Crime: Former MIT media lab staffer says leadership made it clear Epstein's donations were to be kept secret - PressFrom - US
  •   
  •   
  •   

CrimeFormer MIT media lab staffer says leadership made it clear Epstein's donations were to be kept secret

14:30  08 september  2019
14:30  08 september  2019 Source:   cnn.com

Ronan Farrow claims MIT concealed Jeffrey Epstein donations despite sex offender conviction

Ronan Farrow claims MIT concealed Jeffrey Epstein donations despite sex offender conviction Ronan Farrow published a new expose Friday alleging that Jeffrey Epstein continued to donate to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab despite before a “disqualified donor” because of his sex offender conviction. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); In his report published in The New Yorker, Farrow claims that the elite university continued to accept gifts from Epstein and marked them as anonymous to avoid “disclosing their full extent, both publically and within the university.

Farrow then alleges that the MIT Media Lab went to great lengths to hide its relationship with Epstein , including only identifying him by his initials for any Signe Swenson, a former development associate and alumni coordinator at the lab , told Farrow that the lab ’ s leadership made it explicit that any

“ Make sure this gets accounted for as anonymous,” Ito says in one message, to which Cohen responds, “Jeffrey money, needs to be anonymous. Signe Swenson, a former alumni coordinator and development associate at the Media Lab , told Farrow that when the issue of accepting Epstein ’ s

Signe Swenson, a former development associate and alumni coordinator at the MIT media lab, told CNN on Saturday that she repeatedly expressed concern about MIT's ties to Jeffrey Epstein, but the lab's leadership made it clear that his donations were to be kept secret.

Former MIT media lab staffer says leadership made it clear Epstein's donations were to be kept secret© Getty Images Jeffrey Epstein found dead new york jail Julie Brown reaction vpx_00002630.jpg

Swenson -- who first spoke to the New Yorker - says she first learned of Epstein's ties to MIT when she had a business breakfast with Peter Cohen, the lab's Director of Development and Strategy at the time, in early 2014.

Swenson said Cohen told her that the media lab's director, Joi Ito, had a relationship with Epstein, that Epstein would be donating money to the lab, and that part of her job would involve assisting with those donations. Swenson said she told Cohen at the time that she knew Epstein was a "disqualified prospect" as a donor to MIT because of his state prostitution charges in Florida, but that Cohen did not seem to be surprised by the information [that Epstein was convicted on state prostitution charges].

MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito resigns amid Jeffrey Epstein scandal

MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito resigns amid Jeffrey Epstein scandal The move follows a New Yorker report that the Media Lab had a deeper funding relationship with the convicted sex offender than previously acknowledged and that it worked to disguise its contacts with the disgraced financier.

Epstein was reportedly invited to the Media Lab in 2015 to provide “input” on the projects his money was funding. Signe Swenson, a former development All of the female staffers at the lab “ made it a point to be super nice to them,” Swenson said . “We literally had a conversation about how, on the off

Signe Swenson, a former development associate and alumni coordinator at the lab , told Farrow that the lab ’ s leadership made it explicit that any donations from Epstein had to be kept secret . She recalled Ito said that “we can take small gifts anonymously.” Swenson said she resigned in 2016 due

Swenson said she ultimately took the job with the lab because it was a "dream job" for her. "I wanted to get closer to the amazing things coming out of the media lab and generally, MIT," Swenson said.

Once she was working with the lab, Swenson recalls that the lab's leadership made it clear that Epstein's donations were to be kept under wraps.

Swenson said Cohen asked her how to take money from Epstein anonymously without having to report it to the university. Swenson said she told him there were ways to accept anonymous donations, but there was no way to do it without anyone at the university being made aware. Swenson said Ito popped into a meeting she was having with Cohen to remind them that it was a possibility to take small donations anonymously.

Jeffrey Epstein's First-Known Accuser Says He Posed as Victoria's Secret Recruiter

Jeffrey Epstein's First-Known Accuser Says He Posed as Victoria's Secret Recruiter Together with Inside Edition, model and actress Alicia Arden, Jeffrey Epstein's first-known accuser, returned to the luxury hotel where she says the late financier and convicted sex offender assaulted her. Model and actress Alicia Arden, Jeffrey Epstein's first-known accuser, is returning to the luxury hotel where she says the late financier and convict Arden was accompanied by Inside Edition Correspondent Victoria Recano as she walked through the Santa Monica, California, hotel. "Very creepy actually and a little upsetting," Arden told Inside Edition.

Signe Swenson, a former development associate and alumni coordinator at the lab , told Farrow that the lab ’ s leadership made it explicit that any donations from Epstein had to be kept secret . She recalled Ito said that “we can take small gifts anonymously.” Swenson said she resigned in 2016 due

Ito had been under increasing scrutiny since ties between MIT Media Lab and Epstein became public after Epstein died from an apparent suicide in According to the report, Ito and several subordinates falsely listed Epstein ’ s donations as anonymous, discussed doing so in emails, and allowed Epstein

CNN has reached out to Cohen and Ito for comment, but has not yet heard back. The New Yorker reported that Cohen and Ito did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The New Yorker updated its story on the allegations on Saturday stating that Ito wrote an internal email tendering his resignation: "After giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past several days and weeks, I think that it is best that I resign as director of the media lab and as a professor and employee of the Institute, effective immediately."

