Epstein finances to be kept secret ahead of bail hearingPTI | New York | Updated: 13-07-2019 01:04 IST | Created: 13-07-2019 01:02 IST
Information that could shed light on jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein's wealth will be kept secret ahead of a Monday bail hearing in his sex trafficking case in New York, a judge has ruled. US District Judge Richard Berman said Friday that Epstein's lawyers can file documents related to his finances under seal, keeping them out of the public docket.
Prosecutors complained to Berman in a letter on Thursday that Epstein's lawyers hadn't filed the paperwork, making it impossible to "meaningfully respond" to their argument that he should be held on house arrest pending trial. Berman rejected prosecutors' request for more time to file their response. It's due by 5 pm Friday.
The judge hand wrote his denial on a copy of the prosecution letter. "Hard to imagine it would take the Govt extra time to review submission," Berman wrote. Epstein, 66, pleaded not guilty this week to charges alleging he recruited and abused dozens of underage girls at his mansions in New York and Palm Beach, Florida, in the early 2000s.
The case is being brought more than a decade after Epstein secretly cut a deal with prosecutors to dispose of nearly identical allegations. The 2008 non-prosecution agreement allowed Epstein to plead guilty to state charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution instead of facing federal charges.
He served 13 months in jail, was required to reach financial settlements with dozens of his alleged victims and register as a sex offender. Prosecutors in the case in New York argue that Epstein is a significant flight risk and want him held without bail pending trial. They say he has three active US passports and has frequently traveled in and out of the country on his private jet.