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- American financier
Before his July 6 arrest, Jeffrey Epstein's private jets criss-crossed the globe every third day, most often between airports near his properties in the United States and France.
INSIDER gleaned Epstein's travel patterns from crowdsourced flight data gathered by avionics enthusiasts, who use special equipment to detect and record data that every aircraft broadcasts during flight
The same data show several international trips, including to the United Kingdom, Slovakia, and Morocco —sometimes for only a few hours at a time.
As reporters and federal prosecutors turned the screws on Jeffrey Epstein over the past two years, the notorious money manager and sex felon appears to have enjoyed a globetrotting lifestyle that involved weekly flights between his properties in New York, New Mexico, Florida, the US Virgin Islands, and Paris, as well as occasional excursions to the United Kingdom, Slovakia, and Morocco.
This account of Epstein's travels is based on two years of flight data associated with two of his Gulfstream airliners. Without detailed passenger manifests, it's impossible to know whether Epstein was present on each individual flight. In the aggregate, however, the flight records illustrate an improbably lavish life, and raise further questions about how he earned and spent his fortune.
Most flights can be tracked in real time by anyone in the world. Epstein, however, has long taken advantage of a little-known federal policy that permits the owners of private jets to conceal their real-time movements from public view. At the same time, every aircraft is required to continually broadcast its unique "tail number," speed, and current location using a system known as automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast, or ADS-B.
Anyone with the appropriate (and relatively inexpensive) equipment can pick up and record ADS-B signals from aircraft passing overhead. Over the last few years, thousands of avionics hobbyists have submitted their data to the website ADSExchange, resulting in detailed maps that show the paths of otherwise blocked aircraft, including both of Epstein's Gulfstreams. While the site provides the data for free, its owner requests donations from commercial entities that make use of it. INSIDER provided such a donation before publishing this article.
Epstein's fleet of private jets has included a Boeing 727 and two Gulfstreams
Public records suggest Epstein has owned at least three jets: A Boeing 727, a Gulfstream IV, and a Gulfstream GV-SP. The 727's tail number, according to flight logs published by Gawker in 2015, is N908JE. That aircraft is registered to a Delaware corporation called JEGE, Inc. ADSExchange contributors haven't reported any flight activity from that tail number.
The Gulfstreams are a different story. The IV is registered to JEGE, LLC and has the tail number N212JE. The GV-SP is registered to Plan D, LLC and has the tail number N120JE. Both corporations were established in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and share an address with Epstein's office in St. Thomas. The same address previously appeared on Epstein's entry in New York's sexual offender registry address and in filings for at least two of his non-profit concerns, the C.O.U.Q. Foundation and the J. Epstein Virgin Islands Foundation. Furthermore, their flight patterns clearly suggest they were used by someone who splits their time between Epstein's properties.
Between January 2018 and June 2019, the Gulfstream IV flew 57 flights. During the same period of time, the Gulfstream GV-SP flew 107 flights. That suggests one or both jets were airborne a minimum of 1 out of every 3 days. (Data before 2018 appears to be unavailable.)
Predictably, the bulk were flown between airports near Epstein's homes in Palm Beach, Manhattan, Paris, and the US Virgin Islands. One of the last recorded flights, a red-eye between Le Bourget Airport near Paris and Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, aligns with reports that Epstein was arrested at Teterboro on July 6 upon his return from France.
Epstein's Gulfstream jets flew to Slovakia, Mexico, and the United Kingdom — sometimes for only a few hours
The same flight data gathered by ADSExchange places Epstein's jets in a number of other countries and cities:
On March 22, 2019, the Gulfstream GV-SP flew from Paris to Bratislava, Slovakia, and returned 5 hours later.
On March 27, 2019, the Gulfstream GV-SP flew from Paris to Nice, and returned 4 hours later.
On April 25, 2019, the Gulfstream GV-SP flew from Paris to Rabat, Morocco, and returned 9 hours later.
On Thursday, Epstein's legal team informed a federal judge that their client currently owns only one jet, having sold his second one in June 2019. That likely explains why the older Gulfstream IV was flying between the US Virgin Islands and Atlanta on the same day of its former owner's arrest. Epstein intends to put up the newer model as collateral for bail. It was last spotted yesterday, when it flew from New Jersey to an airfield near Savannah, Georgia.
Epstein's attorney, Reid Weingarten, did not immediately return a request for comment. If you know any more about Epstein's flying habits, please get in touch.