Leon Black, one of Wall Street’s most powerful executives, allegedly lied to clients when asked about how deep his relationship was with financier pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. He told them that he only had a limited relationship, but research into the matter and court documents show a much different story.
Such questions were valid, Black said, according to a transcript of a call with analysts in July 2019. He said in a letter that same day to investors that he had had a “limited relationship” with Epstein, and had consulted him “from time to time” on personal financial matters.
However, Black’s connection to Epstein was a lot deeper than he had told investors Epstein and Black frequently socialized and Black was a client for Epstein over the final decade of his life.
What’s more digging deeper, Black wired Epstein at least $50 million in the years after Epstein’s 2008 conviction for soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times and interviews with four people with knowledge of the transactions. These transfers included $10 million to a foundation started by Epstein and consulting fees that were sufficiently unusual to draw scrutiny from Deutsche Bank, where Epstein kept his accounts. Two of the people said the total amount sent by Black to Epstein could be as high as $75 million.
“Black received personal trusts and estates planning advice as well as family office philanthropy and investment services from several financial and legal advisers, including Epstein, during a six-year period, between 2012 and 2017,” said Stephanie Pillersdorf, a spokeswoman for Black. “The trusts and estate planning advice was vetted by leading auditors and law firms.”
The business relationship ended in 2018 because of a “fee dispute” and Black stopped communicating with Epstein, she said.
Adding, “Black continues to be appalled by the conduct that led to the criminal charges against Epstein, and he deeply regrets having any involvement with him,” Pillersdorf said.
She further said that Epstein did not do any work for Apollo, whose investors hold large sovereign wealth funds, and private foundations.
The fees from Black partially help explain the mystery of Epstein’s historic wealth.
Epstein and Black’s relationship explains how a man who left behind an estate worth more than $600 million made money in the years after his most lucrative client, billionaire retail magnate Leslie H. Wexner, allegedly cut him off.
Some of the payments from Black are described in an internal report by Deutsche Bank, which served as Epstein’s primary banker from 2013 to 2019. The report was provided to regulators who fined the German bank over the summer for its failure to catch numerous red flags in Epstein’s financial activities.
Portions of the report reviewed by The Times describe a payment of $22.5 million in 2017 by a company called BV70 LLC, which the bank said owned Black’s yacht, to Plan D, the company that managed Epstein’s Gulfstream jet. When an employee in Deutsche Bank’s anti-financial-crime division inquired about the payment, she was told by another bank employee that it was a fee for consulting services provided by Southern Trust Company, one of the dozens of entities Epstein operated in the Virgin Islands. There was no explanation for why the payment went to Plan D.
The Deutsche Bank report also shows that BV70 made a $10 million donation in 2015 to a charitable foundation started by Epstein, Gratitude America, which made several million dollars in grants while Epstein was painting himself as a philanthropist. BV70 also planned to make another payment of $10 million to Epstein for advisory work, according to the report, although it was unclear if that payment was ever made.
Prior to that in 2014, Epstein received several million dollars in fees from Narrows Holdings, a company that Black — the chairman of the Museum of Modern Art — has used to purchase much of his billion-dollar art collection, according to two of the people with knowledge of the transactions. The details of the services Epstein provided in exchange for those fees are also unclear according to The Times.
Black knew Epstein for decades — in 1997 he made Epstein one of the original trustees of the Debra and Leon Black Foundation — and was among the high-profile figures who maintained a connection with the pedophile following his first arrest.
Epstein frequently hosted Black at his New York mansion, usually meeting him for breakfast or lunch, according to four people familiar with their relationship. In 2012, while on a family vacation in the Caribbean, Black traveled by yacht to attend a cookout at Epstein’s private island residence in the U.S. Virgin Islands, two of the people said.
Going back as far as 2011, Epstein’s financial advisory firm — Financial Trust — joined Black and members of his family in investing in a small emissions control company, Environmental Solutions Worldwide, where two of Black’s sons serve as board members.
The Times reports that according to an archived version of one of Epstein’s websites, the two men visited Black’s alma mater, Harvard, together and took pictures. Although the university stopped accepting any donations from Epstein after his 2008 plea, according to a report by the university, Black had given at least $5 million to professors and Epstein’s staff members had “played a role in facilitating the Black donations.”
