Leon Black agreed to pay $62.5 million to settle Epstein-related claims: report

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Leon Black, founder of private-equity giant Apollo Global Management, agreed to pay $62.5 million to the U.S. Virgin Islands earlier this year to be free from any potential claims arising from the territory’s three-year investigation into the sex trafficking crimes of the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, according to a Friday report.

The previously undisclosed settlement detailed Friday by the New York Times, which saw a copy of the agreement, came after the Virgin Islands reached a $105 million deal in November with Epstein’s estate. The next month, the territory sued JPMorgan Chase & Co.
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in federal court over its 15-year relationship with Epstein, a registered sex offender who died by suicide while held in jail in 2019. The JPMorgan action was settled earlier this month.

Black stepped away from Apollo CEO duties in 2021 amid conflict with partners over the Epstein revelations. And he has shown his willingness to pay up to avoid future deeper scrutiny of his decades-long social and business links to Epstein, a relationship that the private-equity pillar has said he regrets. Among other dealings, it’s been revealed that Black paid $158 million to Epstein for tax and estate planning services.

On a late-2020 conference call about Apollo
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results, Black maintained that his business relationship with Epstein did not directly involve the firm.

Black said he first became aware of Epstein’s criminal conduct when it was reported the latter was investigated by Florida and federal prosecutors. Authorities had first probed Epstein allegations in 2005. Black’s payments to Epstein continued after the latter’s 2008 guilty plea in Florida to a prostitution charge involving a teenage girl.

Black said on the 2020 call with investors that he regretted giving Epstein a second chance.

“This was a terrible mistake. I wish I could go back in time and change that decision, but I cannot,” he said at the time. “Had I known any of the facts about Epstein’s sickening and repulsive conduct, which I learned in late 2018, more than a year after I stopped working with them, I never would have had anything to do with him.”

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