Apollo Global’s Black, who paid millions to Epstein, may rejoin board of directors

By: - January 11, 2022 5:07 pm

(Apollo Global Management photo of Leon Black; Jeffrey Epstein’s Florida mugshot)

Note: The day after this story ran Apollo declared Black will not be rejoining the firm’s board.

A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday paves the way for Leon Black to return to his position as a member of Apollo Global Management’s board of directors, a move that could complicate the company’s bid to buy Las Vegas Sands’ local properties for $6.25 billion.  

Black resigned as chairman and CEO last year, after news broke that he paid $158 million to Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex trafficker who committed suicide in a New York jail in 2019.  

Earlier this month a jury found Epstein’s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, guilty of luring young girls to have sex with Epstein.   

As the Current reported in November, Nevada gaming regulators were either unaware of or unconcerned about Black’s payments to Epstein between 2012 and 2017, after Epstein’s 2008 conviction for sex trafficking a minor, as well as $100,000 monthly payments Black admits making to Guzel Ganieva, a woman with whom he was involved, to keep her quiet about their relationship.  

Nevada gaming regulators won’t say if investigators uncovered Black’s payments to Epstein or Ganieva when the state approved Apollo’s two-year-long bankruptcy restructuring in 2017. The state does not make investigative reports public. 

Black is the largest shareholder in Apollo with a 13% stake, and is defending himself in civil and criminal court against the brand of allegations that cost Steve Wynn his gaming empire.   

He is under criminal investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney in connection with sexual assault and rape allegations, according to a story last year in Vanity Fair. The District Attorney declined to comment to the magazine and a spokesman for Black told the magazine they are unaware of the investigation.   

Attorney Susan Estrich, who represents Black in a conspiracy suit against Guzel,  told the Current last year Black is not required to be licensed in the LV Sands transaction because he is no longer on the board.  

She did not respond immediately to questions about the filing Tuesday that allows Black to rejoin Apollo’s board of directors. 

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Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, two grandsons, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.