing about this aspect of the story, because I don't want to be classified as one of those writers who sees the dark hand of Mossad everywhere. But there is -- how to put it? -- a disturbing recurrent motif in the saga of Jeff Epstein, who is a strong supporter of Israeli causes.

First and foremost, we must note Epstein's close relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell, alleged to have played a role in procuring young women. She is the daughter of the late publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, now universally acknowledged to have functioned as a Mossad asset. Ghislaine was his favorite child, the proverbial chip off the old block.

Second, we must note that Jeff Epstein forged extremely close links to retail magate Leslie Wexner -- chairman of The Limited, the man behind Victoria's Secret and other famous clothing stores. After his days of running with Hoffenberg, Epstein linked up with Wexner, mysteriously insinuating himself into every aspect of his business. This pro-Zionist website tells us the following:
Les Wexner is a Zionist. He is on the board of directors of Emet, the Pro-Israel Media 'War Room' whose function is to ensure that all media in the US stays biased in favor of Israel . In 1984, Les Wexner who is one of the world's 200 wealthiest people created the Wexner Foundation. Its mission statement is 'strengthening Jewish Leadership in North America and Israel .' One of the programs the Foundation runs is the Wexner Israel Fellowship Program which annually brings up to ten Israeli have participated thus far. The Wexner Foundation sponsors 'Birthright Israel ' - a program that pays for young American Jews to take free indoctrination trips to Israel . It is also a long-standing supporter of Hillel - the bastion of Zionism on campus.
Alan Dershowitz is, of course, Israel's most prominent defender in intellectual circles. Although Dershowitz now tries to distance himself from Epstein, the two men were quite close. Dershowitz used to brag about sending the pre-publication manuscripts of all of his books to Epstein for comment. Epstein was the only non-family member so privileged.

Finally, we have the most recent statement made by Virginia Roberts. I hope to discuss in a subsequent post her claims about Dershowitz. For now, let's concentrate on the following:
"In addition to constantly finding underage girls to satisfy their personal desires, Epstein and Maxwell also got girls for Epstein’s friends and acquaintances. Epstein specifically told me that the reason for him doing this was so that they would “owe him,” they would “be in his pocket,” and he would “have something on them.” I understood him to mean that when someone was in his pocket, they owed him favors. I also understood that Epstein thought he could get leniency if he was ever caught doing anything illegal, or more so that he could escape trouble altogether."
If this is true, then what do have? Simply this: The daughter of a known Mossad agent used underaged girls in a scheme to procur what can only be described as blackmail information on powerful people. That's not interpretation, that's not surmise, that's not reading-between-the-lines: That's what Roberts is saying.

Would Maxwell go to such lengths for the sole reason of aiding Jeff Epstein (who was not her employer) in his quest for the ideal orgasm? Or was she motivated by some other cause...?

I leave the reader to ponder the possibilities.
What is it about Rothstein's scheme that makes it Ponzi? Where were the initially high returns and their dependence on attracting ever more investment?

Or is the term 'Ponzi' undergoing some meaning creep?

It's true, though, that Ponzi schemes come up everywhere nowadays. E.g. I know of a wind-power one in a rural area of Scotland in which local residents are encouraged to buy shares in a venture run by an outfit that is supposedly community-owned, on the promise that they'll get a much better return than if they left the money in their bank accounts. (Ding dong!) They probably do get high-percentage dividends for a while, especially if new mugs keep buying shares faster than the lawyers and 'enterprise' scammers hoik the money out the other end. The problem will come when they want their capital back, for there's no actual market in the shares.
"the only book he’d left out for me to see was a paperback by the Marquis de Sade" ~Vicky Ward

What was it he was intimating to her that he took the time to fashion this decoration in a cheesy paperback and not hardcover?

Wikipedia says the words sadism and sadist are derived from his name. It also points to a cheesy 1988 remake? of Waxwork, which parenthetically can't spell fascism on a schoolroom chalkboard, yet includes an expensive looking hardcover Epstein could afford and the Jack The Ripper character you like to write about.

A quick search of this right-wing free-market libertine on vimeo borders on the absurd. It's an eye full. I'm sure you and your readers know a lot more than I can share on this historical figure.

What if Jeff Epstein's billions weren't earned in traditional sense, but were endowed to him by a powerful - and obviously wealthy - group with the understanding that he would use those funds to advance a narrow agenda?

What if Jeff Epstein and his co-conspirators, including Alan Dershowitz, Les Wexler, and Ghislaine Maxwell, were in fact agents operating in unison to create situations in which evidence of criminal behavior could be captured?

We know that Jeff Epstein's black book contains the names of a thorough cross-section of the global elite and is by no means limited to just one party or even just one nation. This likely explains why the corporate media is paying so little attention; because there's no way that can demonize just one element of their control system. This scandal is deep enough, and if anyone ever started peeling back the layers of this onion it would likely go all the way to the top.

Which is why there will be no public investigation. Settlements will be paid, perhaps a few defendants will go into the witness protection program, and Alan Dershowitz's career and status will effectively be destroyed.

The powers-that-be are probably holding extremely high-level discussions right now as to how exactly to contain this damage. Unfortunately for them, the cat is out of the proverbial bag so to speak so they can't just pretend it didn't happen. People will have to go down here, and Hillary Clinton's political aspirations have taken a huge hit, which I consider to be a good thing.

What this saga is really demonstrating in remarkably clear relief is that we really do lack a free press in this country and that our two-party government is either a complete sham or there are forces of darkness who utilize the threat of blackmail, and obviously of violence, to prevent our government from enacting the will of the people.

I have no idea where this situation will go but I'm extremely interested to watch. Get your popcorn ready because it's going to be a wild ride. I just hope we're not being set up with the old Texas Air National Guard ploy.
"It Takes a Village" keeps going through my mind.
So many people on so many levels of business and government in so many countries are aware of this.

In a sane world the political aspirations of Hillary, Jeb, Richardson (and on and on it goes) would be effectively destroyed by this association.

I'm also Interested in all of the science that the Especially Creepy Epstein has funded. Mostly robots and artificial intelligence. I guess if you're that far gone about the only thing left in life for you is robots and artificial intelligence. He's surrounded by it, and we, by extension are too.

Thanks for keeping up with the story. I see that not only the mass media but alternative media and the conspiracy media are pretty silent. Kudos to you Joseph.
"I don't want to be classified as one of those writers who sees the dark hand of Mossad everywhere."

Too late.
Am I the only one who's alarmed by the total media blackout this story is receiving? I would be willing to bet it's because this story has the potential to snowball into the global scandal of the century, showing how one rogue state uses a well-funded global child trafficking/prostitution ring to ensnare, entrap, blackmail, and control powerful figures in media, industry, military, and government in countries said rogue state wishes to annex and/or co-opt to do its bidding.

Then again, maybe the media blackout isn't so surprising.
Not quite a total media blackout.

If you want a blackout, try the BBC's summary of the background to the Litvinenko inquiry. They don't mention the name Boris Berezovsky once, let alone what he said at the inquest. He said that the British and Russian intelligence services were working together to cover shit up.

Oh and then he died.
I meant to give a link to the BBC article: here it is. No mention of Berezovsky whatsoever.
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