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The Billionaire Who Stood With Jeffrey Epstein, Leon Black

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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.

Alex Baldridge is an activist and freelance journalist from the midwestern United States who was inspired to become a writer after watching the development of the Wikileaks story and the persecution of Julian Assange. Alex is especially interested in topics like surveillance, the rise of automation, foreign policy, prison reform, and the legal system.

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Rudy Giuliani Caught On Camera With Hands In Pants In Hotel Room With “Borat’s Daughter”

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Sacha Baron Cohen’s famous Borat character is finally getting a sequel after 14 years, and it will go straight to Amazon’s streaming service Prime Video this week. Numerous high profile figures were targeted for pranks in the upcoming sequel, including US President Donald Trump and his close associate and attorney Rudy Giuliani.

The sequel is titled, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

As the name implies, the plot of the new film revolves around Borat’s quest to give his daughter to a powerful US politician as a gift. As with the last film, Borat encounters a variety of different Americans in his travels, and their interactions are intended to illustrate a sort of culture shock that he is experiencing, while also satirizing the cultures of both America and Kazakstan.

In one of the pranks in the film, Rudy Guiliani was caught with his hands in his pants in a hotel room with actress Maria Bakalova, who portrayed Borat’s 15-year-old daughter in the film.

They conducted an interview with Giuliani where they were extremely agreeable and after the interview, Bakalova went back to a nearby hotel room with him for a drink. The room was rigged with hidden cameras, which recorded Giuliani untucking his shirt and reaching into his pants.

Once he began to reach into his pants, Borat runs into the room wearing a spandex oufit shouting, “She’s 15. She’s too old for you.”

Just after the encounter, Giuliani called New York City police to report the incident, claiming that he was the victim of a scam or a set up.

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Giuliani described the encounter to the New York Post, saying that, “This guy comes running in, wearing a crazy, what I would say was a pink transgender outfit. It was a pink bikini, with lace, underneath a translucent mesh top, it looked absurd. He had the beard, bare legs, and wasn’t what I would call distractingly attractive. This person comes in yelling and screaming, and I thought this must be a scam or a shakedown, so I reported it to the police. He then ran away.”

Giuliani said that he later realized that it was Sacha Baron Cohen and was relieved that he didn’t fall for their prank, although he seems to be the only one that thinks that.

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“I thought about all the people he previously fooled and I felt good about myself because he didn’t get me,” he said.

After news of the encounter went viral this week, Giuliani issued a statement insisting that the film shows a “complete fabrication” of the incident, and claimed that he was simply tucking in his shirt after taking off recording equipment. However, his microphone was taken off as soon as he sat down in the hotel room.

Guiliani went on to say that this is a personal attack on him because of his “relentless exposure of the criminality and depravity of Joe Biden and his entire family.”

However, this encounter was recorded back in July.

Of course, the encounter made Giuliani look very creepy, but no laws were technically broken because Bakalova is 24-years-old and initiated the encounter. They were also interrupted before Giuliani got the chance to do anything illegal.

In late 2019, Giuliani was reportedly under federal investigation for violating lobbying laws, and possibly several other charges, as a central figure in the Trump–Ukraine scandal, which resulted in the impeachment of Donald Trump.

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Pat Robertson Says God Told Him Trump Will Win The Election Before Asteroid Strikes Earth

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On Tuesday during one of a broadcast for his show “The 700 Club” the notorious televangelist Pat Robertson said that God told him President Trump will win this year’s election, and that a few years later an asteroid will hit the planet and “maybe” bring “the end.”

“First of all, I want to say without question, Trump is going to win the election,’’ Robertson, assured his audience, according to The Hill.

However, he still encouraged them to go out and vote, even though the outcome seems to be set in stone.

He then predicted that after Trump’s election, the world would see “at least five years or more of extraordinary peace” before being struck by an asteroid.

“What I think very frankly is the only thing that will fulfill the word of Jesus … is some kind of asteroid strike on the globe. It’s sudden destruction. It’s not going to be some nuclear war. We’re not going to be allowed to blow this earth up,” he said.

While Robertson was sure that the asteroid would cause serious damage, he was not entirely sure if it would mean the end of humanity.

