AP Photo/Richard Drew
- The bail hearing for wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, who is facing charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy, took place Monday morning in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
- US District Judge Richard Berman said he will make his decision on Epstein's bail request on Thursday, but heard Monday morning from Epstein's defense and federal prosecutors.
- Berman indicated that he may unseal filings disclosing Epstein's finances, and federal prosecutors announced they became aware Monday of a now-expired passport issued by a foreign country in the 1980s with Epstein's picture but a different name.
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The bail hearing for convicted sex offender and wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein took place Monday morning in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, with Judge Richard Berman planning to announce his decision in court Thursday.
Epstein faces charges from federal prosecutors of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy, and dozens of women have accused him of sexual abuse, according to reports from the Miami Herald and The New York Post among others. He was previously convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor in Palm Beach, Florida.
During Monday morning's hearing, Berman said he allowed Epstein's defense to file his financial information under seal so that it wouldn't slow the court proceedings but said he was "inclined to place the summary on the docket," according to Courthouse News reporter Adam Klasfeld, meaning that a summary would become public.
🚨 Sunlight on Epstein's finances likely, judge indicates. https://t.co/6iWNqa7mdM
Along with the indication that Berman could make information pertaining to Epstein's finances public, federal prosecutors noted that they obtained further financial records confirming that Epstein is worth more than $500 million, with one record showing a single account containing upward of $110 million, according to CNN reporter Shimon Prokupecz.
Prosecutors obtained further financial records confirming that Epstein is worth more than $500 million. One record showed he had a single account with over $110 million alone.
Federal prosecutors also noted that they learned Monday that a passport had been found in one of Epstein's locked safes issued by a foreign country in the 1980s. The passport is now expired, and the photo is of Epstein, but the name is different and the place of residence says Saudi Arabia, according to CNN reporter Erica Orden.
SDNY says they learned today that Epstein had in a locked safe a foreign passport issued in the 1980s, expired, with a photo that appears to be Epstein and a name that is not his. It also gives his place of residence as Saudi Arabia.
The court heard from two of Epstein's accusers who said they had been abused starting when they were 14- and 16-years-old, respectively. The women advised Berman against releasing Epstein from custody on bail, according to Klasfeld.
Annie Farmer, one of Epstein's accusers: "I was 16-years-old when I had the misfortune to meet" Jeffrey Epstein, and she was flown into New Mexico.
"His wealth, his privilege and the notoriety of the case would make it... more difficult," Farmer says, her voice cracking.
Epstein's defense also argued during the hearing that recent reports of witness tampering were false, and that Epstein had paid an employee and a friend, as opposed to potential witnesses. Epstein's counsel also noted that he is being held in an isolation unit in custody, and asked that he be released on bail for the purposes of their defense.
The prosecution also argued that Epstein has financial resources in art and diamonds and that the total sum of his assets should be considered before making a decision on his bail request.
- Read more:
- Jeffrey Epstein reportedly hired private investigators to intimidate and silence accusers, witnesses, and prosecutors
- At least a dozen more women have come forward accusing Jeffrey Epstein of sexual abuse
- A Manhattan mansion, a ranch in New Mexico, a private jet, and a black stuffed poodle on a Steinway. Here's a look at the assets of Jeffrey Epstein.