Wealthy financier and convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein's days in jail were far from being pleasant, with conditions a far cry from his regular posh lifestyle, local inmates constantly extorting him for money and guards harassing him, the New York Daily News reported citing the accounts of several inmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre (MCC), where the offender had been held.
Sputnik could not independently verify the accounts of the New York Daily News' sources regarding Epstein's time at the MCC.
One of the sources, a niece of Epstein's last cellmate, Efrain Reyes, recalled her uncle saying the guards were "treating [Epstein] like crap" and made him sleep on the floor instead of a cot. Reyes himself was transferred from his sell less than 24 hours before Epstein's death and has since been released, but died in late November 2020. Reyes' niece, Angelique Lopez, claimed her uncle never went public with information about Epstein's life in jail fearing retribution from the MCC officials.
Another inmate, who preferred to stay anonymous, told the New York Daily News the guards laughed at Epstein's health problems such as back problems, saying he would not get any medical attention at the MCC.
"He's not seeing medical, he's a pervert — I heard the CO [corrections officer] say that", one of the inmates claimed in an interview with the NY Daily News.
In a note, purportedly found in Epstein's cell after he ended his life, according to an official medical evaluation, the sex convict reportedly complained about guards bringing him "burnt food" and over bugs "crawling over my hands" in a prison reportedly known for its regular problems with insects, vermin, and for being heavily understaffed - none of which has been officially confirmed as yet.
Lucrative Target for Extortionists
Three former and current MCC inmates, who remained anonymous, also told the media outlet that like any new arrival, Epstein was subjected to extortion from other inmates. However, due to him being a sex offender and a rich person, he faced that much more than an average person, sources claimed.
"A normal inmate will come in there and they automatically assume you have money because you've just been arrested. They're trying to sell you everything — phones, electronics, a better cell […] When he got in there everyone was fighting over who would get him [...] He was getting ripped off left and right", one of the sources claimed.
He reportedly had to pay over $4,000 for cell phones, which are prohibited at the facility, but did not always get what he was promised. He was also allegedly offered protection from other prisoners, who threatened him, naturally for a hefty fee. According to the NY Daily News' sources, the financier agreed to pay "thousands of dollars" for these and other services.
Epstein's Recurring Suicidal Thoughts
Soon after his arrival at the MCC, Epstein was placed in the Special Housing Unit, separate from the main population, and put in one cell with Nick Tartaglione, who was facing the death penalty for charges of killing four men. Weeks after being thrown in jail, Epstein tried to take his life using a strip of bedsheet, but was ultimately saved after Tartaglione alarmed the guards.
Despite Tartaglione thwarting his suicide attempt, the financier thanked him, according to the inmates interviewed by the NY Daily News. He even reportedly promised to add his then-cellmate to his will, but Tartaglione's lawyer denies his client receiving anything from the disgraced financier calling such an idea "preposterous".
Although Epstein was placed on suicide watch following his first attempt to take his own life at the end of July, he was soon taken off it with guards largely ignoring him, according to the results of an investigation into the sex offender's death at the MCC. The financier was placed in a cell with Efrain Reyes, whom he confided in about planning another suicide attempt, Reyes's niece claims citing accounts of her late uncle.
"He was saying he's going to kill himself because the government is trying to kill him anyway", the niece recalled noting that Reyes asked Epstein not to do it, since his death would cause him trouble.
The financier eventually found a way to kill himself, according to the official medical conclusion. Less than 24 hours after Reyes was transferred to another cell, Epstein hung himself using bedsheets and the absence of a cellmate, who had not been replaced as the rules demanded. The investigation later showed that the MCC was heavily understaffed and guards did not monitor Epstein as often as they were supposed to, giving him an opportunity to take his life. However, coinciding factors that allowed Epstein's suicide and CCTV records from the time of his death never successfully being recovered sparked a spate of rumours and conspiracy theories that the financier was actually "silenced" to prevent him from spilling names of the clients using his services as a sex trafficker of minors.