A federal judge on Thursday denied bail for Jeffrey Epstein, the financier facing sex-trafficking charges, rejecting his request to await trial under home detention at his Upper East Side mansion.
The judge, Richard M. Berman of Federal District Court in Manhattan, said Mr. Epstein, who owns property in Paris and has a private plane, would be detained in jail until his trial on charges that he sexually abused and trafficked dozens of underage girls in the early 2000s.
Judge Berman emphasized Mr. Epstein’s danger to others, particularly his accusers and “prospective victims as well.” The judge cited what he called “compelling testimony” by two of the accusers — Annie Farmer and Courtney Wild — who said at a hearing on Monday that they feared for their safety and the safety of others if Mr. Epstein were to be released.
Mr. Epstein’s lawyers had proposed allowing him to post a substantial bond and remain in his mansion guarded around the clock by private security guards, whom he would pay. Prosecutors vigorously opposed that proposal, saying he was seeking “special treatment” and trying to build his own private jail — a “gilded cage.”
Judge Berman said that Mr. Epstein’s proposed bail package was “irretrievably inadequate,” and that he would not entertain any other bail proposals from the financier’s legal team.
“I doubt that any bail package can overcome danger to the community,” the judge said.Jeffrey EpsteinCreditReuters
Prosecutors had also argued that Mr. Epstein’s fortune, said to be more than $500 million, would make it possible for him to flee the country if he were not detained.
The judge agreed, pointing to Mr. Epstein’s “great wealth and his vast resources,” including private planes and a residence in Paris.
Ever since his July 6 arrest at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after a flight from Paris, Mr. Epstein, 66, has been detained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a highly secure jail in Manhattan that has housed accused terrorists, mobsters and even the Mexican cartel leader known as El Chapo.
A federal indictment charged that between 2002 and 2005, Mr. Epstein and his employees paid dozens of underage girls to engage in sex acts with him at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Fla.
The indictment also accused Mr. Epstein of using some of his victims to recruit additional girls for him to abuse. He paid his “victim-recruiters” hundreds of dollars for each girl they brought to him, prosecutors said.
He has pleaded not guilty and has vowed to fight the charges, his lawyers said. If convicted, he faces up to 45 years in prison.
In 2008, Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to two state prostitution charges in Florida as part of a secret, lenient deal he negotiated with the United States attorney in Miami to avoid federal prosecution. He served 13 months in jail.Jeffrey Epstein Was a Sex Offender. The Powerful Welcomed Him Anyway.
In seeking Mr. Epstein’s detention, prosecutors also sharply disputed his lawyers’ argument that for more than a decade he had lived a law-abiding life. They noted, for example, that he had tried to influence possible witnesses against him as recently as last year.
The prosecutors said Mr. Epstein had wired $350,000 to two people close to him who were potential witnesses just days after The Miami Herald revealed details last November about his deal to avoid federal prosecution in Florida.
To read the article in its entirety click here.
EXCLUSIVE: Jeffrey Epstein’s personal pilot poses in one of the $80M fleet of planes pedophile used to seduce underage girls as never-before-seen photos of the updated interior of Lolita Express jet are revealed
Jeffrey Epstein’s chief pilot Larry Visoski has flown the billionaire around the world for the past 20 years
Visoski flew Epstein’s infamous Lolita Express, which has carried President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Kevin Spacey, Chris Tucker and Naomi Campbell
The 59-year-old – nicknamed Capt Big Dawg on his Instagram page – isn’t afraid of showing off his boss’ aircraft fleet – worth $80M
In one shot from July 2014, Visoski shows the Lolita Express taking off from Seattle
DailyMailTV can reveal a series of new photos taken of the upgraded jet’s interior – as it’s alleged Epstein used the plane to shuttle underage girls between his homes
The luxury aircraft, which was built in 1969, has been modernized around 2014 and now has a circular shaped lounge with comfy chairs and a spacious bedroom
The luxury commercial jet has once again come into prominence following the arrest of Epstein on two charges of child sex trafficking
Visoski has not been accused of any role in Epstein’s crimes.
Posing with his employer’s $80 million fleet of aircraft, this is Jeffrey Epstein’s long-time personal pilot and the man many believe could hold the key to the billionaire’s sordid lifestyle.
Chief pilot Larry Visoski runs Epstein’s fleet of private jets and helicopters and has flown the hedge fund mogul around the world for 20 years.
Notably Visoski flew Epstein’s larger 727 jet – the infamous Lolita Express – which carried prominent passengers including President Bill Clinton, British royal Prince Andrew as well as Hollywood stars Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker and supermodel Naomi Campbell.
And the 59-year-old pilot – nicknamed Capt Big Dawg on his Instagram page – isn’t shy about showing off his billionaire boss’ expensive toys on his personal social media page.
In one shot, taken in July 2014, he shows the Lolita Express taking off for Seattle.
This comes as DailyMailTV can reveal a series of new photos taken of the upgraded interior of the 50-year-old 727 jetliner.
Posing with his employer’s $80 million fleet of aircraft, this is Jeffrey Epstein’s long-time personal pilot Larry Visoski and the man many believe could hold the key to the billionaire’s sordid lifestyle. The 59-year-old pilot has worked for the wealthy pedophile billionaire for 20 years
The pilot – nicknamed Capt Big Dawg on his Instagram page – isn’t afraid of showing off his billionaire boss’ expensive toys on his personal social media page, posting this photo posed up in front of Epstein’s Bell 430 executive helicopter, which are sold for $6m new
To continue reading click here.
Jeffrey Epstein paid Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office $128,000 during incarceration for prostitution charges
Jeffrey Epstein paid PBSO from his ‘non-profit’, Florida Science Foundation
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A recently released financial record shows a money trail between convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office.
The record, released to Contact 5 through a records request, shows Epstein’s company, Florida Science Foundation paid PBSO $128,136 during his incarceration between 2008 and 2009.
Epstein pleaded guilty to lesser state charges in 2008, including solicitation of a minor. The guilty plea was part of the secret non-prosecution agreement which kept Epstein out of federal prison on numerous accusations that the part-time Palm Beacher allegedly ran a sex-trafficking ring out of his Palm Beach mansion.
The agreement also kept Epstein out of prison, and instead, allowed him to serve his sentence out at the local county jail, run by PBSO Sheriff Ric Bradshaw.
While there, the convicted sex offender was granted work-release benefits, and allowed to leave his cell six days a week, 12 hours a day to work at his Florida Science Foundation, located in a high-rise off Australian Ave. in West Palm Beach.
That foundation appears to be the same Epstein foundation which paid PBSO nearly $130,000 between October 2008 and May 2009. It’s unclear if Epstein wrote off the payments, as financial records for the so-called non-profit were not immediately available.
However, the Florida Science Foundation played another role in the Epstein saga. Once Epstein received probation, a Palm Beach County judge allowed him to serve out his community service requirements “at his own non-profit, the Florida Science Foundation,” according to former WPTV reports.
Records which show exactly how PBSO spent the nearly $130,000 or why Epstein paid them in the first place were not immediately available.
Contact 5 has requested receipts from PBSO and are waiting on a response.
Meanwhile, a Fort Lauderdale attorney claims “more than one woman” was propositioned by Epstein at his Florida Science Foundation office, while visiting him during work release hours.
“He was not sitting there conducting some scientific research for the betterment of the community,” attorney Brad Edwards told reporters at a press conference in New York City on Tuesday. “[The women] believed that they were going there for something other than a sexual purpose, and while there, surprisingly to them, the situation turned sexual.”
Edwards says the women were between the ages of 18 and 20 at the time. He currently represents other victims involved in the South Florida investigation which resulted in the secret, non-prosecution agreement.
Contact 5 asked PBSO why a convicted sex offender like Epstein was given work release benefits. Spokeswoman Teri Barbera wrote in an email, “Sex offenders are not allowed to go on work release. Epstein registered as a sex offender after he was released from jail.”
While Epstein did not register as a sex offender until 2009, he was a convicted sex-offender at the time of his sentencing. Barbera did not respond to follow-up questions about the matter.
To continue reading click here.
Financier Jeffrey Epstein allegedly had ‘improper sexual contact’ with young women while in ‘jail’: Lawyer
Wealthy financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein continued to have visits from young women that allegedly resulted in sexual liaisons while he was in ‘jail’ in Florida, a lawyer for one of his accusers said Tuesday.
Attorney Brad Edwards, who represents Epstein accuser Courtney Wild and several other alleged victims, claims that Epstein’s 13-month jail sentence — the result of a plea bargain with federal prosecutors in Florida — failed to prevent the money manager accused of sexually assaulting numerous underage girls from having “improper sexual contact” with young women.
At a Tuesday press conference in New York, Edwards said that a recent newspaper article — citing a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy — described Epstein as a “model prisoner” during his jail term in West Palm Beach in 2008 after he pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution in a deal with federal prosecutors that was kept hidden from Epstein’s alleged victims.
Despite being a registered sex offender, Epstein was allowed by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to participate in a work-release program that permitted him to spend up to 16 hours a day, six days a week at an office in West Palm Beach that housed his non-profit organization, the Florida Science Foundation.
“Most of the time was spent in an office, a private office that was adjacent to his lawyer’s office all day every day,” Edwards contended at the press conference. “And what you’re going to learn is he was not sitting there conducting some scientific research for the betterment of the community, but he was having office visitors, some who were flown to him from New York and continuing to engage in similar conduct, literally while he was in ‘jail.'”
Edwards said he does not know the exact ages of the visitors, but that he knows of none that were under the age of 18.
“I do know that he was able to have visitors that were under the age of 21…,” Edwards said.
He said he had interviewed one young woman who “personally visited” Epstein at his work-release office.