The attorney general of the Virgin Islands, Denise N. George, filed a civil forfeiture lawsuit against Epstein’s estate this year, claiming that Epstein had deceived officials to get Southern Trust a lucrative tax break and used his island retreat to engage in sex trafficking. George’s offices said in court filings that she intended to serve subpoenas on Black and several of his business entities. (George has said she intends to serve a subpoena hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin as well.)
According to court filings against Deutsche Bank by New York’s Department of Financial Services, Jeffrey Epstein withdrew $800K in cash before his arrest, transferred millions to his victims and pilots and allegedly bought a $3 million house for his lawyer’s wife!
Epstein made a number of large transfers and withdrawals in the years before his death, according to the court filings. An email sent to the judge overseeing Epstein’s probate case by Virgin Islands’ Chief Deputy Attorney General Carol Thomas-Jacobs details a number of these suspicious transactions.
At least one of Epstein’s executors of his estate, Darren Indyke, is mentioned throughout the court documents for the role he played in helping Epstein access large amounts of cash and paying off the young women, who were underage at the time of their abuse by Epstein.
“Over the course of the relationship, Mr. Epstein and his representatives used Deutsche Bank accounts to send dozens of wires, directly and indirectly, including at least 18 wires in the amount of $10,000 or more to alleged co-conspirators who had been the subject of past press reports,” states the DFS filing.
The estate is also accused of misleading prosecutors according to the documents.
“When the Government asked the Estate to confirm that it was not paying legal expenses for other individuals, the Estate responded that it was only paying the legal expenses of two former employees,” states the court doc.
“In fact, the Estate’s last quarterly accounting confirms it is currently paying the fees of a law firm representing an immigration attorney the Government has reason to believe was retained to seek immigration status for victims of Epstein’s and others’ sexual abuse.”
“As you know, the Government’s Amended Complaint alleges that Epstein maintained a network of corporate entities that were used to fund and conceal the trafficking of women and girls in the Virgin Islands. The Complaint also alleges that the Co Executors were principals in many of those entities,” reads the filing.
“These entities held the islands at which the women and girls were abused and the private planes and other vehicles on which they were transported. A Consent Order entered by New York’s Department of Financial Services against Deutsche Bank and documents obtained by the Government make clear that substantial transfers from the accounts held by these companies and Epstein’s tax exempt foundation, over which Co Executor lndyke also had authority, were made to models and other individuals suspected of having recruited and/or abused Epstein’s victims, to Epstein’s house managers and pilot, and to Co Executor lndyke’s spouse for $3 million to purchase a home, for example.”
The filing also claims that Epstein paid $13 million to the victims and their lawyers after the illegal sweetheart deal back in 2008.
Nancy Pelosi Reelected As House Speaker In Narrow Vote
Nancy Pelosi won another term as Speaker of the House of Representatives on Sunday, after a narrow vote.
80-year-old Pelosi will hold the position for a second consecutive two-year term and fourth overall, having previously been elected in 2007, 2009 and 2019.
Pelosi has served as a US representative from California since 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, she is the only woman in U.S. history to serve as Speaker and, until the inauguration of Kamala Harris as Vice President, is the highest-ranking female elected official in United States history.
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) January 3, 2021
As House speaker, Pelosi is second in the presidential line of succession, after the vice president.
During her first speakership, she was instrumental in the passage of many of the Obama administration’s landmark bills, including the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the 2010 Tax Relief Act.
BREAKING: The floor of the House of Representatives erupts in applause as Rep. Nancy Pelosi is reelected as speaker of the House for the 117th congress, with 216 votes. https://t.co/z1mlyK1BJN pic.twitter.com/6Wdt3N9ulD
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) January 3, 2021
Pelosi lost the speakership in 2011 after the Republican Party won a majority in the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections.
She retained her role as leader of the House Democratic Caucus and returned to the role of House minority leader. In the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats regained control of the House.
When the 116th Congress convened on January 3, 2019, Pelosi was again elected speaker, becoming the first former speaker to return to the post since Sam Rayburn in 1955.
Under Pelosi’s leadership, the House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump on December 18, 2019.
Despite supporting the $2000 checks for struggling Americans, Pelosi, along with everyone in congress have provoked anger from citizens who see them as being out of touch with the average people.
The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) estimated in 2009 that Pelosi’s average net worth was $58 million which ranks her 13th among 25 wealthiest members of Congress.
