Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy hedge fund manager who is well-known for his connections with some of the world's wealthiest and most powerful people, has been arrested in NY on federal sex trafficking charges, according to reports. An attorney for Epstein declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the US attorney's office in Manhattan, where Epstein is expected to appear in federal court next week.
A federal judge ruled on February 21 that prosecutors at the Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida broke the law when arranging the plea deal, because they failed to notify Epstein's alleged victims during plea negotiations, in violation of the Crime Victims' Rights Act.
There was no immediate comment from lawyers representing Epstein or the Southern District of NY.
Epstein was taken into federal custody when his plane landed after an worldwide flight Saturday, a law enforcement source tells NPR.
The new indictment-which, according to two sources, will be unsealed Monday in Manhattan federal court-will reportedly allege that Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage girls in a now-familiar scheme: paying them cash for "massages" and then molesting or sexually abusing them in his Upper East Side mansion or his palatial residence in Palm Beach.
Rumors had been circulating for months that Epstein was under investigation on sex charges in the Southern District of NY. S. Attorney Alex Acosta, now Trump's labor secretary, shelved a 53-page federal indictment that could have put Epstein behind bars for life. The deal also required he reach financial settlements with dozens of his once-teenage victims and register as a sex offender.
The financier also has ties to President Trump, who was his neighbor in Palm Beach, Florida, and also reportedly flew on Epstein's jet.
His lead attorney, Jack Goldberger, declined comment.
Notably, though, Epstein avoided federal charges entirely - until now - and his time in prison was limited, considering the allegations he faced.
As a condition of the deal with federal authorities, Epstein ultimately pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting and procuring a person under age 18 for prostitution, but served just 13 months of an 18-month sentence in a private wing of a county jail.
The Miami Herald investigation found that Epstein was granted work release privileges that allowed him to leave jail for 12 hours a day, six days a week, and that he was released after 13 months.
"While New York prosecutors are apparently seeking to hold Epstein accountable, the Jane Does' fight will continue to force federal prosecutors in Florida to do the same thing", Cassell added.