Middle aged white man with long thin face and gray hair looking concerned

Not many people know that the infamous Jeffrey Epstein spent a lot of time in Columbus in the 1990s and owned the second most valuable house in Franklin County, in the plush Stepford suburb known as New Albany. Epstein came to my attention when I was an investigative journalist for Columbus Alive. The State of Ohio Inspector General David Sturtz, one of my sources, was gathering evidence against Les Wexner and Jeff Epstein regarding public corruption, bribery and information related to the murder of Columbus attorney Arthur Shapiro.

Sturtz referred to Epstein as Wexner’s “boyfriend,” but Epstein was more than that. He was an “international man of mystery” with ties to the CIA, the royal family, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and others. But, at the heart of it, he is perhaps our nation’s most well-known pedophile.

Echoing Greek tragedies, the local billionaire with his name on more central Ohio buildings than anyone and known for his generous philanthropy, is now caught up in Epstein’s human trafficking scandal.

The most disturbing allegation in this Epstein saga involving Les Wexner was made by Maria Farmer. Her sworn affidavit alleges that Epstein sexually assaulted her at Wexner’s New Albany mansion in 1996. Wexner denies that he knew anything about the assault.

With Epstein’s proclivities for underage girls, this seems a bit implausible.

Epstein was recently indicted for human trafficking and having sex with underage girls. Many say he promised to help them with their modeling careers. Wexner is the owner of Victoria’s Secret and many of Epstein’s assaults occurred at their New York City residence.

Epstein and Wexner reportedly met when they were introduced by Bob Meister, an insurance mogul. Wexner and Epstein’s real estate dealings go back to at least 1989 when they jointly purchased a mansion in Manhattan described as the second largest residence in New York City.

In 1998, business documents identified Epstein as president, along with Wexner, of the New Albany Company. Epstein owned the house on King George Drive in New Albany from 1994 until December 2007 when he gave it to Wexner with no money exchanged. Also in 1998, Wexner transferred his interest in their Manhattan property for $20 million to Epstein.

Recently, the founder of L Brands issued a statement claiming he “was never aware of the illegal activity” that Epstein is charged with. Wexner said that “I would never have guessed that a person I employed more than a decade ago could have caused so much pain to so many people. My heart goes out to each and every person who has been hurt.”

Wexner also stressed that “I severed all ties with Jeffrey Epstein nearly twelve years ago.” This corresponds to the period of time around 2008 Epstein was first convicted of soliciting an underage prostitute. The new charges against Epstein sexually exploiting and abusing underage girls are from the 2003-2005 period.

Wexner claimed to be a victim of Epstein himself. The Free Press talked to an attorney for one of Epstein’s “Jane Doe” victims in Florida. The attorney said that Wexner had sent his lawyers and financial people down to Florida in 2008. They provided documents proving that Epstein stole large amounts of money from Wexner.

 Epstein’s “best friend,” accomplice, and procurer of young women, Ghislaine Maxwell, is the daughter of Robert Maxwell. Maxwell was an Israeli super spy who bought up British tabloids and the American publishing behemoth MacMillan, subsequently moving the editorial content in a right-wing direction. Robert Maxwell died under suspicious circumstances in 1991 when he fell or was pushed overboard off his yacht, The Ghislaine. According to Sturtz, Epstein was a “person of interest” in what some suspected was his homicide.

Epstein and Ghislaine’s relationship gave Epstein access to the elite in London and New York City. Epstein even attended one of the Queen’s birthday parties. In my article “Wexner’s Royal Connection” I covered Epstein’s heavy partying with Prince Andrew.

As has been widely reported, Epstein flew “The Lolita Express,” his personal 727 jet purchased from The Limited, to his own private “Lolita Island” in the Virgin Islands. Clinton was a frequent passenger. Law enforcement officials in Ohio including Sturtz felt that Epstein was running a “honey trap” -- a sexual blackmail scheme -- against wealthy and powerful people. Others joining Epstein on the island included Prince Andrew, Kevin Spacey, Alan Dershowitz and Donald Trump.

The New York Times unearthed a video showing Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein partying together in 1992 at a Mar-a-Lago event, Trump’s Palm Beach property. Trump and Epstein were enjoying the company of Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins cheerleaders. That same year Trump and Epstein were the only two male guests at the same Trump resort when more than two dozen “calendar girls” were brought in to entertain them. In 2002, Trump told New York Magazine that “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

One of the most potentially explosive allegations to re-emerge during this recent Epstein scandal is that Donald Trump is accused of raping a thirteen-year-old girl in Epstein’s New York mansion in 1994.

Read more of my past articles about Wexner and Epstein at “The Shapiro Murder File,” “Wexner’s War,” and “Spook Air.” These pieces also appear in my books available at the online store on The Fitrakis Files: Spooks, Nukes and Nazis and The Fitrakis Files: Cops, Coverups and Corruption.

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