“It was not for some business arrangement and it was for, if you’re in jail, improper sexual contact,” said Edwards, who declined to identify the woman.
Federal prosecutors have yet to comment on the allegations alleged by Edwards.
Epstein, 66 — who at one time socialized with former President Bill Clinton, Great Britain’s Prince Andrew, and President Donald Trump — was arrested on July 6 for alleged sex trafficking of minor girls in Florida and New York. Some of the charges date back to the early 2000s.
A team of law enforcement officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the New York Police Department (NYPD) took Epstein into custody at the Teterboro Airport in Bergen County, New Jersey, after he returned to the United States by private jet from France, sources told ABC News. Authorities also raided Epstein’s New York City mansion and seized evidence.
Since his arrest, Epstein has been held in custody without bail. Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to keep him in jail as his case proceeds because they suspect he is a flight risk. Epstein’s attorneys argue that he is entitled to bail.
Edwards’ client, Wild, and one other accuser, Annie Farmer, testified at Monday’s detention hearing in Manhattan federal court. Both women spoke in support of keeping Epstein locked up without bail.
Farmer said she was 16 when Epstein had her sent to New Mexico where he was “inappropriate” with her. Wild told the judge she was 14 when Epstein sexually abused her in Palm Beach, Florida.
Epstein appeared to watch them address the judge but his face showed no emotion.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman said he will decide on Thursday whether to grant Epstein’s release or, as pre-trial services recommended, keep him jailed.
During Tuesday’s news conference in New York, Wild read a statement asking other alleged victims to come forward.
To continue reading click here.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — There is only one Justice Department, but two of its largest U.S. attorneys’ offices came to vastly different conclusions about what to do with financier Jeffrey Epstein over allegations he sexually molested dozens of underage girls.
Eleven years ago, Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta — now President Donald Trump’s labor secretary — approved an extraordinary secret agreement in which Epstein pleaded guilty to lesser state charges rather than face much tougher federal prosecution on charges he sexually abused underage girls at his homes in Florida and New York from 2002 through 2005.
On Monday, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced the indictment of Epstein, 66, on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges stemming from at least some of the same conduct that was covered in the agreement over a decade ago. Epstein, who served 13 months after his 2008 Florida plea deal, is now looking at 45 years behind bars if convicted in New York.
Epstein pleaded not guilty Monday to the new charges and is being held until a bail hearing next week. Prosecutors want him detained until the case is resolved, contending he is a flight risk because of his extraordinary wealth.
It’s highly unusual for one federal prosecutor to pass on an indictment only to have another located elsewhere to determine otherwise, defense attorneys say. And Epstein’s lawyers argued Monday that the previous deal more than covers the new charges brought, and therefore their client cannot be prosecuted. But federal prosecutors in New York said the deal made in Miami does not apply to them.
“A 10-year-old prosecution like this one by a different district is extremely rare and dangerous, even if the previous plea agreement is later viewed as a really bad one,” said David O. Markus, a prominent Miami defense attorney not involved in the case. “We have one federal government, and defendants and their lawyers should be able to trust that a deal is a deal.”
The allegations are that abuse occurred in both Palm Beach, Florida, and New York, but that has been publicly known for years, though authorities say there are some crimes specific to New York.
But at a Monday court hearing, Epstein attorney Reid Weingarten dismissed the idea that the new indictment would reveal anything new: “This is ancient stuff. This is essentially a redo. “
The non-prosecution agreement notes that Epstein “seeks to resolve globally” the entire case against him. There is some debate about that.
Berman credited what he called “investigative journalism” — certainly referring to a series last fall on the Epstein case by the Miami Herald — for providing his office with an avenue to take on the case. He also said the agreement signed by South Florida prosecutors and Epstein does not apply in New York.
“Too often adults in our society have turned a blind eye to the type of criminal behavior alleged here. We have seen the excuses,” said William Sweeney, head of the FBI’s New York field office.
The current head of the Justice Department, William Barr, declined to comment and said he has recused himself from the case because he once worked for a law firm that once represented Epstein. He didn’t name the firm.
Under the 2008 agreement, Epstein pleaded guilty to state prostitution-related charges and was allowed to go to his office during the day while he served his sentence. He also registered as a sex offender and agreed to pay millions of dollars to dozens of his victims.
But he didn’t have to face a federal indictment in Florida that would have meant a much longer prison sentence, possibly even life.
Acosta has defended the deal as appropriate under the circumstances. He also has noted how his prosecutors persisted in securing a conviction despite tremendous pressure from the defense, which included high-profile attorneys such as Kenneth Starr, Alan Dershowitz and Roy Black. They all have denied wrongdoing.
“One member of the defense team warned me that the office’s excess zeal in forcing a good man to serve time in jail might be the subject of a book if we continued,” Acosta wrote in a letter he made public after the non-prosecution agreement finally was revealed in a civil case. “Defense counsel investigated individual prosecutors and their families.”