Deutsche Bank AG severed business ties with Jeffrey Epstein earlier this year, just as federal authorities were preparing to charge the financier with operating a sex-trafficking ring of underage girls out of his opulent homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach.
The German bank, itself a subject of unrelated government investigations, closed Epstein’s accounts over several months, according to a person familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.
It’s unclear how much money was involved or how long Epstein was a customer of Deutsche Bank, which maintained the accounts long after he was convicted of sex crimes more than a decade ago. A company spokesman in New York declined to comment.
Epstein was arrested Saturday and charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy by federal prosecutors in New York. The Justice Department is seeking to send him to prison for years and seize his Manhattan mansion. He previously served 13 months in a Florida prison as part of the plea deal, which came under renewed scrutiny after the Miami Herald revisited the case in a November report.
The revelation of the closed accounts adds to the mystery surrounding Epstein’s supposed fortune. Despite his lavish lifestyle and rich acquaintances, the extent of his wealth -- and how he acquired it -- remains unclear. He left Bear Stearns in 1981 to set up his own firm after a swift rise at the investment bank. While he reportedly managed money for billionaires for decades, his trades, if any, have attracted little attention from most market players despite an outsize lifestyle featuring private jets and luxury homes.
Still, some scant details about his business dealings have emerged over the past decade.
His Financial Trust Co. had a $121 million investment in hedge fund firm DB Zwirn & Co., which shut down in 2008. Financial Trust also was also a major investor in Bear Stearns’s High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund, whose collapse helped ignite the global financial crisis.
So little is known about Epstein’s current business or clients that the only things that can be valued with any certainty are his properties. The Manhattan mansion is estimated to be worth at least $77 million, according to a federal document submitted in advance of his bail hearing.
He also has properties in New Mexico, Paris and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he has a private island, and a Palm Beach estate with an assessed value of more than $12 million. He shuttles between them by private jet and has at least 15 cars, including seven Chevrolet Suburbans, according to federal authorities.