(CNBC) -- Bill Gates once wanted nothing to do with Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy financier and sex offender who already had several powerful connections. That changed in 2013, when Epstein unleashed an aggressive lobbying campaign to meet with Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and one of the richest, most influential people in the world.
Gates, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter, was inundated with outreach from people speaking on Epstein’s behalf, including business associates of Epstein’s. Gates ended up meeting with Epstein and other philanthropists in 2013 in New York to discuss “growing philanthropy” on a broader scale.
After the meeting, Gates met his family in Florida after flying on one of Epstein’s planes. Gates was still chairman of Microsoft when he attended the New York gathering.
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