The latest twist in the saga of financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was charged with of sex trafficking before dying by suicide in jail: Harvard University accepted about $8.9 million from him — but refused to accept more donations after Epstein’s 2008 conviction for underage prostitution.
Most of the Epstein money is gone now, according to CBS News, but Harvard plans to donate the remaining $186,000 or so to organizations that support sexual assault and human trafficking victims — a move that stands in stark contrast to MIT, which continued to solicit and hide funding from Epstein after his pattern of sex abuse was widely known.
In a letter to the Harvard Community, university President Lawrence Bacow explained how Epstein’s last gift to the university came in 2007, before his 2008 conviction.
After that, Bacow says the university turned Epstein down when he tried to donate more, perhaps in an attempt to differentiate Harvard from MIT and moneyed folks — including Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos — who maintained ties with the sex criminal.
To prevent future scandals, Bacow said he plans to launch a new group to more closely scrutinize would-be donors.
“Epstein’s behavior, not just at Harvard, but elsewhere, raises significant questions about how institutions like ours review and vet donors,” Bacow wrote in the letter. “I will be convening a group here at Harvard to review how we prevent these situations in the future.”
READ MORE: Jeffrey Epstein gave nearly $9 million to Harvard [CBS News]
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