- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was listed on legal documents for a company owned by Jean-Luc Brunel, an associate of the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, The Daily Beast reported this week.
- Brunel has been accused of sexual assault, rape, and procuring girls for Epstein, accusations he denies.
- A Treasury representative said in a statement that it was “not clear” how Mnuchin wound up being listed in the role of point of contact and that Mnuchin did not recall ever meeting Brunel and had not done business with him.
- Mnuchin is not the only member of the Trump administration to have been linked to Epstein’s circle.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A new link has emerged between a member of the Trump administration and the circle of the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
According to The Daily Beast, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s name appears on legal documents for a company co-owned by Jean-Luc Brunel, a friend and associate of Epstein.
Brunel is a French modeling scout who one of Epstein’s most prominent accusers, Virginia Giuffre, has accused of rape and of procuring girls for Epstein. Brunel strongly denies the allegations.
Accusations of sexual misconduct against Brunel date back several decades, but he has never been prosecuted.
“I strongly deny having committed any illicit act or any wrongdoing in the course of my work as a scouter or model agencies manager,” he told The Guardian in 2015.
In September, two French women came forward with new accusations against Brunel, whom they accused of sexual assault and of procuring girls for Epstein, French investigative authorities told the UK’s Daily Telegraph.
Brunel reportedly disappeared from public view after Epstein’s suicide in August.
The Beast said Mnuchin was listed on the official documents as a “state point of contact” for Brunel’s Next Management Corporation, a company he formed in 1988 with his brother.
A state point of contact is responsible for liaising between a company and the New York Department of State, filing legal documents and receiving lawsuits and other legal information on a company’s behalf.
The Treasury pushed back against the apparent connection between Mnuchin and the company, which it described as erroneous. In a statement to MailOnline, a Treasury spokeswoman, Monica Crowley, said:
“Secretary Mnuchin never served in any official capacity in Next Management Corporation, never did any business with nor knows either of the Brunel brothers, and never had any ownership stake in Next Management Corporation or any related entities.”
“Secretary Mnuchin had no knowledge whatsoever that he was listed as a point of contact — at an address he’s not familiar with — for a company that he’s had no dealings with. That listing was clearly an error.”
A Treasury representative confirmed to The Beast that Mnuchin was a friend of Faith Kates, who cofounded a separate modeling agency, called Next, alongside Brunel and his brother.
Next Management Corp. reportedly owned a 25% stake in the Next modeling agency.
“Ms. Kates was never involved with Next Management Corp. in any way,” a representative told The Beast.
“Given that, she never designated anyone, including Sec. Mnuchin, to be a DOS process or any officer or director of Next Management Corp.”
A spokeswoman for Kates told Business Insider that Kates’ company sued Brunel 25 years ago ending his connection with the agency, and Kates has had nothing to do with him since.
Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in a New York jail cell in August after his arrest on sex-trafficking charges.
In the decades before his arrest he cultivated friends, allies and contacts in elite circles.
President Donald Trump himself attended social events with Epstein in New York and Florida years before launching his political career.
A video emerged in earlier this year showing the two partying with cheerleaders at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in 1992. Trump was also a guest on Epstein’s private plane.
In a 2002 interview with a New York magazine journalist, Trump said of Epstein: “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
The president has denied knowing anything about Epstein’s criminal activities, and no credible evidence has emerged linking any member of Trump’s cabinet to criminal activity by Epstein or his associates.
In June, however, Alexander Acosta was forced to resign as labor secretary amid scrutiny over his history as a district attorney in Florida, where Epstein was given a plea deal in the 2000s. It emerged that Acosta agreed to a plea deal brokered by Epstein’s legal team that saw Epstein plead guilty to reduced charges.
Epstein served only 13 months in a Florida jail, which he was released from during the day six times a week to attend business.