Tag Archives: Jeffrey Epstein

French police ratchet up evidence search in Epstein probe

French police are launching a fresh appeal for witnesses and victims to come forward to aid their probe of Jeffrey Epstein and allegations that one of the financier’s associates drugged and raped young models.

Police hope the new appeal issued Friday will have a broader reach than a similar call for witnesses they issued on Facebook and Twitter in September.

Women who say they were raped and sexually assaulted by one of Epstein’s associates, modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, had this week told The Associated Press they were disappointed with the limited scope of police efforts to track down witnesses.

Brunel has denied wrongdoing and said via his lawyer he is willing to talk to investigators.

The French probe was launched in August after Epstein took his life while awaiting trial.


New Mexico wants to yank state-owned land at Jeffrey Epstein’s ranch

New Mexico’s attorney general wants officials to revoke a deal that allowed Jeffrey Epstein to lease state land for his “Zorro Ranch” where he allegedly sexually abused multiple women.

The leased land near Stanley comprises part of the dead pedophile’s nearly 10,000-acre estate .

On Thursday, AG Hector Balderas asked the state to retake the 1,244 acres of grassland after a probe by his office found that it was improperly leased in the late 1990s.

“The original leases to Epstein appear to have no beneficial use justification to the state,” Balderas said in an emailed statement. “This sweetheart deal must be canceled and reassigned to a New Mexico ranching family.”

Leases were signed by Epstein’s holding company Cypress Inc. in 1997 and 1999 and indicated the property would be used for grazing, according to the New Mexico State Land Office.

But the AG’s investigation found no cattle on the land.

Balderas said the leases “appear to simply have been taken by him (Epstein) to increase privacy and the land mass surrounding his estate.”

State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard said her office will prepare cancellation notices.

“Zorro Ranch” is the sprawling site where Epstein planned to artificially inseminate women. He purchased the ranch from the family of former Gov. Bruce King, who died 10 years ago. The property features an airplane hanger, landing strip and other luxe amenities.

It is the only one of the former financier’s US properties that hasn’t been raided by law enforcement as part of the investigation into his alleged sex-trafficking ring.

Epstein, 66, hanged himself in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center Aug. 10 after being charged with sexually abusing young women for years.


France starts Epstein sex abuses probe

PARIS: France opened an investigation on Friday into the alleged rape of minors and a raft of other charges linked to the Jeffrey Epstein case, broadening the search to uncover potential victims and accomplices of the financier two weeks after he killed himself.

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said the decision to open a preliminary investigation was based on “elements transmitted” to his office and “exchanges with American authorities, competent in the so-called Epstein affair.”

The investigation involves information regarding minors 15 years old and above, a statement by Heitz said.

No details were provided about what “elements” led to the probe and whether it might concern in-person testimony from alleged victims of Epstein, who had maintained an apartment at a luxury address near the Arc de Triomphe.

Epstein, a magnate who rubbed shoulders with the elite and politically powerful and owned a Caribbean island, killed himself Aug. 10 in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York while awaiting trial next year on federal sex-trafficking charges. He was 66. Numerous women in the United States have claimed they were sexually abused by Epstein.

Homayra Sellier, who heads the France-based advocacy group, Innocence in Danger, told The Associated Press on Thursday that about 10 women had provided the group with testimony linked to Epstein.

It has been pressing to get a case opened in France. The group welcomed the announcement of a French investigation in a statement posted on Facebook and said “information and testimonies” it has received were intended for investigators.

Two French secretaries of state — for women’s rights and the protection of children — said this month that an investigation should be opened despite Epstein’s death. “The American investigation has brought to light links in France,” the officials, Marlene Schiappa and Adrien Taquet, said in an Aug. 12 statement.


Prince Andrew insists he never witnessed or suspected Jeffrey Epstein behaviour

Britain’s Prince Andrew has said that during the “limited time” he spent with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, he never saw, witnessed, or suspected “any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.”

In a statement released on Saturday, the Duke of York added: “I deplore the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour” and reiterated that “it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010.”

Speaking about Epstein, the Duke of York said: “His suicide has left many unanswered questions and I acknowledge and sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.”

He continued, “This is a difficult time for everyone involved and I am at a loss to be able to understand or explain Mr. Epstein’s lifestyle.”

