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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation

Hedge Fund Manager Jeffrey Epstein Charged With Sex Trafficking

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Fund manager Jeffrey Epstein was arrested by federal authorities on Saturday and charged with the sex trafficking of minors, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Epstein is expected to appear in Manhattan federal court on Monday, according to the person, who declined to comment publicly because the charges remain private.

Suspicions about Epstein have swirled for more than a decade, with alleged victims saying he used his employees to bring local teen girls to his Florida mansion for sex and paid them to recruit new victims. The girls were as young as 13-years-old. Epstein eventually pleaded guilty in 2008 to two counts of soliciting a prostitute and served 13 months in a Florida state prison, while avoiding prosecution for federal sex-trafficking offenses in a non-prosecution deal..

The Miami Herald last year published a series of stories detailing how the top federal prosecutor in southern Florida at the time, Alexander Acosta, worked with Epstein’s lawyers to fashion the lenient deal. Acosta, now U.S. Secretary of Labor, allegedly failed to clear the agreement with many of Epstein’s victims, who said they would have opposed the 13-month sentence Epstein ultimately served, the paper said. The Herald said it found about 60 victims.

In the new case, additional victims have come forward since Epstein entered into his plea deal with Florida prosecutors, the person said. As a result, the case is unlikely to falter on double-jeopardy grounds, which bars the government from prosecuting a person a second time on the same charges, the person said. Epstein is alleged to have committed the crimes while in Manhattan.

Epstein will be held in federal custody in Manhattan until his court on Monday, when the case against him will be unsealed, the person said. A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan declined to comment. Epstein’s lawyer, Martin Weinberg, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Epstein was arrested at Teterboro Airport in northern New Jersey after he returned from France, the person said. His lawyer couldn’t be reached for comment.

Epstein, who has homes in Manhattan, Palm Beach, New Mexico, Paris and the U.S. Virgin Islands, molested girls, mostly 13 to 16-years-old, at his Palm Beach mansion, the Herald reported.

In February, a Florida judge said Acosta broke the law when he failed to disclose the non-prosecution agreement to Epstein’s alleged victims, and the Justice Department opened a probe into how the case was handled. Acosta has defended his performance, saying the deal guaranteed that Epstein would be sent to jail.

Last week, a federal appeals court in New York said some sealed documents related to Epstein’s case will be opened. The ruling came in a defamation lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s alleged victims, against a British socialite. Giuffre alleges Epstein and the socialite recruited her into a forced sex ring at Epstein’s home in Florida when Giuffre was a minor.

The new charges were initially reported by The Daily Beast.

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