Jeffrey Epstein in Cambridge, MA in 1984.
Rick Friedman | Corbis News | Getty Images
Les Wexner in June, 2016.
Astrid Stawiarz | Getty Images
Representatives close to Wexner, who is chairman and CEO of L Brands, did not deny the efforts to give over evidence against Epstein. A spokesman for Wexner declined to comment, and an L Brands spokeswoman did not return a request for comment. Wexner’s attorney and a legal representative for Epstein did not return repeated requests for comment.
Since Epstein’s arrest last month in New Jersey, Wexner and his company have been trying to publicly distance themselves from someone whom Wexner had once given power of attorney.
In a letter released to members of his charitable foundation, Wexner gave a general synopsis of how he walked away from Epstein in 2007 after the child predator was initially placed under investigation in Florida for similar allegations. Epstein was sentenced to 13 months behind bars in that case but spent much of his time out on work release.
“By early fall 2007, it was agreed that he should step back from the management of our personal finances. In that process, we discovered that he had misappropriated vast sums of money from me and my family,” Wexner said in the letter. “This was, frankly, a tremendous shock, even though it clearly pales in comparison to the unthinkable allegations against him now.”
Wexner later noted that they were able to recover some of the money Epstein allegedly stole from Wexner’s family charity, saying that Epstein refunded part of the sum to the YLK Charitable Fund. Epstein’s repayment came in the form of a $46 million contribution in Apple stock and other assets shortly before he went to jail in 2008.
A representative for Wexner’s foundation declined to comment.
Wexner signed over power of attorney to Epstein in the summer of 1991, a legal document shows. Soon after Epstein was brought on board, The New York Times reported, Wexner started to distance himself from many of his associates within his inner circle. Epstein reportedly used his position as Wexner’s money manager to act as a talent recruiter for Victoria’s Secret, an L Brands company. While pitching himself as a recruiter, he would lure women into his hotel room and attempt to assault them, the Times reported.
L Brands also owns fragrance company Bath & Body Works and clothing line PINK.
Wexner’s business has started an internal review of their own and has hired outside counsel to review their prior relationship with Epstein.