The Duke of York also released a statement Monday after footage emerged last weekend that claimed to show the royal inside the convicted paedophiles New York mansion in 2010 – two years after Epstein first pleaded guilty to sex crimes.In the video obtained by The Mail On Sunday, the UK paper says Prince Andrew can be seen at the door of the disgraced hedge fund manager’s Manhattan home, waving goodbye to a young woman leaving the property.Epstein, 66, was found dead in his prison cell earlier this month. He had been awaiting trial on federal charges accusing him of sexually abusing underage girls.

9News could not independently verify the authenticity of the video or when it was shot.

The Palace released a statement on Monday, which said: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes. His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”Jeffrey Epstein hobnobbed with some of the world’s most powerful people during his jet-setting life.Future President Donald Trump called him a “terrific guy.”Former President Bill Clinton praised his intellect and philanthropic efforts and was a frequent flyer aboard his private jet.

Following the arrest of the billionaire financier on child sex trafficking charges, Labour Secretary Alexander Acosta has come under pressure after he, as US attorney for the Southern District of Florida, was involved in a 2008 secret plea deal that allowed Epstein to avoid federal charges.

In his most extensive known public comments about Epstein, Trump told New York magazine in 2002 that he’d known the financier for 15 years and praised him as a “terrific guy.”

“He’s a lot of fun to be with,” Trump was quoted as saying. “It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

Trump Organisation attorney Alan Garten has since distanced Trump from Epstein, telling Politico in 2017 that Trump “had no relationship with Mr Epstein and had no knowledge whatsoever of his conduct.”

Epstein was also an associate of Clinton’s, repeatedly lending the former president his jet to travel overseas.

Flight logs obtained by Fox News showed the former president took at least 26 trips aboard Epstein’s Boeing 727, from 2001 to 2003.

“Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science,” Clinton told New York magazine though a spokesman for that same 2002 story.”

I especially appreciated his insights and generosity during the recent trip to Africa to work on democratisation, empowering the poor, citizen service, and combating HIV/AIDS.”

Clinton spokesman Angel Ureña said the former president “knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York.”

He said that, in 2002 and 2003, Clinton took four trips on Epstein’s plane with multiple stops and that staff and his Secret Service detail travelled on every leg.”

He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida,” Ureña added.


Paris prosecutor opens child assault and rape probe against Epstein

A preliminary probe into a possible French link to deceased billionaire Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged rape of minors, among other charges, was opened on Friday, said Paris’ chief prosecutor, Remy Heitz

A statement from Heitz’ office said the decision was based on evidence given to his office and information exchanges with American authorities who had been handling the case in the United States.

No details were given as to what was provided to the chief prosecutor, but the statement said that the investigation related to minors who were 15 years old and older.

Epstein owned a number of properties around the world, including a Caribbean island and an apartment near the Arc du Triomphe in Paris.

Disgraced American billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein hung himself in his cell in New York at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. The 66-year-old was facing federal charges of sex trafficking.

A number of women in the US have come forward with accusations that he sexually abused them.

Although an earlier call from two French ministers to open an investigation was well-received by some, Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet responded that it is up to French judicial authorities, not the government, to pursue possible French ties to the case.

The preliminary investigation could lead to formal charges if there is enough evidence, according to French law. If not, the case will be dropped. Investigators are looking in to charges of rape of minors 15 years old and older, sexual aggression and criminal association that could lead to committing crimes.

They would also be looking for any possible victims who are French citizens, as well as whether French laws were broken in the country.

Epstein had already been convicted in 2008 in the US for soliciting a minor for prostitution. He served 13 months in jail, he was listed as a sex offender, and was order to pay compensation to his victims.


Epstein sex abuse victims to face hurdles in seeking compensation

Jeffrey Epstein wrote a will just two days before his suicide, saying he had about $578 million in assets that he placed in a trust, which could complicate efforts by women who say he sexually abused them to collect damages.

Epstein, who died Aug. 10 in a federal jail cell in Manhattan, asked that Darren K. Indyke and Richard D. Kahn be appointed as executors, according to a copyof the will filed Aug. 15 with the court in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

All of his assets were transferred to the trust as of Aug. 8, two days before he died, assuring that details on how the proceeds are distributed may remain private. The will was first reported Monday by the New York Post, which also published a document detailing Epstein’s fortune in real estate, cash, equities and other assets.

The real estate — from his New Mexico ranch to his Manhattan mansion and private islands — is held through various entities laid out in the will. The assets listed are similar to those in Epstein’s unsuccessful bail request.

The valuation does not include his art collection, which is subject to appraisal, according to the document.

