Jeffrey Epstein scandal casts a shadow over glittering New York charity


Bankers, sports stars and Hollywood royalty queue up every year to get a front-row seat at the lavish New York fundraiser run by the Robin Hood Foundation.

The charity raises millions at its annual benefit that is known for attracting some of the biggest names in politics and entertainment.

But the foundation now faces calls to examine the composition of its board due to the ongoing scandal over the late Wall Street financier and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

His legacy has tainted some of the most influential people in the world, and by extension, the institutions they represent.

Epstein built a network of contacts that gave him access to top investment banks, US presidents, and the royal family, even as he abused dozens of girls on his Caribbean island. Everyone who came into contact with him has been tainted by association, top-flight universities have been forced to hand back his donations, and some associates have even been questioned as to what they knew about Epstein’s crimes.

The Robin Hood Foundation is the latest institution to face scrutiny for its ties to Epstein. The charity works to alleviate poverty in New York and holds an extravagant gala every year where the rich and famous fork out millions to help the city’s poorest.

Alicia Keys and Sir Paul McCartney performed for more than 2,000 guests at Robin Hood’s most recent fundraiser in Manhattan that raised almost £60m.

The foundation has now come under fire for keeping a Wall Street banker tied to Epstein on its advisory board. Jes Staley, the former chief executive of Barclays, sits on the emeritus board alongside BlackRock titan Larry Fink and Fox Corporation’s Lachlan Murdoch. Staley has maintained his board seat despite stepping down from multiple jobs over his ties to Epstein.

The banker resigned from Barclays in November to contest a regulatory investigation into his relationship with Epstein. He has also relinquished his role as trustee of Bowdoin College after more than 400 students, staff and alumni signed a petition calling for the college’s president, Clayton Rose, to back his removal.

Staley has said he was not aware of Epstein’s crimes. 


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