Officials in the US Virgin Islands plan to subpoena billionaire investor Leon Black over his decades-long relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, according to the New York Times.
Epstein served as a director on the Leon Black Family Foundation for over a decade, while the pedophile accepted a $10 million donation for his Gratitude America foundation from Black's "BV70 LLC" charity.
Meanwhile, after Epstein got out of prison for pedophilia, Black met with the financier at his company’s New York offices. Black also dispatched Apollo co-founder Marc Rowan to attend a meeting at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion with representatives of Edmond de Rothschild Group to discuss how the two firms could work together more closely, people with knowledge of the meeting told Bloomberg in July, 2019.
On Thursday, US Virgin Islands attorney general Denise N. George notified a local court that she would issue civil subpoenas to Black, founder of Apollo Global Management, as well as several entities he's tied to, according to the chief clerk of the court.
The subpoenas, copies of which were filed with the court, seek financial statements and tax returns for a number of entities, including Black Family Partners and Elysium Management, which oversee some of Mr. Black’s $9 billion fortune. Subpoenas will also go to Apollo and entities that help manage Mr. Black’s extensive art collection.
Mr. Black has said Mr. Epstein provided him with advice on tax strategy, estate planning and philanthropy, but has provided no details. A representative for Mr. Black said the financier had no further comment.
Mr. Black and his companies paid millions in fees to Southern Trust Company, which Mr. Epstein set up in the Virgin Islands in 2013, according to three people briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. -New York Times
According to territorial officials, Epstein claimed that Southern Trust was creating a DNA data-mining service, and would have a "financial arm." It collected $184 million in fees from 2013 - 2018, though the Times notes that it is unclear how much of that came from Black - who claims Epstein did no work for Apollo.
Some of the firms about to receive subpoenas include companies which Black has used to build a staggering art collection which includes works by Pablo Picasso, Edgar Degas and Henri Matisse.
The requests represent a significant step in Ms. George’s efforts to unravel the mystery of how Mr. Epstein amassed an estate valued at more than $600 million. They are part of a civil forfeiture suit she filed against his estate in January, claiming Mr. Epstein had misled government officials in the Virgin Islands to secure lucrative tax breaks for his businesses while engaging in sex trafficking and the abuse of underage girls.
Ms. George has also sent subpoenas to banks that handled Mr. Epstein’s money, including JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank. Some of the payment information involving Mr. Black surfaced during a review by Deutsche Bank, according to one of the people briefed on the matter. Deutsche Bank recently reached a settlement with regulators in New York who found the bank had done little to vet Mr. Epstein’s financial dealings. -New York Times
Black claims that he was "completely unaware" of Epstein's alleged sex-trafficking ring.