Jeffrey Epstein’s former Wall Street mentor says the financier’s coziness with former President Bill Clinton “absolutely” led to his ruin.
“The Clinton relationship destroyed Jeffrey Epstein and did not help Clinton. Because that was his first major high-profile relationship, and he enjoyed the media pizzazz, not understanding it and letting his ego be inflated by being put in articles next to a former president of the United States,” Steven Hoffenberg told Observer. “That raised his pridefulness enormously. It inflated his ego… That changed him.”
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Hoffenberg’s Tower Financial Corporation hired Epstein in the 1980s for $25,000 per month, though the two split in the years before the former pleaded guilty to defrauding investors in a massive Ponzi scheme. In 2002, Hoffenberg told reporter Vicky Ward in an interview from prison that Epstein’s courtship of Clinton would draw attention to his business ventures, and the investor would be best served flying “below the radar.”
Flight logs indicate Clinton flew aboard Epstein’s private jet, the “Lolita Express,” at least 26 times between 2001 and 2003. Speaking to New York magazine, the former president lauded his friend as “a committed philanthropist” with “insights and generosity.”
“As he increased his wealth, he became more godly in attitude,” said Hoffenberg of his former protege. “Jeffrey Epstein, sadly to say, became a tragedy… What you’ve got is a tragedy for the girls.”
Epstein was arrested on Saturday evening at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. An indictment unsealed in Manhattan on Monday charged Epstein with sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy, with prosecutors expressing “real concerns” that the disgraced hedge fund manager could “pressure and intimidate witnesses.”
“We’re going to see when the 2,000 documents are released this month from the second circuit that there are prominent names attached to Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking crimes,” continued Hoffenberg. “It’s a tragedy.”