Plaintiffs file new complaint against registered sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein for losses in decades-old $475M Ponzi scheme

In 1995 Steven Hoffenberg pleaded guilty to bilking investors of almost half a billion dollars in one of the worst Ponzi schemes in history — he paid a $60 million settlement and spent 18 years in jail. In 2016 Hoffenberg attempted to reclaim money for Ponzi victims from his ex-associate Jeffrey Epstein. And in June 2016 Hoffenberg launched a Super PAC to elect Donald Trump. Now Hoffenberg’s allegations are part of a new class action attempt to recover hundreds of millions of dollars from Epstein.

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Top of complaint against Epstein and his three companies (left) and part of exhibit B affidavit from Steven Hoffenberg (right)

Steven Hoffenberg hired Jeffrey Epstein in 1987

From early in his career Jeffrey Epstein seemed to have a knack for skirting trouble with little or no repercussion. Epstein worked at brokerage firm Bear Stearns but left abruptly in 1981. According to SEC filings and legal documents reported in a 2003 Vanity Fair expose on Epstein, he departed Bear Stearns as the SEC was looking into insider trading in an acquisition deal involving the Bronfman family’s Seagram Company. The SEC was tipped off that Epstein had information on insider trading and questioned him about it — but the SEC never charged Epstein or anyone at Bear Stearns.

Epstein, Hoffenberg and Donald Trump

Jeffrey Epstein has ties going back decades with many famous and powerful men, including Bill Clinton, lawyer Alan Dershowitz and Prince Andrew. And none are now more famous, or arguably more powerful, than U.S. president Donald Trump. In a New York Magazine article in 2002, Trump boasted of his friendship with Epstein:

“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,’’ Trump booms from a speakerphone. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

In 2017 Politico reported on a civil lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre who claimed that two decades ago when she was 15 and working as a towel girl at a Palm Beach resort, she was recruited into sexual slavery by socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who was Epstein’s girlfriend at the time. The resort where Giuffre had been working as a towel girl when Maxwell recruited her, was Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, which has since hosted visits by important US allies and world leaders. The story notes that “a lawyer for Trump says the president was unaware of any wrongdoing by Epstein.”

Hoffenberg Launched a Super PAC for Trump

The announcement that Steven Hoffenberg was launching a super PAC in early 2016 barely made a blip on the radar in the news storm that swirled around the Trump campaign.

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June 14, 2016 Report of Independent Expenditures for Get Our Jobs Back, Inc.

“Statware Inc. was making an in-kind donation of services worth $50 million. The PAC listed the services as “Digital Media Marketing, Revenue Sharing,” though there’s little evidence yet of such a campaign.

Statware Inc. is a private company based in Centerbrook, Connecticut, that advises financial brokers on issues related to sensitive or proprietary data. According to its website, the firm does not have outside investors and operates “without distraction or undue outside influences.”

Hoffenberg issued a June 21, 2016 press release announcing that the new Trump Super PAC called Get Our Jobs Back Inc. planned to collect $0.99 donations to fund a $50 million digital marketing campaign. The press release also included a statement from PAC spokesman Theodore Fotsis, who was listed as the media contact and as Chairman/CEO of WHAM Inc.

Statware Founded by Richard Lepoutre

According to the Statware website the company that made the in-kind contribution to Hoffenberg’s Super PAC is a “wholly-owned, private Connecticut Corporation doing business exclusively in the list industry since 1984. Statware has no outside investors and is able to direct and focus its attention entirely on the needs of the list industry without distraction or undue outside influences.” Statware founder and President Richard A. Lepoutre, is described as “a 30 year veteran of the list industry. His career includes several years at Direct Media, Inc. and as Founder and President of Statlistics, Publishers Marketing Group and Statware.”

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Image from the Statware website

WHAM Inc. Briefly Acquired Hoffenberg’s Businesses

What was not made clear in the sparse news coverage about Hoffenberg’s Get Our Jobs Back, Inc. Super PAC for Trump and the Statware in-kind contribution, was that earlier in 2016 the company WHAM Inc. and CEO Theodore Fotsis agreed to acquire Hoffenberg’s businesses, making WHAM Inc. the owner of the Super PAC. However, this business agreement only lasted a few months and right before the election in early November 2016, WHAM Inc and Fotsis ended their agreement with Hoffenberg.

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Excerpt from WHAM Inc. March 31, 2016 Quarterly filing

“Q: Does Jeffrey Epstein have to pay back the Billion of Dollars of debt owed to the Tower Investor victims under the complex WHAM INC. takeover, which was signed last week?
A: Yes!”

A Letter of Intent signed February 2, 2016 by Steven Hoffenberg and Theodore Fotsis includes a section on Jeffrey Epstein, noting “it is contemplated that the Financial Trust Company” and “Jeffrey Epstein” based on TFC’s (Hoffenberg’s Tower Financial Corp.) investment with Epstein and the Trust shall provide a minimum of one billion dollars in assets to the Company.

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In October the Super PAC Appears to Implode

An FEC Form 99 filing dated on the top right October 7, 2016 indicated that all elements of the Super PAC were in dispute, noting 1) the $50 million transaction is under investigation for unlawful acts by Statware Inc. to damage the Super PAC donations, 2) the investigation shows Statware lied to the Super PAC, and 3) the Super PAC fired and claimed malpractice against its law firm Mintz Fraade.

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In November 2016 WHAM and Hoffenberg Part Ways

At the same time that the Super PAC closed, WHAM Inc and Fotsis parted ways with Hoffenberg.

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September 30, 2016 WHAM Inc. Information and Disclosure Statement

WHAM Inc → BERITH Holdings → Syntrol Corp

Following the strange acquisition and then divesture of Hoffenberg’s businesses by WHAM Inc. in 2016, the company quickly went through two major transformations in 2017, into BERITH Holdings and then Syntrol Corp.

Theodore Fotsis and WHAM Inc.

It is not clear how Theodore Fotsis and Steven Hoffenberg met and developed the plan for WHAM Inc. to acquire Hoffenberg’s businesses, to launch the Trump Super PAC, and to attempt to take over $1 billion from Jeffrey Epstein.

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March 31, 2016 WHAM Inc. Information and Disclosure Statement
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March 31, 2016 WHAM Inc. Information and Disclosure Statement

WHAM Inc. Website Domain Information

An independent researcher who wishes to stay anonymous helped uncover some interesting hosting information for the WHAM Inc. website. One change occurred in mid 2016 during the period when WHAM Inc. owned the Trump Super PAC. And a big change occurred in early 2018, well after the WHAM Inc. name had changed several times (to BERTIH Holdings and then again to Syntrol) and Theodore Fotsis had no known remaining connection to WHAM Inc. Therefore, the domain information below may have no significance other than an interesting coincidental domain connection — to a Ukrainian hosting company that appears in the Trump-Russia story.

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Jeffrey Epstein link to SCL Group’s Alexander Nix

One final interesting note. Jeffrey Epstein has a tangential connection to Trump’s scandal ridden data company Cambridge Analytica and its CEO Alexander Nix.

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