Leon Black doesn’t want to talk about Jeffrey Epstein, and if you were the Apollo Global Management co-founder, you wouldn’t either: Having a two-decade-long personal and professional relationship with a notorious convicted sex criminal whose business bona fides are questionable at best is never a good look, even if you pinky swear the pedophile never got anywhere near Apollo itself. It’s especially troubling when you claim to have been “completely unaware” of the allegations against your buddy when you maintained your ties to him long after the aforementioned conviction, however gingerly it was handled by future Trump Administration Cabinet officials.
Unfortunately for Black, his name and his money keep turning up in the investigations into the now-dead creepy massage purveyor. So now he’s going to have to talk about it—and do a good deal else besides—whether he wants to or not.
[U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General] Denise N. George, informed a local court on Thursday that she would issue civil subpoenas to Mr. Black, a founder of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, and several entities connected to him, the chief clerk of the court said.
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….
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.
Among the matters George is attempting to understand is the millions paid to Epstein’s U.S.V.I.-based Southern Trust Company, which, in spite of its financial-sounding name (again, the extent to which Epstein was actually a financier is open to question), was said to have a grosser, more Epstein-y sounding purpose.
Mr. Epstein had told territorial officials that Southern Trust was developing a DNA data-mining service, although he said the company would also have a “financial arm.” Financial reports filed with the territory show that Southern Trust collected $184 million in fees from 2013 to 2018, although it was not clear how much of that came from Mr. Black.