Leon Black, a billionaire investment banker who has appeared on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list and serves as the chairman of the board at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, will be subpoenaed by officials in the U.S. Virgin Islands for their investigation of Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender who faced federal sex trafficking charges before his death at the New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center in 2019, which was ruled a suicide.
According to a report by the New York Times, subpoenas issued by Denise N. George, attorney general for the U.S. Virgin Islands, will request tax returns and other financial records from managers of Black’s fortune, including Black Family Partners and Elysium Management, and Black’s private-equity firm Apollo Management, which he has employed in his art collecting endeavors.
Epstein served as a trustee of the Leon Black Family Foundation, and Black has said that Epstein gave him business advice over the course of their relationship. The New York Times reports that Black and his companies paid millions of dollars to Southern Trust Company, which Epstein established in the Virgin Islands in 2013, and two of Black’s sons remain listed as board members of Environmental Solutions Worldwide, a company that Epstein had invested in.
Black wrote to his employees at Apollo in 2019 that the company “has never done any business with Mr. Epstein at any point in time” and that he was “completely unaware of, and am deeply troubled by, the conduct that is now the subject of the federal criminal charges brought against Mr. Epstein.” ARTnews has reached out to Apollo for comment on the subpoenas from the Virgin Islands.
Epstein maintained connections to other prominent figures and institutions in the art world during his lifetime, including the New York Academy of Art, the M.I.T. Media Lab, dealer Leah Kleman, and others.