Jeffrey Epstein: CEO Resigns After Ties to Disgraced Financier Come to Light

Leon Black will reportedly step down as the CEO of Apollo Global Management Inc. after an [...]

Leon Black will reportedly step down as the CEO of Apollo Global Management Inc. after an independent probe found that he made large payments to Jeffrey Epstein. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Black has been the subject of a months-long investigation by Dechert LLP, which concluded that he was involved in Epstein's alleged sex-trafficking activities.

Dechert found that Black — a billionaire in his own right — had paid Epstein fees that were much larger than would be expected between two such men. These payments were ostensibly for financial counsel on trust and estate-tax planning, and Black reportedly maintains that these were legitimate transactions. However, he paid Epstein a total of $148 million, in addition to making a $10 million donation to Epstein's charity.

These amounts far exceeded what was previously known about the exchanges between Black and Epstein. After the news broke, Black wrote a letter to Apollo fund investors, explaining that he would hand over his role as chief executive to Mark Rowan. However, he hinted that he may not do so until as late as July 31, when he turns 70.

Black's later hinted that he wanted to retire around the time of his 70th birthday anyway, although it also made note of Dechert's securities filing. Any association with Epstein at all is enough to raise eyebrows these days, and the exchanging of vast sums of money even more so.

Epstein pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in Florida in 2005, and served just over a year in custody — much of it on work release. Even then, federal authorities had identified 36 girls with credible allegations of sexual assault from Epstein, but the consequences would not catch up with him until years later.

In July of 2019, Epstein was arrested on federal charges of sex-trafficking in both Florida and New York. This time, authorities seemed intent of bringing all of the cases against him to bear at once, including allegations that he had transported girls to his private island.

Epstein never stood trial in any of these cases because he died by apparent suicide in his jail cell the following month. At the time, he was under special supervision requiring him to be checked on every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed. He also had a cellmate who was abruptly transferred hours before his death. The cameras in front of Epstein's cell malfunctioned that night as well. The next morning, guards found Epstein dead.

The case against Epstein continues in investigations into his alleged co-conspirators, such as his ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. However, so far no criminal charges against Black have come to light.