Published: Fri, August 09, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Epstein "misappropriated" vast sums, billionaire claims


Wexner used his letter on on Wednesday, addressed to the "Wexner Foundation Community" and distributed to the press, to cast himself as an unwitting victim of his former adviser's financial impropriety, after weeks of questions about his deep ties to Epstein.

"I first met Epstein in the mid-1980s, through friends who vouched for and recommended him as a knowledgeable financial professional", Wexner wrote in the letter to the foundation.

While the two had previously been described as "close personal friends", Wexner last month said that he "regretted" ever crossing paths with Epstein and that he "completely severed" all ties with Epstein 12 years ago.

"It was agreed that he should step back from the management of our personal finances", Wexner said in the letter, according to The Times. Days later, Wexner sent an email to L Brands employees admitting that Epstein had managed his financial affairs, but saying he had no knowledge at the time of Epstein's crimes.

It is unclear how much money is believed to have been mismanaged.

"You never know until you know, I guess", Finkelman said in a telephone interview. Wexner had, for a time, granted Epstein "power of attorney", essentially giving Epstein full access to the apparel executive's vast fortune. Wexner's foundation also didn't respond to a request for comment regarding the total amount of allegedly misappropriated funds. Epstein even played a role in building Wexner's super yacht, "Limitless", attending meetings in the London studios of the boat's design firm.

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Wexner, whose L Brands owns Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, was one of his first clients.

In a letter to the members of his Wexner Foundation on Wednesday obtained by CNBC, Wexner explained that Epstein misappropriated more than $46 million from him and his family. How the financier amassed assets worth more than $500 million, a figure cited by federal prosecutors, remains shrouded in mystery. In some cases, Epstein took a cut of the proceeds once the transactions were finalized, a person familiar with the matter said. Epstein reportedly made more than $200m from the deal. Between 1994 and 2002, such entities sold an aggregate $1.5 billion of L Brands stock, regulatory filings show.

Acosta was the United States attorney in Miami when he oversaw a non-prosecution agreement for Epstein in 2008.

He added that "every dollar" of that money originally belonged to the Wexner family.

A reported victim, Maria Farmer, also alleged that she was assaulted by Epstein at Wexner's OH home in the Nineties and that Wexner's security team prohibited her from leaving the residence.

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