Jeffrey Epstein was released from a Florida prison last week for soliciting underage girls for sex, which means he is now free to pursue the "philanthropic endeavors" that his lawyer says he's been eager to get back to. What these good deeds will consist of isn't clear, but perhaps one item on the agenda will be focusing his attention on "exonerating the wrongfully convicted" and "reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice"?
Whatever it is that Epstein is planning to do to benefit society, it probably won't be connected to the foundation he ran up until his arrest. Shortly before he began serving his year-long sentence, Epstein took the $18 million in his rather bizarre-sounding C.O.U.Q. Foundation and gave it all away, donating $4 million to two dozen charity groups and handing the rest—more than $14 million—to a foundation controlled by Les Wexner, the founder of the Limited retail chain and one of the shadowy money manager's only known clients.
Was the $14 million intended to pay Wexner back for all the money he lost investing on Wexner's behalf? (After all, Epstein was a big investor in that group of Bear Stearns hedge funds that imploded last year.) Was it Epstein's way of apologizing for dragging his best friend's name through the mud? Maybe he just thought Wexner could do a better job selecting worthy recipients of his funds? Whatever Epstein's reasoning, we're totally going to attribute his decision to write a $50,000 check to Barry Scheck's Innocence Project—a first for Epstein in his career as a philanthropist—as a sign that he's going to spend the forseeable future trying to get his name removed from the list off the National Sex Offender Registry.