Steven Hoffenberg, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s associates and the one-time owner of The New York Post, has died at the age of 77.
Police were called to his Hoffenberg’s home in Derby, Connecticut, yesterday by a concerned friend. They found Hoffenberg lying on the floor of his bedroom.
The cause of his death remains unconfirmed, but there were no visible signs of trauma to his body, a police source says.
His body was so decomposed that police believe he had been there for at least a week. A medical examiner is now using his dental records to make an identification.
Jeffrey Epstein’s associate Steven Hoffenberg has died in his Connecticut apartment at the age of 77, DailyMail.com can reveal. The disgraced financier ran a Ponzi scheme with Epstein in the early 1990s and spent 18 years in prison
Hoffenberg’s body is thought to have been in his bedroom for at least a week, cops said
Hoffenberg rose to notoriety in the 1990s with his scandal-ridden Towers Financial Corp, a firm he ran with Epstein and the vehicle in which swindled $460million out of 200 victims.
He spent 18 years in prison for the crimes and emerged a changed man who befriended Epstein’s victims and joined their fight against the late pedophile.
In his final days, Hoffenberg lived alone in an apartment in Derby, Connecticut. DailyMail.com can reveal that it was Maria Farmer, the first woman to report Epstein to police, who called the police asking them to check on Hoffenberg.
She says he was diagnosed with Omicron a month ago, and was struggling to recover.
Hoffenberg in 1996, when he tried to buy The New York Post
‘Hoff was one of my dearest friends on earth, more like a father than my own father ever was to me. He lived in kindness, always giving what little he had, never asking for anything.
‘This man was beyond incredible and a dear friend to survivors of Epstein… as he was also,’ Maria told DailyMail.com after his death.
A formal identification is expected in the next few days and will be announced via the Derby Police Facebook page.
Jeffrey Epstein in 1995, when Hoffenberg was pleading guilty to the Ponzi scheme that he insisted Epstein masterminded
Hoffenberg is a colorful New York character who is best known for trying to ‘save’ The New York Post from bankruptcy in the early 1990s, and for his ill-fated partnership with Epstein.
He spoke in the past of running in the same circles as Trump, telling The Washington Post in 2019 ‘Donald’s crowd was my crowd, you know?’
He leased an entire floor of Trump Tower at one stage, flew on private jets and was a firm fixture in the New York social scene.
In 1993, he invested millions in the flailing Post to stop it from shuttering. The newspaper was sold to him in desperation by Peter Kalikow, another millionaire and fixture on the New York social scene who ran it into disrepair and financial ruin.
In March 1993, after just three months in charge, he was pushed out by Abraham Hirschfeld, who he’d brought in with his deep pockets when the SEC froze his own assets amid an investigation into fraud.
Epstein was never charged, but he is understood to have made millions from it.
Speaking in 2019, Hoffenberg told The Washington Post that it was Epstein who masterminded the scheme that he spent years in prison for.
‘I thought Jeffrey was the best hustler on two feet. Talent, charisma, genius, criminal mastermind. We had a thing that could make a lot of money.
‘We called it Ponzi,’ he said, calling Epstein the ‘architect’ of the scam. He hired Epstein in 1987, paying him $25,000-a-month.
The Ponzi scheme was part of an effort by Hoffenberg to buy the airline Pan Am; Hoffenberg acquired two life and health insurance companies, whose accounts he pilfered to bolster his books.
The airline bid failed but he continued to steal money from the accounts of the insurance companies, stealing money from people who believed they had medical and life insurance when they needed it.
Hoffenberg was writing checks for his daughter’s tuition, and was also paying for a private plane using company money.
They then expanded the fraud to sell bonds promising high returns that never came to fruition.
‘I call it a turnover. You raise a dollar here, you pay a dollar there. Epstein was brilliant at this,’ he said in his 2019 interview.
In 1988, he gave Epstein a $2million loan which was never repaid.
In 1995, he pleaded guilty to defrauding investors out of $420million and went to prison for 18 years. During his incarceration, he relied on his faith.
They had bought bonds from his company, Hoffenberg’s Towers Financial Corp, which Epstein worked for.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
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