Connect with us

Politics

Acosta worked with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein to downplay sex crimes

Published

on


pjimage copy
A
new report gives insight into how Secretary of Labor Alexander
Acosta, right, helped downplay billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s,
left, sex crimes.

AP/AP

  • A report from the Miami Herald gives new insight into how
    federal prosecutors worked with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s
    legal team to downplay some of his serious sex crimes.
  • The documents obtained by the Herald show that a cushy plea
    deal was cut after then-US Attorney Alexander Acosta (now
    President Donald Trump’s labor secretary) met with one of his
    lawyers, a former colleague.
  • Though investigators had found dozens of underage victims,
    Epstein only pleaded guilty to two prostitution charges and spent
    just 13 months in a county jail.

A new Miami
Herald report
gives stunning details about how President
Donald Trump’s labor secretary went to great lengths to help
downplay billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes when
he was the US attorney for Southern Florida.

According to the report, local and federal investigators had
gathered enough evidence to put Epstein away for life in 2007
when then-US Attorney Alexander Acosta met with one of Epstein’s
lawyers, Jay Lefkowitz.

Acosta and Lefkowitz were former colleagues from their time at
top-ranked law firm Kirkland & Ellis. At the meeting, the two
reportedly hammered out a deal that would see Epstein serve just
13 months, in a private cell block at a county jail, instead of
federal prison.

Government documents obtained by the Herald show that in exchange
for a lowered sentence, Epstein provided unspecified information
on federal investigations.

It’s unclear what kind of information Epstein provided to the
feds, but his case came to light during the 2008 global financial
collapse.

He went on to be a key witness in the criminal prosecution of two
prominent executives with Bear Stearns who were accused of
corporate securities fraud. Epstein, whose wealth is often
estimated in the billions, was one of the largest investors in
the hedge fund the two executives managed.

The two executives were later acquitted. It’s unclear if
Epstein’s role testifying against the two executives was part of
his plea deal.

While Epstein had to register as a sex offender and pay
restitution to the dozens of victims that investigators
identified, he only agreed to plead guilty to two prostitution
charges.

The deal also kept the full extent of Epstein’s crimes largely
secret from the public. And emails obtained by the Herald show
that prosecutors worked with his defense team to push the case
through Miami court, so the victims, who were mostly located in
Palm Beach, wouldn’t know about his sentencing and try and get
the agreement thrown out.

‘It showed that someone with money can buy his way out of
anything’


epstein palm beach home
Epstein’s
home in Palm Beach, Florida is pictured above. The home is where
much of the abuse allegedly took place.

Google Streetview

Lawyers for the victims and investigators said they were left
gobsmacked by the deal.

The victims didn’t learn about the sentencing until after it
happened, and most were still unaware that the deal effectively
shut down the FBI probe into Epstein’s crimes.

“The conspiracy between the government and Epstein was really
‘let’s figure out a way to make the whole thing go away as
quietly as possible,'” Bradley Edwards, a former state prosecutor
who represents some of Epstein’s victims, told the Herald. “In
never consulting with the victims, and keeping it secret, it
showed that someone with money can buy his way out of anything.”

One of the alleged victims, 31-year-old Courtney Wild, said that
as soon as the deal was signed “they silenced my voice and the
voice of all of Jeffrey Epstein’s other victims.” Wild was 14
when she says she first met Epstein.

One of the most striking elements of the agreement was that it
protected four of Epstein’s accomplices from facing federal
prosecution and granted immunity to “any potential
co-conspirators,” according to the Herald.

That line caused speculation that possibly high-profile people
also had sex with Epstein’s victims, according to the Herald.
Epstein was well-connected at the time, counting friends such as
former President Bill Clinton, Trump and Britain’s Prince Andrew.


Read more:

Billionaire accused of ‘witness tampering’ on questions about
Prince Andrew and underage girls

In a pending lawsuit, some of the victims have asserted that the
government broke federal law in not notifying them that Epstein
had struck a deal and was about to be sentenced.

The lead federal prosecutor, A. Marie Villafana, said in court
papers the Herald reviewed that her team tried their “best
efforts” to comply with the Crime Victims’ Rights Act. But she
said they exercised their “prosecutorial discretion” in choosing
not to tell the victims about the deal.

She reportedly explained that the deal included a clause ordering
Epstein to pay restitution to the victims, which complicated the
case if the deal fell through. If that happened, she said that
Epstein’s lawyers could have accused the victims of exaggerating
the claims to try to milk Epstein’s considerable fortune.

‘A plea that guarantees someone goes to jail … is a good thing’

Acosta has never provided an explanation for why he and
prosecutors kept the case secret from the victims and their
parents. When Trump nominated him to join his Cabinet in 2017,
senators asked Acosta about the case during his confirmation
hearings.

“At the end of the day, based on the evidence, professionals
within a prosecutor’s office decided that a plea that guarantees
someone goes to jail, that guarantees he register [as a sex
offender] generally, and guarantees other outcomes, is a good
thing,” Acosta told them.


little st. james
Epstein
now spends most of his time on his private island in the
Caribbean, Little St. James.

Google

The deal was so cushy for Epstein that the government was
eventually forced to answer questions about its handling of the
case.

Recent court filings the Herald reviewed show that the government
admitted in 2013 that federal prosecutors had bowed under
pressure to the demands set forth by Epstein’s legal team, which
included such high-powered attorneys as Alan Dershowitz and
Kenneth Starr (who investigated Clinton).

“The government admits that, at least in part as a result of
objections lodged by Epstein’s lawyers to victim notifications,
the [United States Attorney’s Office] reevaluated its obligations
to provide notification to victims and Jane Doe #1 was thus not
told that the USAO had entered into a non-prosecution agreement
with Epstein until after it was signed,” Assistant US Attorney
Dexter Lee wrote in the filings.

The US Department of Labor did not immediately respond to
INSIDER’s request for comment on the report.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job

Trending