Friday, July 12, 2019

‘Epstein was running a blackmail scheme under the cover of a hedge fund’: NY magazine reports on Wall St speculation

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/07/epstein-was-running-a-blackmail-scheme-under-the-cover-of-a-hedge-fund-ny-magazine-reports-on-wall-st-speculation/?utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=670

Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein claims to be a billionaire hedge fund manager. But his real business may have been a blackmail scheme that could end up implicating many of his powerful friends.

“Given this puzzling set of data points, the hedge-fund managers we spoke to leaned toward the theory that Epstein was running a blackmail scheme under the cover of a hedge fund,” New York Magazine reported Thursday.

The magazine spoke with multiple Wall Street insiders for the story, including Douglas Kass of Seabreeze Partners Management.

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“I’m hearing about the parties, hearing about a guy who’s throwing money around,” Kass, who lives in Palm Beach, Florida. “I went to my institutional brokers, to their trading desks and asked if they ever traded with him. I did it a few times until the date when he was arrested. Not one institutional trading desk, primary or secondary, had ever traded with Epstein’s firm.”

“How did he get the money?” Kass kept investigating.

“I don’t know anyone who’s ever invested in him; he’s never talked about by any of the allocators,” a billionaire hedge-fund manager told the magazine.

Kass was one hedge-fund manager who emailed around a Twitter thread explaining how such blackmail would work.

“This actually sounds very plausible,” former hedge-fund manager Whitney Tilson said while emailing the thread around to Wall Street colleagues.

Here is the full thread by Quantian1:

Quantian
@quantian1
 So, apologies in advance, but I want to do a quick little THREAD to explain my theory of what the Epstein story really is. I promise this isn't some crazy Pizzagate conspiracy about space lizards, just a neat little explanation that IMO perfectly fits the known facts (0/13):

8,121
1:51 PM - Jul 8, 2019
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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
(1/13) Let's take as our starting points two givens.
(A.) You are a committed, unrepentant pedophile
(B.) Because of your old job in private banking, you are very connected to lots of very, very wealthy people
We'll also assume a goal:
(Z.) You want to become very rich

1,327
1:51 PM - Jul 8, 2019
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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
(2/13) The obvious route is, well, obvious: you could just be a pimp, offering underage prostitute services to very rich people.  This has two problems: you're very disposable (see: DC madam), and it's also not super lucrative. You can't charge millions of dollars up front.

1,049
1:51 PM - Jul 8, 2019
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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
(3/13) The second level though follows instantly: You don't need to charge up front, just get them to have underage sex, and then blackmail them afterwards for hush money.  Better ROI, but you're still a liability, and producing and receiving big bribe money raises big questions.

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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
(4/13) So, what to do?  Well, the second idea has some merits.  First, you need to recruit people in. Have lots of massive parties at your spacious home (check), invite top academics, artists, politicians to encourage people to come (check), and supply lots of young women (check)

1,110
1:51 PM - Jul 8, 2019
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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
(5/13) You don't even have to do anything, and most people invited might even be totally unaware of the real purpose of the parties! But, sooner or later, some billionaire will get handsy, she'll escort him to a room with a hidden camera, things happen. Morning after, you strike.

1,171
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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
(6/13) You inform him she was really 15, but you offer him a nice, neat way to buy your silence: a large allocation to your hedge fund, which charges 2/20 (check).  To ensure nobody else asks questions, you also take the extraordinary step of demanding power of attorney (check)

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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
(7/13) The fund is offshore in a tax haven (check) and nobody will see the client list (check).  Of course, you don't really know anything about investing, instead making up some nonsense about currency trading (check), and nobody on Wall Street has ever traded with you (check)

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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
(8/13) The fund itself doesn't need investment personnel (check), only some back office people to process the wires (check). You don't want to money from non-pedophiles, or they'll notice you've just put it in a S&P 500 fund, so you reject all incoming inquiries (check)

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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
(9/13) A $20 million wire from Billionaire X to you with no obvious reason will raise many questions, and the IRS will certainly want to know what you did to warrant it.  A $5 million quarterly fee for managing $1 billion in assets?  Nobody bats an eye.

1,548
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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
(10/13) Because of this structure, you're extraordinarily secretive about client lists (check) because they aren't clients, they're pedophiles paying you bribes, and they also are very secretive, which is why no letters or return streams ever leak (check)

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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
(11/13) Occasionally you may also try this trick on other people: important political figures, mayors, prosecutors, etc. They don't invest in the fund, but it's nice to have them in your pocket.  Others (academics, artists, etc.) can just be bought with money as a PR smokescreen.

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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
(12/13) And, of course, the scam can be kept going as long as people are willing to pay, which is forever.  If you're ever caught, just lean on some of your other friends in government to lean on the prosecutor to get you a sweetheart deal.  There's almost zero risk.

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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
(13/13) And the last piece of the puzzle is the evidence. You'd want it somewhere remote, but accessible: a place the US can't touch but you have an excuse to visit all the time to update.  Remember that offshore fund?

I bet there's a *very* interesting safe deposit box there.

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Quantian
@quantian1
Replying to @quantian1
Two small points of clarification:
1. This scheme works just as well if the billionaires are in on it from the getgo as a way to buy sex; I assumed that was obvious but I guess not.
2. There’s no need to invoke the Mafia/Russia/Mossad/CIA/etc, that’s just needlessly overfitting.

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11:25 AM - Jul 9, 2019
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