A Ponzi schemer who says he was conned out of $100 million by Jeffrey Epstein claims the dead pedophile moved in intelligence circles and was introduced to Ghislaine Maxwell’s father Robert by a British arms dealer.
The claims made by Steven Hoffenberg, who is a former business partner of Epstein, were published by Rolling Stone on Thursday.
Hoffenberg served 18 years in prison after pleading guilty back in 1995 for bilking investors out of more than a $450 million when he was running Towers Financial. Epstein worked for Hoffenberg at Towers Financial as a paid consultant in the 1980s. He made the claims about Epstein in an interview with British journalist Vicky Ward back in 2002 while he was serving that prison sentence in Massachusetts.
Among the allegations that he made was that Epstein ran in intelligence circles and that one of his mentors was a British defense contractor named Douglas Leese.
Leese, who died in 2011, was an arms dealer, according to Hoffenberg. Leese’s son denies that but did say that his father was a mentor to Epstein back in the 1980s.
Hoffenberg, who also claimed to know Leese, alleged the defense contractor introduced Epstein to Ghislaine Maxwell’s late father Robert Maxwell, aristocratic Europeans and people in the arms business.
Four separate sources, ranging from former arms dealers to ex-spies, said that Epstein went on to work for various governments, including the Israelis, through his arms dealing work, according to Ward’s Rolling Stone report. Ward, who has a documentary coming out about Ghislaine, reports that Robert Maxwell introduced Epstein to Israeli leaders and used him as part of an influence campaign.
Robert Maxwell was a disgraced British newspaper baron and notorious fraudster who died in suspicious circumstances after falling off his mega yacht in 1991. After his death, he was revealed to have stolen $623 million from employee pension funds.