Speed Reads

dollars and no sense

Jeffrey Epstein made $200 million even as a registered sex offender

Jeffrey Epstein's Florida plea deal was actually no big deal for his bank account.

During the 2008 economic crisis, Epstein's financial firm lost more than $150 million — a blow paired with his arrest on sex trafficking charges around the same time. Those charges were traded for one count of soliciting prostitution and Epstein's registration as a sex offender under a sweetheart plea deal, but neither of those things stopped Epstein from more than making up his losses in the years after, The New York Times reports.

Epstein was accused of running a major sex trafficking ring involving minors in Florida in 2008. Around that same time, Epstein's money management firm Financial Trust suffered a blow by the economic crisis and lost one of its biggest clients, knocking its revenue from just over $50 million in 2007 to a loss of about $100 million in 2008, the Times reports via previously unreported financial statements filed in the Virgin Islands.

Financial Trust continued to report negative revenue for the next few years until Epstein ditched the business in 2012 and started a "DNA data-mining service" called Southern Trust, the Times reports. That business reported over $50 million in revenue in 2013, and continued to be profitable in the following years. Epstein "paid himself handsomely" throughout all of this, the Times documents, earning at least $400 million "in dividends and other payments" from his companies starting in 1999.

After reporting by the Miami Herald revealed how then-Florida prosecutor Alex Acosta — later President Trump's labor secretary — arranged a plea deal that helped bury Epstein's sex crimes, Epstein was arrested again in New York under similar charges. Epstein committed suicide in a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial.