Accused child sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, 66, made an appearance before a federal judge on Monday morning. Judge Richard Berman in the Southern District of New York made it clear from the start that he would not be ruling until Thursday on whether or not to let Epstein out of jail ahead of trial.
The judge said he will make his decision known at 11:30 a.m. that day.
While Epstein’s lawyers have asked that the multimillionaire and convicted sex offender should be allowed to reside in his Upper East Side mansion ahead of a trial, federal prosecutors have argued quite the opposite. Prosecutors have argued Epstein should not be let out ahead of trial because of his “nearly infinite means.” That is, they argued he is a flight risk. (Epstein owns private jets, so he could literally be a flight risk.) Recall that Epstein was arrested at Teterboro Airport on July 6 after returning on a jet from Paris.
That mansion also happens to be a location where Epstein is accused of committing sex-trafficking offenses.
Prosecutors said in a Friday motion that Epstein is worth more than $500 million, and that an unnamed institution’s records showed this.
“It might not be immediately apparent to a reader of the Release Motion that the defendant is extravagantly wealthy and worth, according to records relating to the defendant recently obtained […] more than $500 million,” they said.
Prosecutors also said that while Epstein has not “filled out a financial affidavit, under penalty of perjury […] his token effort to account for his finances makes painfully clear the need for detention.”
“The defendant reports having an extraordinary amount of money in both total assets and cash or cash-equivalent holdings,” they said. “The defendant is an incredibly sophisticated financial actor with decades of experience in the industry and significant ties to financial institutions and actors around the world.”
The government has also pointed out that a raid of Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse turned up thousands of lewd images. The raid occurred as Epstein was arrested. Authorities said they found “at least hundreds–and perhaps thousands–of sexually suggestive photographs of fully-or partially nude females.” Prosecutors said some of the images appeared to be of underage girls. “[A]t least one girl, who according to her counsel, was underage at the time the relevant photographs were taken,” they said. Prosecutors said Epstein had locked away photos in a safe.
Despite being a registered sex offender, Epstein nonetheless “continued to maintain a vast trove of lewd photographs of young-looking women or girls in his Manhattan mansion,” they said.
A couple of interesting tidbits: Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller mentioned that authorities found assets in diamonds and art in Esptein’s Manhattan mansion, and were made aware on Monday that Epstein has a passport issued by a foreign country. The passport was issued in the 80s, and it is currently expired. Interestingly, it has Epstein’s photo on it but not his name.
The location of residence? Saudi Arabia.
The judge also appears “inclined” to delve deeper into details of Epstein’s finances.
Prosecutors have said that they do not know how Epstein made his fortune, but they do know that if he is granted bail he will have no problem escaping.
“[T]here would be little to stop the defendant from fleeing, transferring his unknown assets abroad, and then continuing to do whatever it is he does to earn his vast wealth from a computer terminal beyond the reach of extradition,” they said.
[Image via Florida Department of Law Enforcement]
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