By Khadeeja Safdar
Leslie Wexner, the billionaire behind Victoria's Secret, said in a letter that his former money manager Jeffrey Epstein misappropriated more than $46 million of his fortune, revealing for the first time the financial fallout from his relationship with the disgraced financier.
The founder and chief executive of L Brands Inc. told members of his Wexner Foundation that the missing funds were uncovered after Mr. Wexner decided in 2007 to sever ties with Mr. Epstein. Mr. Wexner began the separation process after allegations against Mr. Epstein surfaced involving sexual abuse of underage girls.
"We discovered that he had misappropriated vast sums of money from me and my family," Mr. Wexner wrote in a letter Wednesday to the foundation. "This was, frankly, a tremendous shock, even though it clearly pales in comparison to the unthinkable allegations against him now."
In January 2008, Mr. Epstein transferred $46 million worth of investments to a Wexner charitable fund, tax records show. Mr. Wexner said the transfer was only a portion of the funds that his money manager had allegedly misappropriated. "All of that money -- every dollar of it -- was originally Wexner family money," he wrote.
A lawyer for Mr. Epstein couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Last month, Mr. Epstein pleaded not guilty to sex-trafficking counts stemming from what federal prosecutors alleged was a yearslong scheme to procure and sexually abuse dozens of girls. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted. Mr. Epstein has been denied bail and is in federal custody.
Write to Khadeeja Safdar at firstname.lastname@example.org