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Officials: Former Mentor and Associate of Jeffrey Epstein Found Dead

  Melissa Bunni Elian for The Washington Post via Getty Images Steven Hoffenberg, a former mentor and business partner of deceased serial se...


Steven Hoffenberg photographed at the Courtyard Marriott. Hoffenberg spent 18 years in federal prison after being found guilty of running a ponzi scheme in 1993 with his company Financial Trust Co. which he co-founded with partner Jefferey Epstein. Hoffenberg is now out of prison and says Epstein was the mastermind …
Melissa Bunni Elian for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Steven Hoffenberg, a former mentor and business partner of deceased serial sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein, was found dead in his Connecticut apartment on Tuesday.

Medical examiners confirmed the convicted Ponzi schemer’s death on Friday, according to the Derby Police Department.

Police were conducting a wellness check on the 77-year-old at the request of a friend when they discovered him.

Hoffenberg’s body was already decomposing upon being found, and dental records were required to confirm the body was his. Medical examiners believe Hoffenberg had died a week before being discovered.

The cause of his death will officially be determined pending a toxicology report, police noted. An initial autopsy revealed there were no signs of trauma.

Hoffenberg was the CEO, Chairman, and the President of Towers Financial Corporation, a debt collection company that was later revealed to be a Ponzi scheme.

While running Towers, Hoffenberg employed Epstein in the 1980s, which was around the same time the scheme began, according to prosecutors via Associated Press (AP).

Epstein, who authorities say committed suicide while awaiting trial in a Manhattan prison, was considered a key player in the Ponzi scheme, Hoffenberg claimed.

“I thought Jeffrey was the best hustler on two feet,” Hoffenberg told the Washington Post in 2019. “Talent, charisma, genius, criminal mastermind. We had a thing that could make a lot of money. We called it Ponzi.”

The Associated Press

In this image provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry, Jeffrey Epstein has his photo taken March 28, 2017.  (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP)

Hoffenberg has been referred to as a mentor to the serial sex abuser.

Despite Hoffenberg’s claims of Epstein’s involvement in the Ponzi scheme, the convicted sex abuser never went to trial for anything related to Towers.

Hoffenberg later regretted kickstarting Epstein’s career, the Washington Post noted.

“I deeply regret that I met Jeffrey Epstein who is somebody that has haunted me for over 30 years. Without me, he wouldn’t be the billionaire he is today and these poor girls would not be raped,” he said in the 2019 documentary film Filthy Rich.

In an interview with Quartz in 2019, Hoffenberg claimed Epstein started to show signs of his predatory behaviors toward girls in the 1990s.

Before being busted for the Ponzi scheme, Hoffenberg ran the New York Post briefly from January to March 1993, after buying it out and saving it from bankruptcy. He relinquished his role at the paper due to legal troubles stemming from the Towers scheme and employee revolts.

The disgraced businessman pleaded guilty in 1995 to defrauding investors out of more than $450 million and served almost 20 years in prison before being released in 2013.

While in prison, Hoffenberg told Quartz he became a born-again Christian. Following his release from prison, he was briefly involved in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign before having a fallout with staff.

At the time of his death, Hoffenberg was living in a small apartment of a multifamily home, the AP noted.

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