Convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein transferred $270,000 between accounts involving Noam Chomsky and paid $150,000 to Leon Botstein of Bard College, as confirmed by both academics to the Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper calls the transactions “another glimpse into how the late disgraced financier provided favors for those who associated with him.”
Botstein and Chomsky had multiple meetings with Epstein even after he became a registered sex offender.
Chomsky, a political activist and professor, stated to the Journal that their occasional meetings revolved around discussions on political and academic matters.
Botstein, the longtime leader of Bard College in New York, said he met with Epstein in an attempt to raise funds for the school.
“They were among the many academics, politicians and businesspeople who met with Epstein in the years after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution. He was charged in 2019 with sex trafficking and died in jail while awaiting trial later that year,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to Botstein, Epstein sent him checks in 2016 totaling approximately $150,000, which he says he donated to Bard as part of an overall donation exceeding $1 million.
He said that Epstein designated him a consultant of an entity and send the money as if they were fees for doing consulting work – which he claims he never did. A spokesman said the funds were compensation for a one-year term for Epstein’s foundation, Gratitude America.
“I have no idea why he concocted this scheme,” claims Botstein. “He didn’t want to write a check to Bard. He took pity on me, and he said, ‘I’m gonna give you money and you do whatever you want with it.'”
Botstein previously lied when he told the Journal that Epstein gave Bard $75,000 in unsolicited donations in 2011 and that he had met with the disgraced financier over a dozen times but had been unsuccessful in raising more funds. He later said he didn’t remember the 2016 payments until the Journal asked him, as they didn’t appear as donations from Epstein in school records.
“The important thing to recognize is that I did not personally benefit,” Botstein said.
“Each fiscal year I give more in philanthropic gifts to Bard and the [American Symphony Orchestra] than anything that has come my way—conducting fees, writing fees, consultancies, speaking etc.—in order to protect myself and the college of the suspicion that I am enriching myself by exploiting my position,” he added.
Chomsky, meanwhile, confirmed that he received a March 2018 transfer of roughly $270,000 from an account linked to Epstein, which he said was “restricted to rearrangement of my own funds, and did not involve one penny from Epstein.”
“Chomsky explained that he asked Epstein for help with a ‘technical matter’ that he said involved the disbursement of common funds related to his first marriage,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
“My late wife died 15 years ago after a long illness. We paid no attention to financial issues,” he told the Journal in an email which cc’d his current wife. “We asked Epstein for advice. The simplest way seemed to be to transfer funds from one account in my name to another, by way of his office.”
According to Chomsky, he didn’t hire Epstein. “It was a simple, quick, transfer of funds,” he said.