TD Took Epstein Money After Deutsche Bank Kicked Out Felon
(Bloomberg) -- After another global bank cut off convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, his wealth found a home at Toronto-Dominion Bank.
The Canadian lender accepted accounts belonging to Epstein earlier this year after Deutsche Bank AG severed ties with the disgraced financier, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The accounts were moved to at least one entity affiliated with Darren Indyke, a close Epstein associate who’s now an executor of his estate, said the person, who asked not to be identified.
Epstein’s alleged crimes and unclear sources of wealth have sparked efforts to trace his money across the worlds of finance, academia and philanthropy. TD is the third major global lender linked to him since he became a felon, as Deutsche Bank took him on as a client after JPMorgan Chase & Co. ended a long relationship years after his first arrest. It’s unclear how much money was moved to TD and whether the assets are still there.
“As a matter of policy, we do not share information of this kind publicly,” said Paolo Pasquini, a spokesman for the Toronto-based lender. Troy Gravitt, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank in New York, declined to comment. Indyke and Marc Agnifilo, a lawyer for Indyke, didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Epstein died in prison in August, a month after his arrest on charges that he sexually abused and exploited dozens of girls. A decade earlier, he had served time in a Palm Beach jail on similar charges, in a case involving a secretive plea deal. Alexander Acosta, the U.S. attorney at the time in Florida, resigned as President Donald Trump’s labor secretary in July under pressure from the taint of that case.
Deutsche Bank closed Epstein’s accounts over several months this year as federal authorities were preparing to charge the disgraced financier with operating a sex-trafficking ring of underage girls out of his opulent homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach.
Epstein brought lucrative clients into JPMorgan’s private-banking unit and was close to former head Jes Staley, who visited Epstein’s private island as recently as 2015. Leon Black, Apollo Global Management’s billionaire chairman, met with the financier from time to time at the company’s New York offices, and used Epstein for tax and philanthropic advice.
Connections to Epstein have also caused tumult in academia. The head of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab resigned this month after an outcry over his solicitation of donations from Epstein.
Epstein, 66 at the time of his death, left an estate valued at more than $500 million, including about $194 million in hedge fund and private equity investments, $113 million held in equities and $57 million in cash, according to a court filing.
Toronto-Dominion, Canada’s second-biggest bank, has a significant retail-banking operation in the U.S., including wealth management and private banking.
It has a history of attracting U.S. clients who proved to be troublesome. Florida’s Scott Rothstein used TD Bank to launder the proceeds of a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme that collapsed a decade ago. And convicted Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, who bilked investors in a $7 billion fraud, used Toronto-Dominion to maintain accounts and accept deposits tied to his Antigua-based bank as part of a Ponzi scheme that also collapsed in 2009.
Questions still swirl around Epstein’s fortune, which is held in numerous shell companies, many based in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He wrote a will just two days before his suicide, placing $578 million of assets in a trust, another move which could complicate efforts to collect damages by women who say he sexually abused them.
“The financial investigators have their work cut out for them here,” said Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor and managing partner at Tucker Levin in New York. “In cases involving sophisticated defendants like this, assets are usually hidden behind many layers of LLCs and trusts and off-shore holdings. Their work is a lot like peeling back the layers of an onion.”
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