For years, Jeff Epstein stayed under the radar, rubbed elbows with the rich and famous, and according to the charges levelled against him, ran a sex trafficking ring out of his Manhattan and Florida mansions.
That’s not the whole story, though.
For almost two decades, for some reason, Epstein remained untouchable, despite alleged sexual sickness and horrific assaults on young women – something that was rumoured to be well-known to his inner circle of powerful political friends.
The Daily Beast reports on the full series of events leading up to him eventually getting his day in court, which you can read here.
For now, let’s focus on how he managed to secure the young girls that he allegedly abused.
In Epstein’s controversial 2008 plea deal in Florida—which was granted by then-prosecutor and now-Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta and other DOJ attorneys, without informing the billionaire’s alleged victims—four women are named as possible accomplices.
Epstein’s non-prosecution agreement, which sentenced him to 18 months in prison, also granted immunity to the four women and any other “potential co-conspirators,” identified in the document as “including but not limited to Sarah Kellen, Adriana Ross, Lesley Groff, or Nadia Marcinkova.”
These women have been accused of helping Epstein recruit and abuse young girls in the early 2000s.
“While Epstein was at the head of the international sex trafficking organization, that conspiracy could not have functioned without many others playing their part,” attorney Paul Cassell, who represents multiple victims of Epstein, told The Daily Beast after Epstein’s arrest on Saturday.
“Jane Doe 1 and 2 will continue to fight for all of Epstein’s co-conspirators to be held accountable in New York, Florida, and anywhere else they committed crimes.”
Details of Epstein’s alleged trafficking in Monday’s indictment mirror the accounts of scores of underage women in Florida, who described several “schedulers” who organized his alleged sex sessions and one young woman, described as Epstein’s “sex slave,” who would allegedly participate in the abuse while the billionaire watched.
Let’s take a look at where they are now.
Sarah Kellen is Epstein’s former assistant, who allegedly kept a Rolodex of young girls to recruit for her employer. She is now married to NASCAR driver Brian Vickers.
Along with travelling with her husband, the 39-year-old, who now goes by Sarah Kensington, is the owner of an interior design firm, SLK Designs.
Nadia Marcinkova was Epstein’s alleged “sex slave”. She was accused of participating in sexual encounters with underage girls.
She is now an FAA-certified commercial pilot and flight instructor. Marcinkova, 33, who was allegedly brought from the former Yugoslavia to live with Epstein, goes by “Global Girl” on social media and has changed her last name.
It should be noted that she was only 19 in 2005.
Ross is a former model from Poland who allegedly helped organise Epstein’s criminal sessions. Her whereabouts and current profession are unknown.
Lesley Groff is another of Epstein’s assistants, who coordinated travel for young girls and scheduled “massages”.
Though not directly named in Monday’s indictment, the 51-year-old has been previously named as one of Epstein’s three female assistants. According to a 2005 Chicago Tribune story about executive-assistant pay, Epstein divulged his assistants made about $200,000.
According to public records, Groff currently lives in Connecticut.
How Epstein financed all of this has largely remained a mystery, although a recent article in Quartz reveals that his mentor might have some insight.
While the financial world has been puzzling over the question for years, it is really not that complicated, according to Steven Jude Hoffenberg, Epstein’s former mentor. Epstein used fraudulently gotten funds as seed money, he told Quartz.
In 1997, Hoffenberg—the head of bill-collection firm Towers Financial—was sentenced to 20 years in jail for running one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in US history. Thousands of investors were bilked of more than $450 million.
Hoffenberg now tells Quartz that Epstein was deeply involved in the fraud. Epstein was never charged in the case, but he was “totally in the mix,” Hoffenberg said. He added that Epstein helped him set up the Ponzi scheme.
It’s not that surprising. Committing fraud seems like a small crime compared to sex trafficking children.
As the story unfolds, it keeps on getting more horrifying.
[imagesource:flickr] Celebrities have been flocking to a UK mom in order to connect wit...
[imagesource:youtube/independent] As an Asiana Airlines jet was coming in to land in Da...
[imagesource:hbomax] A new HBO Max docuseries makes a convincing case that an East Texa...
[imagesource:flickr] Police and social workers are trying to figure out how a 5-year-ol...
[imagesource:here] As a consumer, we can make better choices. Likewise, as a company, e...