Epstein now accused of witness tampering on top of sex trafficking
Prosecutors argued in a Friday filing that Jeffrey Epstein — who has been accused of sex trafficking — should remain behind bars and be denied bail because he is using intimation tactics on accomplices and witnesses.
“Epstein’s efforts to influence witnesses continue to this day,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote in a response to Epstein’s recent request for bail.
Prosecutors accused Epstein of paying “significant amounts of money” in the past few months to people who “might be witnesses” against him in his new trial.
The filing continued, “As in the past, within recent months, he paid significant amounts of money to influence individuals who were close to him during the time period charged in this case and who might be witnesses against him at a trial.”
Getting more specific, prosecutors said Epstein’s payments began in 2018 when the Miami Herald began publishing an investigation into the alleged predatory behavior of the billionaire financier.
“The defendant wired $100,000 from a trust account he controlled to an individual named as a possible co-conspirator” just two days after a story about him ran in the Miami Herald, prosecutors claimed.
They said that three days later the defendant “wired $250,000 from the same trust account to another individual named as a possible co-conspirator … and also identified as one of the defendant’s employees in the Indictment.”
Prosecutors went even further in their filing and accused Epstein of obstructing justice by doing more than just paying people off. The filing notes that more than a decade ago when Epstein was going through another police investigation, the mother of one of his alleged victims was driven off the road by a private investigator hired by Epstein.
Source: Fox News
“The Police Report provides further information regarding victim and witness threats and intimidation reported against an individual who was directly in contact with an assistant of the defendant, followed ‘immediately’ by a call to that same individual from a phone number associated with the defendant’s businesses and associates,” prosecutors say.
They added, “Separately, and in addition, there are also extensive allegations of obstruction and tampering in connection with civil lawsuits brought against the defendant following his 2008 conviction.”
Epstein has pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking. He has been accused of prostituting underage girls and then intimidating them into becoming “recruiters” of sorts for him to find other victims.
Epstein has offered to put up his private jet and 77 million dollar mansion for his bail, but prosecutors argue that his extreme wealth and connections to numerous influential people make him a major flight risk.
Epstein’s bail hearing is set for Monday. The defendant’s lawyers have said they will attempt to get his indictment thrown out by arguing that it violates a previous plea deal that Epstein made with federal prosecutors in Florida.
The previous plea deal was overseen by Alex Acosta, who resigned as labor secretary on Friday due to media scrutiny over his role in the deal with Epstein. Charged with soliciting an underage girl for prostitution, Epstein spent 13 months behind bars and registered as a sex offender.