Robertson has made similar predictions about the end of the world in the past, and likely wants to leave himself some wiggle room just in case he’s wrong.

In late 1976, Robertson predicted that the end of the world was coming in October or November 1982. In a May 1980 broadcast of The 700 Club, he stated, “I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world.”

Then in his 1990 book “The New Millennium,” he predicted that the end of the human race would come on April 29, 2007.

Obviously, that apocalypse never came to fruition.

In September 2011, Robertson and several others who incorrectly predicted various dates for the end of the world were awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for “teaching the world to be careful when making mathematical assumptions and calculations”

Robertson made headlines earlier this year by suggesting that the COVID-19 pandemic was God’s punishment for liberal policies that he didn’t like. Robertson said that humanity is being punished for our “wicked ways” and said that the virus will not go away until people repent and change the ways that they are living. Abortion and same-sex marriage appeared to be among the top concerns of the televangelist and his viewers.

Robertson is no stranger to controversy, in fact, he has built much of his business on it, and these types of comments are fairly common on his show.

When high profile tragedies happen in the news, Robertson often takes the opportunity to tie in his fire and brimstone sermons, which typically sparks controversy. Similar comments were made on his broadcast after the world trade center attacks of 2001 and the Pulse night club shootings that happened just a few years ago, each time sparking similar outrage.

The 700 Club is the flagship television program of the Christian Broadcasting Network and it has been in production since 1966. Despite the changing times, the show is still widely popular, with an estimated 650,000 viewers every single day.

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Paypal Announces Users Will Soon Be Able To Buy, Sell And Accept Crypto

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Paypal has announced that it is entering the cryptocurrency market and will soon allow its users to purchase and sell Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. The payments giant, with 346 million active accounts around the world, pledged to make cryptocurrency “a funding source for purchases at its 26 million merchants worldwide,” CoinDesk reported.

Bitcoin is rocketing in value on confirmation of Paypal plans to let users buy, sell, and enabling merchants to accept cryptocurrency, with the price sitting at $12,813.58 +7.3% at the time of this report.

Market Watch reports, Paypal plans to allow customers to buy cryptocurrency through their accounts and use cryptocurrency for merchant payments. The feature will roll-out in the next couple of weeks in the U.S. and will follow internationally next year.

Initially, PayPal users which total up to an estimated 350 million people will be able to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin starting out. PayPal also said it will bring this function to its Venmo platform.

Early next year, PayPal users will be able to use cryptocurrency to pay for goods or services from merchants who accept PayPal. “Consumers will be able to instantly convert their selected cryptocurrency balance to fiat currency, with the certainty of value and no incremental fees,” the company said in a release. PayPal argued that this move will “significantly increase cryptocurrency’s utility.”

PayPal also revealed in its release that it has obtained the coveted Bitlicense by the New York State Department of Financial Services. The Bitlicense helps “encourage, promote, and assist interested institutions to have a well-regulated way to access the New York virtual currency marketplace,” NYDFS superintendent Linda Lacewell said in PayPal’s release.

PayPal Chief Executive Dan Schulman said in the release that PayPal is “eager to work with central banks and regulators around the world to offer our support, and to meaningfully contribute to shaping the role that digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.”

For months it has been rumored that Paypal was about to jump into the cryptocurrency space.

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), also said it had granted the first “conditional BitLicense” to PayPal for a partnership with Paxos Trust Company, enabling customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

“DFS said it was making good on a promise last year from Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell to take a fresh look at its regulatory framework for virtual currencies, with a view to fostering innovation in New York State.

“DFS’s approval today follows our June 2020 announcement for a new framework for a conditional Bitlicense to encourage, promote and assist interested institutions to have a well-regulated way to access the New York virtual currency marketplace in a way that is both timely and protective of New York consumers, through partnerships with New York authorized virtual currency firms,” said Lacewell in a statement.

“DFS will continue to encourage and support financial service providers to operate, grow, remain and expand in New York and work with innovators to enable them to  germinate and test their ideas, for a dynamic and forward-looking financial services sector, especially as we work to build New York back better in the midst of this pandemic,” she said.

