Jeffrey Epstein worth more than $500 million, paid potential witnesses, federal prosecutors say

Jeffrey Epstein attends Launch of RADAR MAGAZINE at Hotel QT on May 18, 2005.

Patrick McMullan | Getty Images

Accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein is worth more than $ 500 million, federal prosecutors said Friday in a court filing that urged a judge to deny Epstein’s bid to be released on bail.

Prosecutors also said that evidence suggests that Epstein — a former friend of presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton — was trying to influence, with payments of money, “co-conspirators who might provide information against him.”

In recent months, prosecutors said in their filing, Epstein has been “paying 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.”

The payments began two days after the Miami Herald began publishing stories in November, the filing Friday said. On Nov. 30, Epstein allegedly wired $ 100,000 to a trust account controlled by a person named as a possible co-conspirator in a non-prosecution deal he had signed with federal prosecutors in 2007.

The statements about Epstein’s wealth were based on records from an unnamed financial institution, they said.

“The same records appear to show that just three days after that, on or about December 3, 2018, the defendant wired $ 250,000 from the same trust account to another individual named as a possible co-conspirator in the [non-prosecution agreement]and also identified as one of the defendant’s employees in the Indictment,” prosecutors wrote.

The records obtained from that financial institution also showed that Epstein, 66, earns more than $ 10 million in income annually, according to the government’s filing.

Epstein’s attorney, Reid Weingarten, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the federal prosecutors’ court filing.

The filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan came a day after Epstein’s lawyers urged a judge in their own filing to release him on a personal recognizance bond that could be secured by a mortgage on his Upper East Side townhouse, which is worth upwards of $ 77 million.

And it came on the same day that Trump’s Labor secretary, Alex Acosta, resigned amid extensive criticism for his cutting a non-prosecution deal with Epstein in 2007, when Acosta was the top federal prosecutor in Miami.

That deal allowed Epstein to plead guilty to a single Florida state charge of procuring an underage prostitute, for which he served 13 months in custody, avoiding much more serious federal charges.

Prosecutors in New York on Friday called Epstein “a serial sexual predator who is charged with abusing underage girls for years.” They argue that he would be a flight risk if released on bail, and also would pose a danger to the public.

They earlier had noted that a search of his townhouse by federal agents last weekend uncovered a “vast trove of lewd photographs” of young-looking women or girls.

Epstein is charged with sex trafficking in an indictment that claims he sexually abused dozens of female minors, some as young as 14 years old, from 2002 through 2005. He was arrested last Saturday at a New Jersey airport after flying there on a private plan from France.

He has pleaded not guilty in the case. A detention hearing is scheduled for Epstein on Monday morning.

He currently is being held in a federal jail in lower Manhattan.

Epstein’s lawyers on Friday morning had filed a supplemental financial disclosure document under seal in the case. They had asked for that information to be kept secret from the public because of the large amount of media interest in Epstein’s case.

The prosecutors describe Epstein’s sealed financial disclosure as a “minimal” and “token” submission that leaves many questions about his vast wealth unanswered. They warned the judge that Epstein’s “woefully inadequate” bail proposal does not mitigate his potential flight risk.

“Nothing in the proposed package would prevent the defendant from transferring liquid assets out of the country quickly and in anticipation of flight or relocation,” prosecutors wrote.

In their new filing, prosecutors listed Epstein’s wide array of pricey assets as they laid out their argument against his bail request.

Epstein, they wrote, has “access to innumerable means to flee,” including 15 motor vehicles such as “seven Chevrolet Suburbans, a cargo van, a Range Rover, a Mercedes-Benz sedan, a Cadillac Escalade, and a Hummer II.”

Epstein also has at least two private jets in active service, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows at least 20 flights in which Epstein was traveling to or from the U.S., the filing said.

Even if he put up his expansive Manhattan townhouse as collateral, prosecutors said, he still owns multiple residences around the world, including a private island.

“The defendant has at his disposal a vast fortune, the details of which remain largely concealed from the Court,” prosecutors wrote.

“He also has a history of obstruction and manipulation of witnesses, including, as detailed herein, as recently as within the past year, when media reports about his conduct reemerged,” the filing said. “And he continues to show a shocking lack of understanding of the gravity of the harm he has perpetrated, including through the minimization of his conduct and casual disparagement of victims in his arguments.”

Read prosecutors’ filing about Jeffrey Epstein here.

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