Politics

Jeffrey Epstein Gave $800,000 to MIT — Now University Will ‘Examine’ Those Donations

Over two decades, disgraced financier shared thousands of dollars with the institution — today, an 'internal review' has begun

Image Credit: Screenshot, YouTube / WikiMedia Commons

Jeffrey Epstein’s reputation was well known — but the problems connected to that were convenient for many to overlook while they accepted money from him.

Is this a joke?

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will be examining $800,000 in donations it received over two decades from the controversial financier — in order to identify “any lessons for the future.”

Rafael Reif, the university’s president, sent an email to the MIT community on Thursday, according to reports.

It said: “To my great regret, despite following the processes that have served MIT well for many years, in this instance, we made a mistake of judgment.”

This so-called “internal review” began after the MIT Media Lab head mentioned that he solicited donations from Epstein back in 2013.

The internal review comes amid a growing outcry after the head of the MIT Media Lab said last week he began soliciting donations from Epstein in 2013 — five years after the financier reached a plea deal over charges he trafficked dozens of underage girls that were sexually abused.

“One of America’s most prestigious schools, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, accepted over $800,000 in donations from Jeffrey Epstein’s foundations,” as Business Insider described it in a piece.

Related: Jeffrey Epstein: A Life by the Numbers

And it quoted the president: “Over the course of 20 years, MIT received approximately $800,000 via foundations controlled by Jeffrey Epstein,” MIT president L. Rafael Reif said in a letter sent to the faculty on Friday, Business Insider also noted. “All of those gifts went either to the MIT Media Lab or to Professor Seth Lloyd.”

“The extent of Epstein’s donations was previously unknown, but was reported to be in the $200,000 range,” BI noted.

“MIT’s acclaimed Media Lab is known for its innovative work in a variety of tech-related fields,” the outlet also noted. “It’s run by director Joichi Ito, who admitted earlier this month to having accepted donations from Jeffrey Epstein over the years. In addition to his work at MIT, Ito founded and heads an investment company named Neoteny that funds a variety of tech-related startups.”

Epstein was arrested in early July, as most people now know, on suspicions of the sex trafficking of minors.

You can bet the institution will claim the money has gone to something or other and can’t be returned.

“He was being held without bail awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking,” BI detailed in its piece. “On August 10, Epstein died by suicide while being held at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center.”

What I’m curious about is that if Epstein truly wanted to create “generations of himself” — “Epstein reportedly had plans to do things which were highly problematic, such as creating generations of himself” — then why does he have no apparent heirs?

Related: Outraged Americans React to Death of Epstein

MIT is only sorry that the news came out, in my view.

You can bet the institution will claim the money has gone to something or other and can’t be returned.

A version of this piece originally appeared in WayneDupree.com; this article is used by permission.

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meet the author

Wayne Dupree is owner and founder of WayneDupree.com. He was named to 2017 Newsmax’s 50 Most Influential African-American Republicans. He served in the USAF from 1987-1995; he saw time in Operation Desert Storm/Shield. The father of three, he's the host of "The Wayne Dupree Show."

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