Federal investigators are looking into a possible ‘criminal enterprise’ connected to billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s death in a New York City jail, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said Tuesday.
The bombshell investigation was announced just one day after the arrest of the two guards who were tasked with watching Epstein when he was found dead in his cell by apparent suicide on August 10, 2019.
Metropolitan Correctional Center guards Michael Thomas, 31, and Tova Noel, 41, were indicted by a grand jury on six counts related to falsifying prison records after they allegedly failed to conduct their checks on inmates, including Epstein, in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) which were supposed to take place every half hour.
Instead, Thomas and Noel sat at their desks, browse the internet, and ‘appeared to have been asleep’ for about two hours – 15 feet away from the cell where Epstein was found dead, according to court documents.
Conspiracies claiming Epstein did not kill himself have raged since the accused sex trafficker’s death, especially because Epstein was reportedly close to many prominent people including President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew of England’s royal family.
The FBI’s investigation into Epstein’s death came to light as Dr Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, the head of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about Epstein’s death on Tuesday.
Senator Lindsey Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked Sawyer: ‘With a case this high-profile, there’s got to be major malfunction in the system or a criminal enterprise afoot to allow this to happen…So are you looking at both? Is the FBI looking at both?’
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‘If the FBI is involved, then they are looking at criminal enterprise, yes,’ Hawk replied, adding that she does not have evidence suggesting Epstein was murdered, but is barred from speaking about the specifics of the case pending the investigations by the FBI and Office of the Inspector General.
While federal officials have yet to reveal whether a ‘criminal enterprise’ played a role in Epstein’s death, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York has accused Epstein’s guards, Thomas and Noel, of defrauding the US by ‘impairing the lawful functions of the Metropolitan Correctional Center.’
‘To conceal their failure to perform their duties, Noel and Thomas repeatedly signed false certifications attesting to having conducted multiple counts of inmates that they did not do,’ US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a news release.
On the day before Epstein’s death, a federal court in New York released a new documents in a 2015 defamation case involving Epstein, which includes claims by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claimed she was Epstein’s ‘sex slave’ as a teenager.
Giuffre said she was recruited for Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking ring ‘while working as a teenage locker room attendant at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resport,’ Politico reported.
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Giuffre also claimed she was forced to perform sex acts with Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, who has denied the claims. Prince Andrew has been photographed with his arm around Giuffre when she was 17-years-old. He was later photographed with Epstein in New York City’s Central Park in 2010.
However, after a second woman made similar allegations involving Prince Andrew, Buckingham Palace told CNN: ‘This relates to proceedings in the United States, to which The Duke of York is not a party. Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.’