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'Filthy Rich' On Netflix: How Did Jeffrey Epstein Make His Money? He Was Worth Millions Before His Suspicious Death

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How Did Jeffrey Epstein Make His Money? He Was Worth Millions Before His Suspicious Death

Since his suspicious death in prison in August 2019, there have been a lot of questions about Jeffrey Epstein... and many of them may end up being answered in the new Netflix documentary, Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich

Most of us know that Epstein was loaded at the time of his death, but what a lot of us don't know is how he came to be so wealthy.

How did Jeffrey Epstein make his money?

It's all a bit shady, but here's what we know about his mysterious fortune. 

RELATED: Jeffrey Epstein, Accused Sex Trafficker, Dies By Suicide In Jail

Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich is now streaming on Netflix.

The new docuseries was released on the streaming service on Wednesday after the filmmakers began work on it last summer — before Epstein had reportedly taken his own life. 

"We traveled the globe to deliver the most complete and intimate look at Epstein’s survivors," director Lisa Bryant said in an interview. "My goal was to untangle the convicted pedophile’s lies and manipulations, without losing sight of the women and young girls he preyed upon. By sharing their truths here, they are presenting international audiences with an unfiltered account of what they experienced."

But how did Jeffrey Epstein make his money? 

Though Epstein was obviously best known for the accusations that he was sex trafficking minors, before his death, he worked as a financier, opening his own firm in the late '80s. On the surface, he did have a successful career in finance but that isn't quite how he came to be a millionaire (and potentially even a billionaire) before he died. 

He managed the money of the founder of Victoria's Secret. 

Another way Epstein acquired money was by managing the funds of Victoria's Secret and L Brands founder Leslie Wexner. Through the deal they made, Epstein profited about $200 million ... but Wexner has since accused him of misappropriating his funds after Epstein failed to return some of the $46 million that he had been managing for him. 

“We discovered that he had misappropriated vast sums of money from me and my family,” Wexner said in 2019. “This was, frankly, a tremendous shock, even though it clearly pales in comparison to the unthinkable allegations against him now.”

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He made more than $200 million since 2012. 

Between 2012 and 2019, Epstein pulled in over $200 million after starting a company called Southern Trust in the Virgin Islands. It's still not totally clear where that money came from. The company claimed to be working with DNA data to find out how likely customers were to develop cancer in their lifetimes, per what Epstein told Virgin Island officials. Documents haven't shown who was paying that money to Epstein, though. 

He was worth over $500 million at the time of his death. 

According to records obtained from an unknown financial institution, when Epstein died, his net worth was approximately $500 million, with about $10 million coming in each year. This included $56.5 million in cash, plus money tied up in equities, hedge funds, and private investments, along with $14.3 million in fixed income.

There are a lot of theories about what may have gone on behind the scenes.

These theories range from Ponzi schemes to blackmail and everything in between. Given that Epstein was known for allegedly associating himself in some suspicious (and seriously illegal) circles, it wouldn't be surprising at all to find that there are even more conspiracies here than the ones that have already been uncovered, including the fact that he may have threatened to leak embarrassing photos, videos, and information of his victims, as a woman named Victoria Roberts Giuffre claimed in a court filing in 2015.

“Based on my knowledge of Epstein and his organization, as well as discussions with the FBI, it is my belief that federal prosecutors likely possess videotapes and photographic images of me as an underage girl having sex with Epstein and some of his powerful friends,” Giuffre said at the time. 

Some also believe that Epstein may have had a deal with US intelligence forces, or that he was laundering money offshore.

There's no clear answer to where, exactly, his wealth came from. 

Almost a year after Epstein was found dead, there's still no one true answer about where he got his money and how he made it — illegally or not — and there's no telling if we'll ever know for sure. Epstein was certainly wealthy until the end of his life and was savvy at investing and managing money, including his own, but the facts are pretty limited and murky all around.

RELATED: Who Was Jeffrey Epstein's Girlfriend, Karyna Shuliak? Shocking Details About Their Last Phone Call Before He Died

Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.