The New Yorker has reported that the director of the MIT’s Media Lab, Joi Ito, handled up to $7.5 million of off-the-books donations directed by Jeffrey Epsetin’s including $2 million from Bill Gates.
Ito resigned suddenly from the Media Lab as well as Board roles at the MacArthur Foundation, Knight Foundations and the New York Times.
However, it is Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged links to Bill Gates, icon of global philanthropy and one of the world’s richest man, which could prove the most explosive in the ongoing fallout following Epstein’s death in prison last month.
According to the New Yorker report, a mandatory record of the $2 million gift filed within the university stated only that ‘Gates is making this gift at the recommendation of a friend of his who wishes to remain anonymous.’
In an internal email exchange between MIT Media Lab’s director Joi Ito and the Lab’s director of development Peter Cohen, Ito stated ‘This is a $2M gift from Bill Gates directed by Jeffrey Epstein’. Cohen replied that ‘for gift recording purposes, we will not be mentioning Jeffrey’s name as the impetus for this gift.’
Meanwhile, it has also emerged that Bill Gates met with Jeffrey Epstein on at least one occasion to discuss how to increase philanthropy among the wealthy and reportedly travelled on Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet from New Jersey to Palm Beach in March 2013 according to flight records.
A spokesperson for Bill Gates, quoted in the New Yorker article, said that ‘any claim that Epstein directed any programmatic or personal grantmaking for Bill Gates is completely false.’