Jeffrey Edward Epstein was an American financier and convicted sex offender. Epstein, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City, began his professional life by teaching at the Dalton School in Manhattan, despite lacking a college degree. After his dismissal from the school, he entered the banking and finance sector, working at Bear Stearns in various roles; he eventually started his own firm. Epstein developed an elite social circle and procured many women and children; he and some of his associates then sexually abused them.
In 2005, police in Palm Beach, Florida, began investigating Epstein after a parent complained that he had sexually abused her 14-year-old daughter. Epstein pleaded guilty and was convicted in 2008 by a Florida state court of procuring a child for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute. He served almost 13 months in custody, but with extensive work release. He was convicted of only these two crimes as part of a controversial plea deal; federal officials had identified 36 girls, some as young as 14 years old, whom Epstein had allegedly sexually abused.
Epstein was arrested again on July 6, 2019, on federal charges for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. He died in his jail cell on August 10, 2019. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide. Epstein's lawyers have disputed the ruling, and there has been significant public skepticism about the true cause of his death, resulting in numerous conspiracy theories. Since Epstein's death precluded the possibility of pursuing criminal charges against him, a judge dismissed all criminal charges on August 29, 2019. Epstein had a decades-long association with the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, leading to her 2021 conviction on U.S. federal charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy for helping him procure girls, including a 14-year-old, for child sexual abuse and prostitution. Epstein also maintained long-term relationships with various high-profile individuals, including Donald Trump, Leslie Wexner, Bill Clinton, Alan Dershowitz, and Prince Andrew, Duke of York.