Epstein Guard Charges Are Expected to Be Unsealed on Tuesday

(Bloomberg) -- Federal prosecutors are expected to unseal charges on Tuesday against guards at the U.S. jail in lower Manhattan who were supposed to keep watch on financier Jeffrey Epstein when he killed himself in custody, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell early on Aug. 10 after hanging himself in the Metropolitan Correctional Center. He had earlier been placed on suicide watch but was subsequently removed, and was supposed to be closely monitored by jail guards.

Epstein, a fund manager worth hundreds of millions of dollars, entered a controversial non-prosecution agreement with U.S. prosecutors in Florida more than a decade ago, admitting to two state prostitution charges and serving 13 months in a county jail. A federal judge ruled early this year that the deal violated the law by failing to notify the accusers of it.

Federal prosecutors arrested Epstein in July as he was returning to the U.S. from Paris. He was charged him with sex trafficking and was being held without bail. He faced life in prison if convicted; he denied wrongdoing.

While the case against Epstein ended with his death, prosecutors have been been reviewing apparent irregularities related to it, including whether the two guards responsible for him slept through checks that they were supposed to conduct every 30 minutes and then falsified records to cover up the lapse.

Investigators were also examining the staffing conditions at the facility. The Bureau of Prisons had been hobbled by a hiring freeze under the Trump administration, although Attorney General William Barr lifted the freeze in April.

Epstein was alone in his cell at the time of his death. It came the day after more than 2,000 pages of filings were unsealed, revealing allegations that prominent people were involved in his acts, fueling conspiracy theories. Prosecutors are continuing to investigate whether others were involved.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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