Indyke had served as an attorney for Epstein, the financier indicted on charges of conspiracy and trafficking, accused of sexually abusing dozens of girls. He pleaded guilty more than a decade ago to state prostitution charges in Florida, admitting to soliciting an underage girl. Epstein’s estate is expected to face many lawsuits by women who claim he abused them when they were children.

It’s possible that Epstein may not have had time to take all the necessary legal steps needed to transfer

“It would be hard to transfer it that quickly,” Steiner said. “If he didn’t transfer the assets into the trust before he died, then the victims can simply go after the executors of his estate. Then it doesn’t matter who the estate goes to.”

Epstein’s trust, known as The 1953 Trust, remains a private document whose details won’t have to be disclosed by the court. In addition to determining how his assets will be used, the executors can “litigate, defend, compromise, settle, abandon or submit to arbitration” any claims against his estate, according to the document. There’s no reference to his arrest or the investigation.’

Epstein’s brother, Mark, is listed as his next of kin. Indyke and Kahn are “investigating potential debts and claims of the estate and at this time they are unknown,” according to the court petition for their appointment.

Prosecutors in Manhattan filed court papers Monday to close the case against Epstein, while saying they’ll continue to investigate others involved in his alleged crimes. On Aug. 16, the New York City medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.

The trustees for the Epstein entity will inherit all of his property, according to the document, which doesn’t name the individuals. Indyke and Kahn will be paid $250,000 for executing Epstein’s will, according to the document.

The will was witnessed by Mariel Colon Miro, a criminal defense attorney for the law office of Michael Lambert, and Gulnora Tali, who’s also an attorney with a private practice. Colon Miro and Tali didn’t immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment.


Jeffrey Epstein signed $577m will two days before death, court documents reveal

Jeffrey Epstein signed a will two days before he killed himself in jail, court records show.

Court papers filed in the US Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned two isles, list no details of beneficiaries but valued his estate at more than $577m (£477m), including more than $56m (£46m) in cash.

The existence of the will raised questions about Epstein’s final days inside the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

Epstein signed the document on 8 August and was found dead in his cell less than 48 hours later.

On Monday, prosecutors moved to dismiss the indictment against Epstein, but said they are considering charging others with facilitating his alleged abuse of dozens of girls.

The filing of the will, meanwhile, had been closely followed by lawyers representing women who claim they were sexually abused by Epstein when they were teenagers and recruited into his residences to provide him massages.

Several attorneys vowed to go after his assets even if the will had named beneficiaries, as Epstein’s death means there will be no trial on the criminal charges against him.

One woman filed suit against the estate last week, claiming Epstein repeatedly raped her when she was a teenager.

One of the lawyers, Lisa Bloom, wrote in an email: “Give his entire estate to his victims. It is the only justice they can get.

“And they deserve it. And on behalf of the Epstein victims I represent, I intend to fight for it.”

According to the petition to the court, Epstein’s personal property also included $18m (£15m) in planes, cars and boats, more than $112m (£93m) worth of equities, and nearly $200m (£165m) in “hedge funds & private equity investments”.

He also owned shares of a corporation valued at nearly $56m (£46m) that holds title to a home on East 71st street in Manhattan, and others that hold title to a $17m (£14m) property in New Mexico, and a $12m (£10m) home in Palm Beach.

The petition also lists shares worth over $22m (£18m) of a corporation that holds title to Great St. James Island, and nearly $64m (£53m) to another that holds title to Little St. James Island, both in the Virgin Islands.

Among the properties that will be subject to appraisal and valuation are his collection of fine arts, antiques and other collectibles.

William Blum, an attorney for Epstein’s estate, said in a statement that any debts or claims against the estate will be “fairly administered”. He said the document was Epstein’s original last will.

It comes after William Barr, the US attorney general, removed the acting chief of the federal Bureau of Prisons following Epstein’s suicide.

An autopsy report released on Friday concluded Epstein hanged himself.


Epstein put assets in trust two days before suicide: Report

Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein wrote a will two days before he died, putting his $578 million in assets into a trust with unnamed beneficiaries, the New York Post reported on Aug. 19.

Epstein, a wealthy hedge fund manager who befriended many politicians and celebrities over the years, hung himself in prison on August 10 as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.

On August 8, he signed a last will and testament filed in the Virgin Islands, where he owned a private island, transferring his wealth into “The 1953 Trust,” the Post reported.

It posted a copy of the will online showing that Epstein claimed he had more than $56.5 million in cash, equities of over $300 million as well as a fixed income of more than $14 million.

