Wealthy US financier Jeffrey Epstein paid money to two potential witnesses to influence them in a case of “sex trafficking” of minors at the end of last year. Friday night prosecutors.
In a federal court document in Manhattan, prosecutors say Epstein has transferred a total of $ 350,000 (310,000 euros) to the two individuals whose names have not been disclosed.
This accusation is part of the prosecutors’ request to keep Jeffrey Epstein locked pending trial.
Aged 66, Jeffrey Epstein was arrested Saturday night at a New Jersey airfield back from France, in a private jet. He pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy for sexual trafficking, charges punishable by 45 years in prison.
Prosecutors said Friday night they learned about payments through accounting documents obtained from an anonymous financial institution.
They urge prosecutor Geoffrey Berman to keep Epstein in jail pending trial. The latter asked to be released and remain under house arrest in his Manhattan mansion.
The former hedge fund manager is accused of having attracted teenage girls, some as young as 14, to his Manhattan home and villa in Palm Beach, Florida, to engage in sexual acts in exchange of retribution. The incriminated facts go back to the period 2002-2005.
Epstein was first investigated in 2005 after police in Palm Beach were alerted to charges of sexual abuse of minors. He had defended himself by stating that his alleged victims were consenting and that he thought they were of age.
In 2007, the businessman was threatened with federal indictment for sexually abusing dozens of minors between 1999 and 2007, according to court documents released at the time. However, he had agreed to plead guilty for one charge, that of soliciting the services of underage prostitutes, and had received only a 13-month prison sentence during which he had been allowed to leave prison — his cell during the day.
Among the people involved in the signing of this agreement was Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, then attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
Donald Trump announced Friday that Acosta had decided to resign, judging his involvement in the case of sexual abuse involving Epstein incompatible with his retention.