On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that Massachusetts Institute of Technology President L. Rafael Reif is admitting his school was, in fact, aware of charitable donations from the late billionaire wealth manager and accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein — and that he personally sent Epstein a thank you note while the school concealed the origin of the money.
“It is now clear that senior members of the administration were aware of gifts the Media Lab received between 2013 and 2017 from Jeffrey Epstein’s foundations,” said Reif. Of the thank you letter, he said, “I apparently signed this letter on August 16, 2012, about six weeks into my presidency. Although I do not recall it, it does bear my signature.”
MIT has been surrounded by a cloud of scandal over the donation, which occurred years after the first allegations against Epstein were made public. The director of MIT's Media Lab, Joi Ito, has resigned over the controversy.
Epstein was hit with new criminal charges this year after having escaped real accountability a decade prior with a sweetheart plea bargain that concealed his co-conspirators and victims. He was found dead of suicide in his cell at the Manhattan Correctional Center in August.