Though newly arrested sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has frequently been described in press reports as a "billionaire," as The Inquisitr reported, the source of his supposed wealth remains a mystery, and there is very little evidence that Epstein has ever been worth a billion dollars or more. Yet Epstein is known for an over-the-top lifestyle filled with the trappings of great wealth, including multiple mansions and private jets — as well as a roster of rich and powerful friends.
Epstein reputedly derived his wealth as a money manager, making big-time investments for billionaires. But according to a New York Magazine report, which surveyed actual Wall Street hedge fund operators, Epstein somehow managed to fly completely under the radar in the financial world, even while supposedly accumulating a billion dollar fortune.
"It's hard to make a billion dollars quietly," one fund manager told the magazine, while noting that Epstein had never attracted any attention on Wall Street for his trading activity, despite what would have been expected to be a high profile in the financial world.
Hedge fund manager Douglas Kass, who told New York that he has harbored suspicions about Epstein's alleged wealth for years, said he repeatedly asked institutional investors on Wall Street if they had ever done business with Epstein. "Not one institutional trading desk, primary or secondary, had ever traded with Epstein's firm," Kass told the magazine.
So where did Epstein actually get his fortune, if not from big-time Wall Street wheeling and dealing? Kass and other experts say one of the most plausible possibilities is that Epstein was a blackmailer, who used his child sex trafficking operation to gain leverage over his wealthy and powerful friends, forcing them to "invest" their money with his firm. Thomas Volscho, a sociologist who has been researching a biography on Epstein, also believes that blackmail is Epstein's likely source of income, he told New York Magazine.
Volscho cites one of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who in court filings alleged that Epstein boasted to her that "information is king," and that he collected such information on the wealthy friends who visited his home.
Among those friends, by his own admission, was Donald Trump, as The Inquisitr reported.
But if Epstein was indeed a blackmailer, his victims remain unknown because, other than retail mogul Leslie Wexner — whose companies include Victoria's Secret, The Limited and Bath & Body Works — none of Epstein's clients, if he actually had any others, has been publicly revealed, according to a Vox.com report.
Epstein, who has remained in custody since June 6 when he was arrested at an airport in New Jersey, has been required to submit financial records to a court before a judge decides on a possible bail amount. While those records could shed some light on the sources of Epstein's wealth, his lawyers have requested that the financial records remain under seal, according to The Daily Beast.