Epstein philanthropy since sex plea included all-girl school

Saturday, July 13, 2019

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NEW YORK, USA (AP) — In the decade since striking a deal that required him to register as a sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein has sought to underwrite all manner of youth causes, such as baseball programmes near his retreat in the US Virgin Islands and an all-girls' school a few blocks from his Manhattan mansion.

The Associated Press found that the wealthy financier's donations included US$15,000 to the exclusive Hewitt School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, US$35,000 to the Junior Tennis Champions Centre in College Park, Maryland, and US$25,000 to Ecole du Bel-Air grade school in Haiti — all after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Epstein's donations through his charitable foundations, though not in violation of his status as a sex offender, were nonetheless awkward for some recipients. They were also, at times, difficult to trace.

It wasn't until later, when they realised a sex offender was behind the donations, that the school, the tennis centre and the Haiti project returned the money.

It's not clear why Epstein, who taught calculus and physics at Manhattan's coed Dalton School in the 1970s, singled out the Hewitt School for the 2016 gift. Administrators at the 500-student school responded to questions by saying only that it immediately gave the money back after learning of the Epstein connection several months ago.

In other instances, an Epstein foundation boasted in gushing news releases about his philanthropy and even inflated how much he was giving.


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