Roll Call said Pelosi’s earnings are connected to her husband’s heavy investments in stocks that include Apple, Disney, Comcast, and Facebook. Roll Call reported that the Pelosis have $13.46 million in liabilities including mortgages on seven properties.
According to Roll Call, Pelosi and her husband hold properties “worth at least $14.65 million, including a St. Helena vineyard in Napa Valley worth at least $5 million, and commercial real estate in San Francisco”.
FAA Responds To Numerous Reports Of A UFO Over Hawaii
The FAA was notified after multiple people reported seeing an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in the sky over Leeward Oahu on Tuesday evening. Witnesses all over the region called into 911 at around 8:30 p.m.
Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said that there were no aircraft incidents or accidents in this area at the time of the reports, but multiple witnesses reported seeing a large blue object fall out of the sky and into the ocean.
Some of the witnesses managed to get video or photos of the incident.
Witness Misitina Sape told Hawaii News Now she captured a photo of the object at 8:26 p.m. near Haleakala Avenue in Nanakuli.
Another witness named Moriah said she had never been a believer in UFOs until she saw the object fall from the sky.
“I started calling my husband and them because they were all in the garage. I was like hey. Come look up there. See if you see what I see. They all said yea!” Moriah said.
They jumped in the car to follow the object and see what it was.
“I don’t know what it was,” she said. “This one was going so fast.”
About three miles down the road, they saw the object fall into the water.
She said that it was larger than a telephone pole but didn’t make any sound when it hit the ground.
“We called 911,” Moriah said, “For have like one cop or somebody for come out and come check em out.”
She also says that they saw another light in the sky after the blue object fell into the water. She says that police saw the second light as well.
“My husband went look up and he seen the white one coming,” she said. “The white one was smaller. Was coming in the same direction as the blue one.”
FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor said the agency received a report from police Tuesday night about a possible plane down in the area “but had no aircraft disappear off radars. And no reports of overdue or missing aircraft.”
Earlier this year, the Pentagon announced the formation of a new task force that will be studying UFOs or “Unidentified Flying Objects.”
The formation of this new task force was revealed last year when the Pentagon acknowledged that military pilots were encountering aircraft that might not have been made by humans.
The new task force was officially revealed to the public after the Pentagon released declassified videos that appeared to show government aircraft interacting with UFOs in the sky.
One of the videos, taken from US Navy aircraft, seems to show the pilots chasing a UFO off the east coast of the United States.
Navy pilots reported spotting the objects flying around 30,000 feet in the air at hypersonic speeds and showing no visible engines or exhaust plumes typical of any known aircraft currently on Earth.
The new agency has been called, The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF).
Mitch McConnell’s House Vandalized Over $2,000 Checks
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had his home vandalized this week, after blocking the vote to increase stimulus payments to $2,000.
Messages like ‘WERES MY MONEY’ and ‘MITCH K1LLS THE POOR.’ were spray-painted on the building.
Police said that they don’t have any suspects.
On Saturday, McConnell released a statement to the Louisville Courier Journal which read: “Vandalism and the politics of fear have no place in our society. My wife and I have never been intimidated by this toxic playbook. We just hope our neighbors in Louisville aren’t too inconvenienced by this radical tantrum.”
In 2015, Time listed McConnell as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. McConnell is the longest-serving U.S. senator for Kentucky in history, and the longest-serving leader of U.S. Senate Republicans in history.
During the Trump administration, Senate Republicans, under McConnell’s leadership, broke records on the number of judicial nominees confirmed. Among those nominees were Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh who were recently confirmed to the Supreme Court.
McConnell’s critics have called him by a variety of different nicknames, including “Moscow Mitch”, “Cocaine Mitch”, the “Grim Reaper”, “Darth Vader”, “Rich Mitch”, “Nuclear Mitch”, and “Midnight Mitch.” On some occasions, he has even embraced these nicknames, although he was apparently unhappy with the more recent “Moscow Mitch.”
McConnell has a net worth of $35 million dollars, and many Americans feel that he is out of touch. He isn’t the only US politician that was a target for vandalism this week.
According to a report from TMZ this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had her house vandalized with a pig’s head and fake blood.
Spray painted in black on the white garage door were the messages “$2K,” an apparent reference to the $2,000 COVID stimulus checks that have been held up in the U.S. Senate, as well as “CANCEL RENT!” and “WE WANT EVERYTHING!”
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