Epstein also listed six luxury properties, including in New York, Florida and Paris and more than $18 million in “aviation assets, automobiles and boats,” the Post added.

The document did not name any listed beneficiaries. Bloomberg News reported that the move could make it more difficult for Epstein‘s alleged victims to sue his estate.

Several women have filed lawsuits seeking damages for sexual abuse.

Epstein was accused of trafficking girls as young as 14 for sex. He denied the charges but faced up to 45 years in jail if found guilty.           

The Post’s report came as The New York Times released new details about Epstein‘s final days in Manhattan’s high-security Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Citing sources, the newspaper said he hated his vermin-infested cell so much that he paid for lawyers to meet him for up to 12 hours a day in a different room.

He rarely washed and slept on the floor instead of his bed, they said.

The U.S. Justice Department and the FBI are investigating how one of America’s most high-profile prisoners was able to kill himself just weeks after an apparent earlier suicide attempt.

Epstein was convicted in 2008 in a Florida state court of paying young girls for sexual massages at his Palm Beach mansion.

He served just 13 months in jail over the Florida charges under a plea deal struck by the then-federal prosecutor in the state, Alex Acosta, who was forced to resign as US labor secretary over the issue.


Jeffrey Epstein Died of Suicide by Hanging, Medical Examiner Says

Jeffrey Epstein died of suicide by hanging in his cell, New York City’s chief medical examiner has concluded, according to a person familiar with her report, a finding that casts aside conspiracy theories that he was murdered to silence him.

The medical examiner, Barbara Sampson, autopsied Epstein’s body on Sunday, the day after he was found dead in a federal prison in Manhattan, but held off on issuing a report, pending additional information.

Epstein, a fund manager with hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, was arrested in July, charged with sex trafficking in minors and denied bail as a flight risk and a threat to the community.

He had previously been found in his cell with injuries to his neck and placed on suicide watch but then removed from it. At the time of his death, he was alone in his cell, spurring the conspiracy theories. The Justice Department has ordered an investigation into his death, suspended two of the guards and transferred the warden.

Epstein was accused of molesting teenage girls from 2002 to 2005. He pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking in minors and conspiracy and said he had fully complied with the law for more than 14 years. He had pleaded guilty in 2008 to Florida state charges of soliciting prostitution from a minor, in a controversial non-prosecution agreement with U.S. prosecutors.

Sampson didn’t respond immediately to calls for comment to her press office.

The New York Times reported on the findings earlier.


Jeffrey Epstein ‘broke several neck bones’ in apparent suicide, post-mortem reveals

Jeffrey Epstein broke several bones in his neck in his death in apparent suicide, a post-mortem has reportedly found.

The disgraced US financier, who was found dead in his jail cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, broke the hyoid bone, close to the Adam’s apple, the Washington Post said.

It is a bone not commonly broken when hanged, an expert told the paper, but can be more easily broken in older people.

The breakage can also occur when strangled.

It comes as NBC reported the US flags on the multi-millionaire’s private island were lowered to half mast after his death on Saturday.

Captain Kelly Quinn, owner of Salty Dog Day Sails, who spotted the flags at half mast, said: “It was a real moment out there and it just felt so heavy.

“I didn’t feel there was a realness of the end of Jeffrey Epstein until I saw that. That was a lot more literal.

“They’re doing this as a remembrance, but the irony is he’ll only be remembered for the deviance.”

NBC also reported that Epstein’s body has been claimed by an anonymous “associate”.

The convicted sex offender was found dead in the Metropolitan Correctional Facility in New York City.

It was previously reported by unidentified sources that he was found hanged.

Epstein, 66, had been on suicide watch but was later moved back to a regular cell.

His death came two weeks after he was reportedly found unconscious with neck injuries on the floor of his cell. His lawyers declined to comment at the time.

According to the Bureau of Prisons, Epstein had been in the federal jail’s special housing unit, a heavily secured part of the prison, which separates high-profile inmates from the general population.

It was the same unit where drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was held until he was moved to the Supermax prison in Colorado.

Multiple news reports have suggested guards did not follow procedures to check on Epstein, and that he was left alone for as long as three hours.

The US attorney general William Barr has called for an investigation into his death.

A team at the jail started work on an “after action” review earlier this week, a process automatically triggered by events like an inmate’s death and headed up by a prison bureau director from another region.

They are separate from FBI and US Department of Justice investigations.