Jeffrey Epstein accused of paying off co-conspirators after newspaper reports
July 13 (UPI) — Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein made $350,000 in payments to a pair of possible co-conspirators after a series of newspaper stories in November 2018 detailed the allegations against him, prosecutors allege.
The federal prosecutors said in a Friday court filing in New York that the 66-year-old multimillionaire wired a total $350,000 to two people who could potentially testify against him at trail after the Miami Herald published the beginning of an investigative report detailing a secret deal Epstein made with authorities in Florida to avoid prosecution in 2008.
“This course of action, and in particular its timing, suggests the defendant was attempting to further influence co-conspirators who might provide information against him in light of the recently re-emerging allegations,” the filing stated.
The filing argued against granting Epstein bail, offering the payments as evidence that he might try to influence witnesses if he is not detained prior to his trail. Prosecutors also said the defendant is a possible flight risk.
Epstein has pleaded not guilty to one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. Prosecutors allege he paid dozens of girls as young as 14 to have sex with him at his homes in New York and Palm Beach, Fla., between 2002 and 2005.
Investigators allege Epstein used employees and associates to lure the girls into his homes, and also paid some of his victims to help him find other potential victims.
Epstein’s attorneys submitted a bail request to the judge Thursday, proposing he be allowed to live in his Upper East Side mansion in New York pending trail. A bail hearing is scheduled for Monday morning.