Where are they now? The biggest players in the Jeffrey Epstein case
To cultivate his image as a high-society multimillionaire, Jeffrey Epstein, who now stands accused of sexually trafficking underage girls, poured millions of dollars into universities, cultural organizations and think-tanks.
The Miami Herald compiled 20 years of tax filings from three of Epstein’s private foundations. In total, his listed contributions surpass $30 million.
Here are Epstein’s beneficiaries, according to the records.
The YLK Foundation is a charity associated with billionaire Les Wexner. Epstein has been publicly linked as Wexner’s financial adviser, although Wexner says he cut ties with Epstein a decade ago. All $14 million came in a single donation sometime between March 1, 2007 and Feb. 29, 2008.
Wexner is an even larger benefactor for Ohio State University. The medical school bears his name.
Epstein’s smaller gifts show a wide variety of causes and a precipitous drop off in giving after his guilty plea in June 2008.
In terms of his total gift giving, $30 million is likely an undercount due to a lack of public filings from a fourth organization, the Jeffrey Epstein Virgin Island Foundation. The only publicly available document for the charity, shows $281,477 in gifts and over $13 million in assets in 2002. However, Epstein’s personal website lists the organization as the source of a $6.5 million donation to Harvard and as a funder of various high-profile scientists, including the late Steven Hawking. A 2002 New York Magazine profile stated Epstein spent over $20 million a year bankrolling these scientists. The exact amount of giving from this organization is unclear, however. As these contributions were not included in the tax filings reviewed by the Herald, they are not reflected in either chart.
Another of Epstein’s organizations that is not included is the Florida Science Foundation, a non-profit that Epstein’s lawyer incorporated in Nov. 2007 during his plea negotiations. As part of Epstein’s jail sentence, the organization paid over $120,000 to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office in order for a deputy to accompany Epstein while on work release — working for the Florida Science Foundation. This is according to payment receipts obtained from the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. As these payments were not charitable donations, they were left out of the data.
About the charts
These two charts represent 20 years of Form 990s from three of Jeffrey Epstein’s private charities: Epstein Interest, The C.O.U.Q. Foundation and Gratitude American Ltd. Form 990s are submitted yearly to the Internal Revenue Service by 501(c)3 charitable organizations and include itemized grants and contributions to other organizations and individuals. The data in this graph is pulled from these expenditures. The data is presented as it appears in the Form 990s with light editing for clarity. For example, the Edge Foundation, Inc. occasionally appears in some documents as simply the “Edge Foundation.” In such cases, the latter was edited to read as the “Edge Foundation, Inc.”
Epstein made donations to a variety of Harvard and Harvard-related organizations. The total in the pie chart represents donations to organizations within the institution: Harvard University, “Harvard Graduate School” and the President and Fellows of Harvard College.
While some contributions were recorded with an exact date, many were not. To compensate, the contributions with missing dates were labeled to reflect the forms they were written on. All forms come with a date range (i.e. 6/1/2016 to 5/31/17) to indicate the time frame that they represent. The contributions with missing dates were given the latest possible date from their form (i.e. 5/31/17).
It must be noted that some charities have publicly disputed receiving funds from Epstein. Others, like the K-12 all-girls Hewitt School have stated that they returned donations. The records do not necessarily reflect whether money was returned to Epstein after his legal troubles became public.
If you are a charity that is on this list and has not received any charitable donations from Epstein. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
BEHIND OUR REPORTING
Local Reporting Makes a Difference
In her year-long investigation of Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown tracked down more than 60 women who said they were victims of abuse and revealed the full story behind the sweetheart deal cut by Epstein’s powerhouse legal team.
Since the Herald published ‘Perversion of Justice’ in November 2018, a federal judge ruled the non-prosecution agreement brokered by then South Florida U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta was illegal, Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges in New York state, Acosta resigned as U.S. Secretary of Labor, and Epstein killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell.
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