For months it has been rumored that Paypal was about to jump into the cryptocurrency space.

It was further revealed that Paypal responded to the European Commission in a letter earlier this year. Last year the European Commission opened a consultation about regulating digital assets and cryptocurrencies or what it refers to as crypto-assets. In June, responses were published, including a letter from Paypal stating that it has developed capabilities in the sector since withdrawing from Libra. This follows an earlier CoinDesk report stating PayPal and subsidiary Venmo will offer cryptocurrencies.

The company was additionally one of the initial members to commit to Facebook’s Libra, but it subsequently withdrew along with several other major players.

In the letter to the EU, it outlined this as background: “In 2019, PayPal initially signed a non-binding letter of intent to participate in the Libra Association with the intention of learning more about the proposed use of blockchain technologies to provide financial services to unbanked populations across the globe.”

And it continued: “Since the project’s inception, PayPal has taken unilateral and tangible steps to further develop its capabilities in this area, and therefore – without questioning the value of the project – took the decision not to participate in the Libra Association and to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities to democratize access to financial services.”

it’s important to mention that PayPal has been active in the crypto space since as early as 2014. At the time, the company partnered with three bitcoin payment processors, including Coinbase, which allowed merchants in its network to accept Bitcoin as payment.

PayPal has a longstanding relationship with Coinbase, going back as early as 2014. Then two years later in 2016, Coinbase integrated, Paypal and credit cards. In 2018, Coinbase made instant fiat withdrawals to PayPal available for U.S. customers. Last year, European Coinbase users could withdraw to their PayPal accounts, followed by users in Canada, then support was added for the U.S.

It’s worth noting that PayPal was the first company to pull out of the coalition of companies involved in a Facebook-led cryptocurrency initiative, Libra Association.

Many are reporting that Paypal is now being forced into the space with its rival Square including digital assets which the latter was one of its early adopters. Square Inc., a payments company founded and run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, was awarded last year with a coveted license to deal in cryptocurrencies in New York.

However, while it may seem that this is a forced move its important to note for viewers that this action has been one that has been in the works for a long time. While its true that Paypal’s CFO last year said it was too early for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency integration, the former COO stated differently years before in 2017.

In 2018, Paypal was found to have filed a mysterious patent for fast cryptocurrency transactions similar to the lightning network.

Paypal seems determined on exposure into cryptocurrency with a new system for speedy transactions that was patented in 2016 which mirrors much of the ideas behind the second layer solution the Lightning Network.

In other words, the system allows a user, in theory, to pay a third party through a second party so making it possible for Alex to pay Chris through Bill by allocating, through encryption and hashes, part of the private key to the secondary wallet.

This allows for instant payments according to PayPal, addressing latency problems due to Bitcoin requiring around 10 minutes for one confirmation. Extremely similar to what the Lightning Network claims.

However, that’s not the full story the patent actually dates back to 2016, yes you read that right. The patent was filed in August 30th, 2016, right before the major bull run. Although, its unknown if Paypal received the patent or not, it shows the companies early interest into cryptocurrency.

If that’s not enough last year Paypal joined in a $4.2 million funding round for cryptocurrency compliance and risk management platform TRM Labs.

The startup aims to help financial institutions embrace the opportunities associated with cryptocurrencies by mitigating the risks.

Cointelegraph also reports that Paypal is hiring blockchain and cryptocurrency engineers. The news outlet reported there are currently two public-facing job listings for crypto pros to go to work for PayPal.

The first listing of note is for a job titled “Technical Lead – Crypto Engineer.” The listing describes that this person will be responsible for “new initiatives for PayPal global with a focus on agility, time-to-market and innovation. The role includes designing, developing and maintaining key crypto products/features targeted towards availability, performance and scalability of PayPal services.”

The second listing worth mentioning is for a blockchain research engineer to work within the company’s research group, “a newly formed group within the Strategic Technology Enablement team chartered with establishing expertise and opinions on emerging blockchain technologies and their potential uses within PayPal.”

The clues were all there, but now its been officially confirmed by Paypal themselves. This comes as Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell recently announced the Fed was willing to work with private companies on a potential digital U.S. dollar, Yahoo News reported.

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