Epstein Guards Avoid Jail in Deal With Prosecutors in N.Y.

Two guards at a federal jail in New York City where accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein killed himself will avoid jail for falsifying records under a deal with prosecutors.

Tova Noel and Michael Thomas agreed to cooperate with a Justice Department review by providing information about their employment at the Bureau of Prisons, including about the events surrounding Epstein’s death, according to a letter from prosecutors filed Friday in New York federal court.

The guards failed to check on the 66-year-old fund manager for about eight hours, but instead sat at their desks, searching the internet for furniture and motorcycle sales and sports news, according to a 2019 indictment. They were supposed to check on Epstein every 30 minutes, but for two hours they didn’t move, “and appeared to have been asleep,” prosecutors said.

Noel and Thomas were accused of repeatedly signing false certifications claiming they conducted multiple counts of inmates.

Under the agreement, the guards will be subjected to supervised release for six months and will have to complete 100 hours of community service

A judge has to approve the deal. Prosecutors asked for a hearing on May 25.

Republican Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the deal a “joke.”

“This is unacceptable,” Sasse said in a statement. “The leader of an international child sex trafficking ring escaped justice, his co-conspirators had their secrets go to the grave with him, and these guards are going to be picking up trash on the side of the road.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.