Swenson said the notion of not naming Epstein became so commonplace that they started calling him 'Voldemort.'

"It did become sort of an everyday thing, to the point where we would just refer to him as 'Voldemort' because he was 'he who should not be named' within the lab, Swenson said.

A visit from Epstein

During the summer of 2015, Swenson said she became alarmed when she saw that Epstein was being invited to an on-campus event and raised the issue with Cohen.

Three alleged Epstein victims come forward in French investigation

Three alleged Epstein victims come forward in French investigation Three alleged Epstein victims come forward in French investigation

Epstein didn’t just donate money to the Media Lab , he also helped solicit donations from powerful people, including a Overall Epstein was credited with securing at least .5 million in donations but everyone seemed to know that the disgraced financier’ s role had to be kept secret so he was

Peter Cohen, the M. I . T . Media Lab ’ s Director of Development and Strategy at the time, reiterated Among the lab ’ s staff, she said , “all of us women made it a point to be super nice to them. Internal MIT documents allegedly credit Epstein with helping steer a million donation from Bill Gates and a

"I said ...I think this is a terrible idea," Swenson said. It felt like a legal liability simply ... to knowingly bring a convicted pedophile to a college campus. And Peter agreed with me, raised the issue with Ito, and to my knowledge ... it was decided that he would not be invited to this event."

However, Swenson said that she was later told that because Epstein would not attend the on-campus event, he would be invited to an "off-the-record" visit to the media lab's offices and meet with lab leadership there.

Swenson said that while Ito's calendar was visible to everyone, staffers entered the meeting into his schedule without writing Epstein's full name, adding that there was an explicit effort by Cohen to avoid creating a paper trail.

"We weren't even supposed to email about the visit," Swenson said.

When she raised concern about Epstein visiting their offices, Cohen ultimately told her that it was up to Ito and that they were "obligated to do this."

"I obviously objected to the visit and I felt like all the women I worked with deserved to know that this was going to be happening, and we all agreed this was just so weird and uncomfortable and felt ...wrong," Swenson said.

Former MIT employee who helped conceal Jeffrey Epstein donations 'understood' existing policies were 'authorized'

Former MIT employee who helped conceal Jeffrey Epstein donations 'understood' existing policies were 'authorized' A former MIT Media Lab employee who participated in efforts to keep donations from Jeffrey Epstein anonymous said that his actions were in line with what he understood were policies "authorized" by MIT when he started working there. © New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP"Notwithstanding my personal discomfort regarding Mr. Epstein and his involvement with MIT, I did not believe I was in a position to change MIT's policies and practices," Peter Cohen, former director of Development and Strategy at MIT Media Lab, told CNN in a statement Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Joichi Ito was revealed to have taken money from convicted sex offender and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein for his MIT “After giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past several days and weeks, I think that it is best that I resign as director of the media lab

Epstein ’ s direct contributions to the lab were recorded as anonymous. In September, 2014, Ito Current and former faculty and staff of the media lab described a pattern of concealing Epstein ’ s She said that the lab ’s leadership made it explicit, even in her earliest conversations with them, that

Swenson said that Cohen told her that Epstein always travels with two female assistants, and that he made 'air quotes' around the word 'assistants' when he told her.

Swenson said the two women who arrived at the MIT media lab with Epstein during summer 2015 "looked like models."

"They looked eastern European. They were dressed very well," Swenson said, adding that she didn't know how old they were, but that "they definitely were young."

"We made it a point to be very nice to them," Swenson said, even saying she and other female staffers went so far as to check the trash to see if the women might have left any notes asking for help.

Swenson said she was not able to speak to them privately, but that the two women "didn't say very much" and when they were asked if they needed anything, they responded "something to the effect of 'they're fine."

Swenson resigned in 2016

Swenson resigned from her position in 2016, telling CNN that she was not comfortable with Epstein's connections to the lab.

"Ultimately I was powerless to do anything about it. I was technically doing my job, but I didn't like it. I didn't want to be doing that. The sort of, complicit silence around Epstein, I'm not proud of being a part of that," Swenson said.

Swenson said Ethan Zuckerman, a former director of MIT's Center for Civic Media who resigned last month advised her to seek counsel from legal nonprofit Whistleblower Aid.

Swenson's attorney at Whistleblower Aid, John Tye, said that he was honored to help Swenson.

"Signe had the courage to speak out. It is very scary to do what she did. Joi Ito had many chances to come clean on this stuff and refused to do so," Tye said Saturday. "The message here is that whistleblowers need our support."

Stanford University Accepted $50,000 Gift From Jeffrey Epstein.
Stanford University received a $50,000 donation from a foundation funded by deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, a spokesman said Friday. © Rick Friedman/Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis/Getty Images Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in Cambridge, MA on 9/8/04. Epstein is connected with several prominent people including politicians, actors and academics. Epstein was convicted of having sex with an underaged woman. The donation came in 2004, two years before allegations involving Epstein’s sexual conduct with young girls started making news. The gift went to the university’s physics department.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 4
This is interesting!