NATIONAL NEWS

Officials confirm death of Jeffrey Epstein mentor Hoffenberg

Aug 26, 2022, 3:19 PM | Updated: Aug 30, 2022, 11:25 am
FILE - Steven Hoffenberg, left, is escorted by FBI agents in a Little Rock, Ark., parking garage af...
FILE - Steven Hoffenberg, left, is escorted by FBI agents in a Little Rock, Ark., parking garage after turning himself in, Feb. 15, 1996. Medical examiners have confirmed that convicted Ponzi schemer and Jeffrey Epstein mentor Hoffenberg was the person found dead in a Connecticut apartment earlier this week. The 77-year-old Hoffenberg is believed to have died at least seven days before his body was found in an apartment in Derby on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, as police performed a welfare check. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)
(AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Medical examiners confirmed Friday that convicted Ponzi schemer and Jeffrey Epstein mentor Steven Hoffenberg was the person found dead in a Connecticut apartment earlier this week.

Hoffenberg, 77, is believed to have died at least seven days before his body was found Tuesday in Derby by police, who responded to a request to check on his welfare, authorities said. He had to be identified through dental records because of the decomposition of his body, police said.

His cause of death is pending toxicology test results. An autopsy showed no signs of trauma, and there were no indications of a struggle or forced entry at the apartment, officials said.

Epstein, the disgraced financier who killed himself in a New York jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on allegations he sexually abused dozens of girls, worked for Hoffenberg’s bill collection company, Towers Financial Corp., in the late 1980s, when prosecutors said the Ponzi scheme began.

Hoffenberg, who once tried buying the New York Post, ended up getting busted in one of the country’s largest frauds. He admitted he swindled thousands of investors out of $460 million and was sentenced in 1997 to 20 years in prison. He claimed Epstein was actually the architect of the scheme, but Epstein was never charged.

He was released from federal custody in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. It was not immediately clear how he ended up living in a small apartment in a multifamily home in Derby, about 12 miles (19 kilometers) northeast of Bridgeport.

Gary Baise, one of Hoffenberg’s friends and lawyers and a former acting deputy U.S. attorney general, said Hoffenberg and Epstein had a “special relationship” and Hoffenberg said Epstein was the smartest person he knew when it came to money.

Baise said Hoffenberg also was very intelligent, which may have contributed to his downfall.

“He was too smart for his own good,” Baise said in a phone interview Friday. “He thought he could get away with his Ponzi scheme but he could not. He did not have self-control. He always thought he was smarter than the next guy and that was one of his problems. … But he was a good man.”

Baise, who said he had not had contact with Hoffenberg for several months, said he wasn’t surprised by his death because Hoffenberg did not appear to be taking good care of himself.

Police in Derby were asked to do a welfare check on Hoffenberg on Tuesday by a private investigator for a woman who identified herself as close to Hoffenberg and a sexual abuse victim of Epstein’s, Derby police Lt. Justin Stanko said. The investigator said the woman had not heard from Hoffenberg for five days, and that was unusual, Stanko said.

Hoffenberg briefly took over the New York Post in 1993 while bidding to own it. The Post reported that Hoffenberg funded the paper for three months and rescued it from bankruptcy. His efforts to buy the paper were derailed by civil fraud allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission that led to the criminal prosecution of the Ponzi case.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

...
Associated Press

CDC drops traveler health notices for individual countries

The CDC is doing away with notices about the COVID-19 risk of visiting specific countries.
1 day ago
WILMINGTON, NC - SEPTEMBER 23: Former President Donald Trump arrives at a Save America Rally at the...
Associated Press

Trump files $475 million defamation lawsuit against CNN

Former President Donald Trump has gone to court against CNN, a familiar target when he was president.
1 day ago
Search crews in Florida....
Mike Anderson

Rescue teams continue to find residents effected by Hurricane Ian

Search teams are helping oversee FEMA's efforts to search for those survivors, which is no easy task.
1 day ago
FILE photo...
REBECCA BOONE Associated Press

Idaho ordered to pay $2.5M to transgender inmate for legal fees

A federal judge has ordered Idaho and its prison medical care provider to pay more than $2.5 million in legal fees to a transgender inmate who sued after she was denied gender confirmation surgery.
1 day ago
surveillance image of possible shooter...
Associated Press

Killings of 5 men in California are related, police say

Rewards totaling $85,000 have been offered for information leading to an arrest in five fatal shootings since July in Stockton, California, that investigators believe are related.
1 day ago
OREM, UT - FEBRUARY 21: A bump stock is installed on an AK-47 at Good Guys Gun and Range on Februar...
Associated Press

Supreme Court rejects bump stock ban cases, one from Utahn

The Supreme Court says it won't take up two cases that involved challenges to a ban enacted during the Trump administration on bump stocks. Those are the gun attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Officials confirm death of Jeffrey Epstein mentor Hoffenberg