Forget how he died, the real mystery is how Jeffrey Epstein lived – committing acts that would get a normal person jailed, all while next to the world’s most-watched men. How did he create a protective bubble around himself?
Take, for example, Epstein’s financial career, the foundation for so much of his other criminal activity.
While doubts about his methods for obtaining wealth for his clients had been circulating on Wall Street for years, throughout that time he had been described, at face value, as a financier and a billionaire.
In the past several months we have discovered that he likely was no billionaire, and no one is sure whether he ever did conduct any legitimate business activities, or even where any of his money came from.
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Yet, there was definitely big money involved, as is evidenced by superficially inexplicable multi-million dollar transactions percolating through a network of offshore accounts, and the very real luxury assets that he had accumulated.
But despite the United States’ reputation for employing the world’s most aggressive financial crimes agents, ready go well outside their borders, Epstein was never charged or even thoroughly investigated, while the world’s most reputable banks were happy to continue doing business with him until the past few months.
More glaring is the scope of his unpunished sex crimes.
This was not a relatively common-or-garden abuser like Harvey Weinstein, extracting sexual favors from adult women he had power over in a string of hotel room encounters.
Instead, Epstein was apparently the operator of an international sex ring, involving hundreds of underage “slaves” picked off from the school and the mall, transported across international borders, with the knowledge of each other, and what must have been a great multitude of bystanders.
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Yet, Epstein was caught likely decades after he started, handed a notoriously lenient punishment, and reportedly allowed to continue his lifestyle while swatting away lawsuits.