September 26, 2023

Billionaire investor Leon Black agreed to pay $62.5 million to the U.S. Virgin Islands in January to be exempt from any potential claims stemming from a three-year investigation into disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s intercourse trafficking operation, in line with a replica of the settlement settlement.

The beforehand undisclosed settlement got here after the Virgin Islands struck a $105 million deal in November with Mr. Epstein’s property. The next month, the territory sued JPMorgan Chase in federal courtroom over the financial institution’s 15-year relationship with Mr. Epstein, a registered intercourse offender who dedicated suicide in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019.

The federal government of the Virgin Islands has ready a settlement with Mr. Black in response to a request from The New York Instances for public paperwork. In line with one other doc seen by The Instances, representatives from the 2 sides held a non-public mediation in January to settle the claims. That session was adopted by a $62.5 million settlement. Mr. Black agreed to pay in money, in line with the settlement doc.

The settlement reveals the extent to which Mr. Black, as soon as a titan of the non-public fairness trade, has gone to the extent of limiting exploration of his longstanding social and enterprise ties with Mr. Epstein. These transactions, together with the revelation that he paid Mr. Epstein $158 million for taxation and property planning providers, turned a supply of embarrassment for Mr. Black within the years following Mr. Epstein’s dying.

Black, 71, was pressured to step down in early 2021 as chairman and CEO of Apollo International Administration, the enormous non-public fairness agency he co-founded in 1990. The foremost artwork collector who made the information of the $120 million buy of Edvard Munch’s model of The Scream, Mr. Black additionally stepped down as chairman of the Museum of Trendy Artwork in New York.

The four-page settlement didn’t state that nothing in it was to be construed as an “admission of accountability” by Mr. Black.

Venetia J. Velazquez, a lawyer with the Virgin Islands Legal professional Common’s Workplace who negotiated the settlement, stated, “Over the previous a number of years, the Virgin Islands Division of Justice has prioritized supporting victims of trafficking and implementing the regulation to stop and deter trafficking in individuals.”

Whit Clay, a spokesman for Mr. Black, stated: Black employed Jeffrey Epstein and paid him for authorized monetary advisory providers, which, from all that’s now recognized, he deeply regrets. In accordance with calculations by different main US banks, Mr. Black settled potential USVI claims arising from the unintended penalties of those funds. There isn’t a suggestion within the USVI settlement that Mr. Black knew of or participated in any misconduct.”

The settlement got here after a scheduled two-day mediation that included attorneys for Mr. Black and the Virgin Islands, in addition to an lawyer for the plaintiffs, who represented a lot of Mr. Epstein’s victims, in line with a doc reviewed by The Instances.

Brad Edwards, an lawyer for the plaintiffs, stated he “has no proper to debate this topic.”

Mr. Epstein dedicated suicide in August 2019 whereas in federal jail in Manhattan on fees of intercourse trafficking. Legal professionals for Mr. Epstein’s victims stated at the very least 200 ladies – a lot of them youngsters on the time – had been sexually assaulted by Mr. Epstein at his non-public residence within the Virgin Islands, in addition to at his houses in Manhattan, Florida and elsewhere.

In line with an individual with data of the matter, a few of Mr. Epstein’s victims who acquired compensation immediately from his property acquired permission from executors to file go well with in opposition to a handful of males who had been in touch with Mr. Epstein. Mr. Black was a kind of folks, the person stated.

The settlement with the Virgin Islands doesn’t cowl claims that anybody else could carry in opposition to Mr. Black. However the settlement itself can’t be used as “proof of wrongdoing on Black’s half,” the doc says.

The Virgin Islands investigation into Mr. Black arose out of an investigation that resulted in a $105 million settlement with Mr. Epstein’s property and the territory’s pending lawsuit in opposition to JPMorgan Chase. The territory was weighing a lawsuit that will accuse Mr. Black of facilitating Mr. Epstein’s intercourse trafficking operation by paying giant sums of cash to the Southern Belief, which was one among Mr. Epstein’s main corporations within the Virgin Islands, two folks briefed on the matter stated.

Mr. Black’s determination to go away Apollo adopted an article in The Instances that reported that his ties to Mr. Epstein had been extra intensive than beforehand recognized. Apollo subsequently employed the regulation agency Dechert to research Mr. Black’s relationship with Mr. Epstein. Dechert cleared Mr. Black of any wrongdoing. However the regulation agency discovered that Mr. Black paid the Southern Belief $158 million and likewise offered the enterprise with a $30 million mortgage.

In its report, Dechert famous that the compensation paid by Mr. Black to Mr. Epstein, a school dropout, “far exceeds any sums” paid to his different skilled advisers.

Planning for the mediation session with Mr. Black started in December, when Denise N. George was nonetheless Legal professional Common of the Virgin Islands. However she was fired on New Yr’s Eve by the US territory’s governor, Albert Bryan Jr., simply days after her workplace sued JPMorgan.

In its lawsuit in opposition to JPMorgan, the Virgin Islands alleges that the nation’s largest financial institution turned a blind eye to Mr. Epstein’s trafficking in teenage women and younger ladies for intercourse. He’s searching for a $190 million fantastic.

JPMorgan, which just lately reached a $290 million settlement with Mr. Epstein’s victims on comparable grounds, is against the go well with introduced by the Virgin Islands. The financial institution argues that the territory shouldn’t be entitled to any cash from it as a result of authorities officers have performed little to curb Mr. Epstein’s actions.

In 2013, JPMorgan dropped Mr. Epstein as a consumer after the financial institution’s compliance officers warned for years that he was coping with a registered intercourse offender, in line with courtroom paperwork within the lawsuit.

However different paperwork seen by The Instances present that a number of financial institution officers continued to speak with Mr. Epstein after 2013 on account of his position as a tax advisor to Mr. Black, who was additionally a consumer of personal financial institution JPMorgan. These paperwork additionally present that the choice to proceed working with Mr. Epstein, as he was an adviser to Mr. Black, was authorized by the financial institution’s senior administration.

In an announcement, Ms Velasquez stated, “In contrast to any particular person, JPMorgan had detailed and complete monetary information on Epstein’s actions and a authorized obligation to share that data with regulation enforcement.”

A JPMorgan spokesman was not out there for remark.

Jessica Silver-Greenberg And Maureen Farrell contributed to this report.

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