Senate Finance Committee: The Senate Finance Committee is investigating. whether billionaire investor Leon Black should have considered Jeffrey Epstein’s $158 million tax and estate planning services a gift. According to a letter obtained by The New York Times, This probe is part of a larger investigation into ultra-wealthy tax avoidance.
According to Senator Ron Wyden’s letter to Mr. Black, the The Senate Finance Committee investigating Mr. Black’s use of several trusts to reduce tax liabilities and Mr. Epstein’s advice on art acquisitions.
Oregon Democrat Senator Ron Wyden is dissatisfied with Apollo Global Management co-founder, Mr. Black’s information and requested his cooperation in the inquiry.
“The tax-avoidance scheme you implemented with Epstein’s assistance raises numerous questions, particularly whether The exorbitant sums paid to Epstein should be classified as gifts for federal tax purposes,” Senator Wyden wrote. Federal taxes of 18–40% apply to gifts over an annual threshold.
Mr. Black, 71, has worked closely with the committee, according to his spokesperson. The spokesperson, Whit Clay, stressed that The transactions under review were legal and guided by reputable law firms and tax advisors. Mr. Black also paid all taxes.
A 2020 law firm review found that Mr. Epstein helped Mr. Black and his four children save $2 billion in estate and gift taxes. Dechert, Apollo’s board’s firm, found no wrongdoing in Mr. Black’s dealings
with Mr. Epstein. In 2021, Mr. Black resigned as Apollo Global Management chairman and CEO.
In a 16-page letter, the Senate Finance Committee investigates ultra-rich tax shelters used to evade federal taxes, including estate and gift taxes. In April, the committee asked billionaire real estate developer Harlan Crow about the tax treatment of gifts to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
Following The New York Times’ report that Mr. Black settled with the U.S. Virgin Islands for $62.5 million to avoid a lawsuit, This investigation is the latest. The Virgin Islands’ three-year investigation into Mr. Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation, partly based on his private island off St. Thomas, led to the settlement.
Mr. Black and Jeffrey Epstein had longstanding social and business ties. Before his suicide in 2019, Mr. Epstein faced federal sex-trafficking charges. His victims’ lawyers estimated that he sexually abused 200 young women, many of them teens.
In June 2022, the Senate committee sent Apollo Global Management a letter to investigate Mr. Black. After that, two major law firms that had worked with Mr. Black indicated that he would not answer questions about payments to Mr. Epstein.
Mr. Black’s lawyers provided some details about the grantor. retained annuity trusts (GRATs) established in 2006 to facilitate the tax-efficient transfer of Apollo shares to his children while maintaining income from the investment, but Senator Wyden believes that Mr. Epstein’s role in these tax strategies has not been sufficiently investigated.