Owner of Victoria's Secret Claims Epstein Stole 'Tens of Millions' From Him
Les Wexner says child trafficker mishandled at least $46 million
The owner of fashion retailer Victoria’s Secret accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein of stealing large amounts of money from him and his family.
Les Wexner, the founder, and CEO of the Columbus-based brand claims he had been bamboozled by the jet-setting financier, according to a letter he sent to members of the Wexner Foundation, his charity.
Wexner did not say whether he had reported any of this financial wrongdoing to the police.
Wexner said Epstein had mishandled at least $46 million in charitable investments, though the total sum of was reportedly even higher.
Wexner would only say some of the money Epstein took was returned.
“This was, frankly, a tremendous shock, even though it clearly pales in comparison to the unthinkable allegations against him now,” Wexner wrote today.
“All of that money — every dollar of it — was originally Wexner family money.”
According to a report frm the Washington Examiner: Epstein was also deeply involved in handling the funds for Wexner’s other charitable endeavors, including his organizations Arts Interests, Health and Science Interests, International Charitable Interests, and The Wexner Children’s Trust.
The 14-page indictment against Epstein unsealed in the Southern District of New York earlier in July alleged Epstein “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan, New York and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations” between 2002 and 2005 and perhaps beyond.
Prosecutors allege that Epstein recruited minor girls, some as young as 14, to have sex with him for cash.
Wexner, whose company's brands include Bath & Body Works and Pink, claimed in his letter he had trusted Epstein with so much of his money because others had “vouched for and recommended him as a knowledgeable financial professional.”
“I am embarrassed that, like so many others, I was deceived by Mr. Epstein,” Wexner said.
“I know now that my trust in him was grossly misplaced and I deeply regret having ever crossed his path.”
The business relationship between Wexner and Epstein spread across two decades.
By 1991, Epstein had secured power-of-attorney over many of Wexner’s business ventures and nonprofits.
Though Epstein boasted he only took billionaire clients, Wexner is his only known billionaire client.
Epstein reportedly made hundreds of millions of dollars through his relationship with Wexner before their relationship went south.
Wexner said the alleged fraud was revealed when he started to disentangle himself from Epstein following allegations against Epstein of sexual abuse more than a decade ago.
Wexner says he faced Epstein about the accusations but Epstein “vehemently denied” them.
Alex Acosta, the former U.S. attorney for Southern Florida, reached an agreement in 2008 with Epstein’s attorneys, where Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to two state-level prostitution solicitation charges.
Epstein served just 13 months of an 18-month stint at a Palm Beach County jail where he was allowed out on work release, paid restitution to certain victims, and registered as a sex offender.
The agreement was reportedly struck before investigators had completed interviewing all the alleged victims and were kept a secret from some of Epstein’s victims.
Acosta left his Cabinet position amid increased scrutiny of the sweetheart deal.
In a letter to L Brand employees after Epstein’s arrest last month, Wexner wrote, “I would never have guessed that a person I employed more than a decade ago could have caused such pain to so many people.”
“I severed all ties with Mr. Epstein nearly 12 years ago,” Wexner said in July.
“I would not have continued to work with any individual capable of such egregious, sickening behavior as has been reported about him.”
Wexner is also the original owner of Epstein’s massive $77 million Manhattan mansion, with the deed only changing hands in 2011.
Epstein was arrested last month at the airport in Teterboro, New Jersey, after returning from an overseas trip to Paris.
His home in New York City was raided by law enforcement as well, and authorities said they discovered nude photographs of underage girls, thousands of dollars in cash, dozens of loose diamonds, and a foreign passport from the 1980s with Epstein’s picture and a false name.
The federal judge in the case said Epstein poses a significant danger to the community and agreed with prosecutors he is a serious flight risk and should remain behind bars while awaiting trial, which won’t happen until next summer at the earliest.