Prosecutors in New York have requested that a federal judge deny bail to multimillionaire hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein who awaits trial for sex trafficking of minors, reports NBC News.
He “has a history of obstruction and manipulation of witnesses,” prosecutors wrote to the judge, Richard Berman, on Friday.
They allege that Epstein manipulated two possible witnesses against him by wiring them $350,000 late last year, just days after The Miami Herald published its 2018 exposé on the financier.
Prosecutors were also concerned the wealthy financier was a flight risk and ought to be denied bail to prevent him from attempting to tamper with witnesses or flee the country.
66-year-old Epstein, who is up for a bail hearing on Monday, was arrested on 6 July and charged with sex trafficking of minors by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.
According to the indictment the financier, who pleaded not guilty, “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls” at his mansions in Manhattan and Palm Beach from 2002 to 2005. A conviction would send him to jail for up to 45 years.
In 2008, Epstein faced similar charges but signed a controversial plea deal with Alexander Acosta, then the US attorney in Miami, which allowed him to serve just 13 months in a private wing of a Palm Beach county jail.
Alexander Acosta resigned from his post as Trump administration Labor Secretary Friday in the wake of the scandal generated by renewed scrutiny of the Epstein plea deal.
The new indictment could provide an opportunity to relitigate the accusations against Epstein.
Attorneys for two of Epstein’s accusers reportedly expressed hope the latest charges will finally bring the financier to justice.