By Stephen Sorace
Published August 12, 2019
Jeffrey Epstein was a multimillionaire financier who hobnobbed with an elite circle of princes, presidents and the ultrawealthy -- before his fall from grace following accusations of child sex trafficking in the mid-2000s -- accusations that hung over him, the proverbial black cloud, until his reported suicide early Saturday in his Manhattan jail cell.
Here is a look at the major events in Epstein’s life -- the crimes, the controversies and the questions that surround his shocking death.
Jan. 20, 1953 – Epstein is born in Brooklyn.
1969 – 1971 – After high school, Epstein takes physics classes at Manhattan’s Cooper Union and enrolls in NYU’s Courant Institute, though he leaves without a degree, according to a 2002 New York magazine profile.
1973 – 1975 – Described by some around him as a math genius, Epstein teaches calculus and physics at the Dalton School on Manhattan’s Upper East Side -- without having a degree -- according to the magazine.
Epstein attracts the attention of the Wall Street-connected father of a student, who tells him to reach out to Ace Greenberg, a senior partner at Bear Stearns.
RISE TO PROMINENCE
1976 – Epstein joins Bear Stearns as a junior assistant to a floor trader at the American Stock Exchange before rapidly rising through the ranks and becoming a partner by 1980, according to New York magazine.
1981 – A year after making partner, he leaves Bear Stearns to set up his own money managing business, which caters exclusively to billionaires. His most notable client is billionaire businessman Les Wexner, according to Bloomberg. After Epstein's death, CNBC reports Wexner and his representatives have turned over documents to authorities allegedly showing Epstein may have misappropriated money.
How Epstein accumulated his wealth is unclear; his net worth has inspired speculation but remains murky. Federal prosecutors noted a mysterious gap in his financial records at a hearing in July.
2000s – Epstein invests millions into a Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage hedge fund, according to WLNY-TV. The fund is later considered to be “a ticking time bomb” that factored into the collapse of Bear Stearns during the 2008 financial crisis, according to the station.
March 2005 - Florida police investigate Jeffrey Epstein for "sexual battery" following accusations that he paid female minors for sex.
Oct. 20, 2005 - With the police probe in full swing, investigators execute a search warrant on Epstein’s Florida home.
May 2006 - A probable cause affidavit is filed against Epstein by Palm Beach police, accusing him of four counts of unlawful sex with minors and one count of molestation.
June 2006 - The grand jury hears from only one accuser and returns an indictment for a single count of solicitation of prostitution.
July 2006 - FBI opens a federal investigation on Epstein that involves multiple accusers in various states, including New York.
PLEA DEAL, SEX OFFENDER STATUS
2007 - 2008 - Epstein’s legal team negotiates terms of a plea deal with then-U.S. attorney Alexander Acosta in Miami.
June 30, 2008 - Epstein pleads guilty to one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of solicitation of prostitution of a minor under the age of 18. Epstein is given a sentence of 18 months in jail plus a year of community service, and he required to register as a sex offender.
October 2008 - Epstein begins work release from the Palm Beach County stockade. He is picked up by his private driver six days a week and transported to an office in West Palm Beach, where he accepts visitors for up to 12 hours a day. He returns to the stockade in the evenings to sleep.
July 7, 2009 - Epstein is released after a 13-month stint at the Palm Beach County stockade, five months early.
September 2009 - Details of Epstein's plea deal are made public. Additionally, at this time, there were at least a dozen civil lawsuits filed by women who allege they were molested by Epstein when they were underage.
November 2011 - A New York appeals court upheld a lower court's ruling that Epstein must register as a Level 3 sex offender. According to the NY state guidelines, A Level 3 classification means the offender is a "high risk of repeat offense and a threat to public safety exists"
June 2017 - President Trump nominates former Miami -U.S. attorney Alexander Acosta as U.S. secretary of labor. During his confirmation hearing, Acosta briefly addresses questions about the deal he approved for Epstein and one lawmaker requests more records from the Epstein case. Acosta is confirmed.
THE CASE REOPENS
February 2019 - The Justice Department says it's opened an investigation into federal prosecutors' handling of Epstein’s plea deal. The department's Office of Professional Responsibility intends to examine whether professional misconduct occurred in the highly publicized case.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra rules federal prosecutors overseeing the case violated the law by concealing from underage alleged victims the existence of the plea deal that shielded Epstein from federal charges.
EPSTEIN'S ARREST AND DEATH
July 2, 2019 - A sealed indictment is filed charging Epstein with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors.
July 6, 2019 - Epstein is arrested after his plane lands in Teterboro, N.J.
July 8, 2019 - Epstein's indictment is unsealed and he pleads not guilty at his arraignment.
July 18, 2019 - Epstein is denied bail.
July 23, 2019 - Epstein is reportedly found unconscious, with neck injuries, in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. It is unclear whether the injury was self-inflicted or the result of an assault by another inmate.
Aug. 10, 2019 - Epstein is found dead in his Manhattan cell. His cellmate was reportedly removed from the cell hours before Epstein's death. Guards had reportedly not checked in on Epstein for “several hours” though such checks were required at half-hour intervals.
Aug. 11, 2019 – An autopsy is performed on Epstein. The chief medical examiner releases a statement saying the office needs more information before determining Epstein’s cause of death.
Aug. 12, 2019 - Attorney General William Barr describes “serious irregularities” at the facility where Epstein was held. Barr vows a full investigation by the FBI and the Department of Justice inspector general.