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Jeffrey Epstein was famously rich, often referred to as a billionaire in news reports, but Tucker Carlson highlighted Monday that no one seems to be able to answer an obvious question: how much money does Epstein have and how did he make it?
"What did Jeffrey Epsten do for a living? Nobody seems to know," he marveled, discussing Epstein's murky background with Fox News and Fox Business anchor Melissa Francis, who said it was "driving her crazy" to hear Epstein called a "billionaire" hedge fund manager over and over.
"I'm like, what hedge fund? Where did this money come from? This has been the subject of a lot of mystery and curiosity for a while," she explained, saying Epstein, who did not graduate from college, started as a Manhattan private school math teacher.
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Epstein left to become an options trader at Bear Stearns after tutoring the son of one of the company's executives, she noted. After he left the firm, he partnered with a man who would later be convicted in a $460 million Ponzi scheme. Epstein was accused of involvement, but never faced charges.
Francis said Epstein then moved his business to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he was not required to disclose his assets or clients. She noted that Les Wexner, CEO of L Brands, which owns Victoria's Secret, was Epstein's only known client.
Wexner said in a letter to employees Monday that he cut ties with Epstein "nearly 12 years ago" and that he was unaware of his alleged criminal activity. Francis reported that Epstein's Manhattan townhouse was "deeded over to him" by Wexner and he also received "hand-me-down" airplanes from Wexner.
"How bizarre is that?" Francis asked.
Following his arrest, Epstein refused to provide authorities with even basic information about his income and assets. His attorney has since said Epstein’s other lawyers intend to provide that information but want to make sure it’s correct first.
"Little is known or said about Epstein's business except this: He manages money for the extremely wealthy," the Palm Beach Post reported in 2006 after Epstein's legal troubles began in Florida. "He is said to handle accounts only of $1 billion or greater."
Carlson and Francis said they would keep delving into the financial mystery.
Meantime, at a bail hearing Monday, prosecutors revealed that Epstein maintained a safe with a bizarre, expired passport in a different name, "dozens of diamonds" and "piles of cash" at his multi-story Upper East Side mansion in Manhattan.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman said he needed more time to make a decision about whether the wealthy 66-year-old should be denied bail while awaiting trial on new charges that he recruited and abused dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.
Federal prosecutors say Epstein is a flight risk and a danger to the community, revealing new details in court during the 2-hour hearing about the financier's assets, including the intriguing contents that had been locked inside one Epstein's safe.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller said prosecutors "became aware today" of an outdated passport issued by a foreign country with a photo that appears to be Epstein but in a different name. The puzzling passport, issued in the 1980s, places the subject's residence as being in Saudi Arabia.