Tuesday, July 09, 2019

If You Flew Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’ Private Jet—the Feds Want to Talk to You

By Greg Farrell

 Jeffrey Epstein Photographer: Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images

After Jeffrey Epstein’s latest arrest on sex trafficking charges, some famous people may be squirming. 

His notorious little black book and private-jet manifests contained a long list of boldface names, including Victoria’s Secret mogul Leslie Wexner and former president Bill Clinton.

U.S. prosecutors on Monday encouraged anyone with information about Epstein’s conduct to come forward, not just potential victims. To the socialites, celebrities and politicians who attended lavish parties at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan or Palm Beach in the early 2000s -- or hitched rides on his private jet nicknamed the “Lolita Express” by the tabloids -- the request carried a clear message: Come talk to us before we seek you out.

“You would much rather be visiting the Department of Justice and engaging a conversation about what you saw rather than making the DoJ find you,” said Jacob Frenkel, a former federal prosecutor now at Dickinson-Wright. “There’s a much greater potential for influencing the parameters of an interview and the scope of cooperation by going in voluntarily than becoming a compulsory guest” of the government, he said.

Considering the dozens of alleged victims and hundreds of names on Epstein’s contact list, the Epstein affair could be far from over. Some of the alleged victims have claimed they were farmed out to other men.

Although the alleged crimes date back to 2002, new information continues to arise. 

Epstein’s little black book was published by Gawker in 2015, years after he pleaded guilty in Florida for soliciting an underage prostitute. 

On Saturday the FBI, using a crowbar on one of the most expensive properties in Manhattan, executed a search warrant on Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse.

Agents gathered a “vast trove of lewd photographs of young-looking women or girls” according to prosecutors, who urged a judge not to release Epstein on bail. The FBI agents also discovered compact discs labeled “Misc nudes 1” and “Girl pics nude.”

The call to action by prosecutors and the discovery that Epstein, a registered sex offender, possessed explicit photos could lead to additional charges, Frenkel said.

In this way, prosecutors’ request for more evidence poses a threat to any of Epstein’s associates who also engaged in sex with minors. It also raises the stakes for those who attended his parties and might have inferred that something was wrong with the fact that so many grown men were surrounded by girls who appeared to be teenagers.

To be sure, Epstein’s contact list includes many prominent people, both men and women, who are fixtures in the celebrity party scene.

The black book contains more than 1,000 names, ranging from close friends like Wexner to peripheral contacts from the worlds of politics, business, the media and European high society. The U.K.’s Prince Andrew and members of the Trump family make appearances. There’s even an entry for the main number to the White House.

The names include well known performers, including Ralph Fiennes, Alec Baldwin, David Blaine, Jimmy Buffett and Courtney Love; media figures including Charlie Rose, Mike Wallace and Barbara Walters; former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, former British prime minister Tony Blair, industrialist David Koch and the late Salomon Brothers chief executive officer John Gutfreund and his wife, Susan.

Frenkel said the case could develop much like the college-admissions scandal, in which a number of wealthy parents have been charged with paying bribes to get their children into top-tier colleges. More than a dozen have pleaded guilty.

“Once the key witnesses flip, including the victims, the potential is there for other participants to be implicated directly,” he said. “That could be a veiled message in the U.S. attorney’s invitation to decide early whether to hunker down or come forward and get credit or acknowledgment for cooperation to avoid indictment.”

On Monday, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman pleaded for people to come forward with any information about Epstein’s conduct, asking them to call 800-CALL-FBI. 

While some of Epstein’s alleged victims have accused him of providing them to other men for sexual services, the named men have categorically denied such conduct.



What did Jeffrey Epstein’s famous friends know and see?



Jeffrey Epstein has hobnobbed with some of the world’s most powerful people during his jet-setting life. Future President Donald Trump called him a “terrific guy.” Former President Bill Clinton praised his intellect and philanthropic efforts and was a frequent flyer aboard his private jet.

The arrest of the billionaire financier on child sex trafficking charges is raising questions about how much his high-powered associates knew about the hedge fund manager’s interactions with underage girls, and whether they turned a blind eye to potentially illegal conduct.

Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten has since distanced Trump from Epstein, telling Politico in 2017 that Trump “had no relationship with Mr. Epstein and had no knowledge whatsoever of his conduct.”

Asked about the charges on Sunday, Trump said, “I don’t know about it.”

Epstein was also an associate of Clinton’s, repeatedly lending the former president his jet to travel overseas. Flight logs obtained by Fox News showed the former president took at least 26 trips aboard Epstein’s Boeing 727, nicknamed the “Lolita Express,” from 2001 to 2003. That “included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including ‘Tatiana,’” the outlet found.

“Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science,” Clinton told New York magazine though a spokesman for that same 2002 story. “I especially appreciated his insights and generosity during the recent trip to Africa to work on democratization, empowering the poor, citizen service, and combating HIV/AIDS.”

Clinton spokesman Angel Ureña said the former president “knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York.” He said that, in 2002 and 2003, Clinton took four trips on Epstein’s plane with multiple stops and that staff and his Secret Service detail traveled on every leg.

“He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida,” Ureña added.

Epstein is accused of paying underage girls hundreds of dollars in cash for massages and then molesting them at his homes in Florida and New York. He “intentionally sought out minors and knew that many of his victims were in fact under the age of 18,” according to prosecutors, who said he also paid some of his victims to “recruit additional girls to be similarly abused.”

Epstein pleaded not guilty Monday to sex trafficking charges.


Unsealed Indictment Against Clinton Pal Jeffrey Epstein Shows Rampant Sexual Abuse of Minor Girls

By Katie Pavlich | Towhnall.com

A multi-count federal indictment of Grand Jury charges against billionaire and longtime Clinton ally Jeffery Epstein was unsealed Monday. It alleges abuse against dozens of underage girls. During a search warrant execution, federal agents found nude photos of the girls in Epstein's possession.

"As set forth herein, over the course of many years, Jeffery Epstein, the defendant, sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations," the indictment states.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman - Press Conference

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman:

"In particular, from at least in or about 2002, up to and including at least in or about 2005, Jeffery Epstein, the defendant, enticed and recruited, and caused to be enticed and recruited, minor girls to visit his mansion in Manhattan, New York (the "New York Residence") and his estate in Palm Beach, Florida (the "Palm Beach Residence") to engage in sex acts with him, after which he would give the victims hundreds of dollars in cash.

Moreover, and in order to maintain and increase his supply of victims, Epstein also paid certain of his victims to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused by Epstein. In this this way, Epstein created a vast network of underage victims for him to sexually exploit in locations including New York and Palm Beach.

"While the charged conduct is from a number of years ago, it is still profoundly important to the many alleged victims—now young women. They deserve their day in court. We are proud to be standing up for them.

“There is no ignorance here and Epstein allegedly sought out girls especially because they were vulnerable and underage. 

"The victims described herein were as young as 14 years old at the time they were abused by Jeffrey Epstein, the defendant, and were, for various reasons, often particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Epstein intentionally sought out minors and knew that many of his victims were in fact under the 'age of 18, including because, in some instances, minor victims expressly told him their age," the indictment continues. 

“Recruitment was also done by Epstein's employees, who often escorted the girls to a private room where he would be waiting.”

Epstein was arrested on Saturday afternoon at 5:30 pm ET. He will be arraigned in court Monday afternoon. 

As for Epstein's high profile friends who also may have also participated in his crimes, prosecutors aren't talking.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman says he will not comment on any individuals who may or may not be associated with Epstein.

"My answer will be 'no comment.' That will be across the board...I urge you not to read anything into that one way or the other."