Seth Lloyd denies he hid Epstein’s identity from MIT, says he followed MIT policies

Goodwin Procter stands by report findings

Mechanical engineering professor Seth Lloyd denied that he hid Jeffrey Epstein’s identity as a donor from MIT in a Medium post Jan. 16, contradicting Goodwin Procter’s report on MIT’s relationship with Epstein.

According to the report, Lloyd accepted two $50,000 donations in 2012 and $125,000 in 2017 to fund his research. The report wrote that Lloyd “purposefully failed to inform MIT” that Epstein was the source of the 2012 donations and “knowingly facilitated Epstein’s plan to circumvent any possible MIT vetting process.”

The report wrote that Lloyd also accepted a $60,000 personal gift from Epstein in 2005 or 2006, and “in possible violation of MIT policies,” Lloyd did not inform MIT of this gift.

In response to the report, President L. Rafael Reif placed Lloyd on paid administrative leave Jan. 10.

In his recent Medium post, Lloyd wrote that the “accusation that [he] hid Epstein’s identity from MIT” is “completely false.” In addition, Lloyd refuted the report’s claim that he “conceded to breaching professional duties owed to MIT.” 

“I facilitated the submission of the donation approval request to the MIT officers exactly so that they could vet it. MIT knew that the donor was Epstein and fully approved the donation with this knowledge,” Lloyd wrote.

Lloyd wrote that he “actively inquired about MIT’s proper procedures for accepting donations” from his departmental administrator before putting Epstein’s accountant in touch with MIT officers. 

As evidence that MIT was aware that Epstein was the donor, Lloyd quoted emails from MIT officers to Epstein’s agent acknowledging the donations in June 2012 and June 2017.

The 2017 email from the MIT Office of the Recording Secretary notes that the donation was “recorded anonymously.” Lloyd wrote that at the time he was “unaware” of MIT’s arrangement to accept Epstein’s money anonymously.

Lloyd wrote that because Epstein’s 2006 gift preceded his 2008 conviction as a sex offender, “accepting an unrestricted personal grant from him for performing scientific research was unproblematic” at the time. 

“None of this in any way diminishes my lapse in judgement in accepting Epstein’s donations to MIT in the first place,” Lloyd wrote, adding that he “stands by” his August apology to Epstein’s victims, in which he stated that his acceptance of donations from Epstein in 2012 and 2017 were “professional as well as moral failings.”

Roberto Braceras and Jennifer Chunias, the attorneys who led the investigation, wrote in an email to The Tech that Goodwin Procter and the law firm Paul Weiss have “reviewed” Lloyd’s statement. 

“To the extent Professor Lloyd disagrees with the Report, we are fully confident the findings in the Report are consistent with the evidence and information that we collected,” Braceras and Chunias wrote.