Private investigator Michael Fisten first started digging into financier Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking crimes more than a decade ago when attorney Brad Edwards hired him. After Epstein signed a non-prosecution deal with federal prosecutors in 2008, Edwards had sued Epstein in civil court on behalf of a number of alleged victims who had been blindsided by the plea deal (which a judge later ruled to have violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act). Fisten was tasked with finding as much incriminating information on the financier as he could.
Fisten, a 30-year law enforcement veteran, said he was shocked and disgusted by what he uncovered. In a wide-ranging interview with CNN, the P.I. said that he was able to identify two young women who have arranged access to girls for Epstein in recent years. He and Edwards have handed over the names and “associated information” over to federal authorities, he said, though he did not name the alleged fixers to CNN.
Fisten also said that his investigations led to the discovery of countless lapses in security during the time Epstein was on work release from the Palm Beach county jail—in a cushy deal that allowed the convicted sex offender out of confinement 12 hours a day, six days a week. On Friday, the Palm Beach sheriff’s office announced that it had opened its own internal investigation into whether deputies, who often referred to Epstein as a “client” instead of an inmate in logs kept at the sheriff’s office, had broken with procedure.
Fisten told CNN that he was angered that Epstein was allowed to go to a luxury office instead of remaining behind bars. Fisten said he was disgusted when he saw “lavish lunches being brought into the office and a parade of young females going in and out of the place.”
The Palm Beach sheriff’s office now admits that Epstein was also allowed to go to his luxury mansion and spend time there unsupervised.
Fisten tried to obtain the sheriff’s office logs that should have documented the names and ages of everyone who came into contact with Epstein during work release, but the logs “have inexplicably vanished,” he said to CNN.
“We wanted to get those logs so we could see who the girls were,” Fisten said. “They’re missing. No one knows where they are.”
Fisten also repeated previous claims that Epstein wielded his power to silence his accusers during and after his incarceration, even hiring his own private investigators who were paid to harass his victims. “They were former Miami cops,” Fisten told CNN. “He paid an extremely large retainer to them and all their job to do was to follow the girls around and intimidate them.”
Fisten even ran into Epstein’s private investigators first hand. Once, when driving one of Epstein’s accusers home, he told CNN he saw one of Epstein’s detectives parked across from her house filming her comings and goings. Fisten said the father of another of Epstein’s accusers was “run off the road” by one of the former cops in Epstein’s employ.
Of Epstein's alleged victims, Fisten noted, “Once these girls lost their braces and their pubescent look and started becoming 16-years old or 17-years old, they were too old for him.”
“So then he started using them as recruiters to bring the younger girls.”
Epstein was denied bail on Thursday as he faces federal sex trafficking charges in New York. Fisten says the victims finally feel that justice could be served. “They couldn’t be happier,” he told CNN. “It’s all they ever wanted.”
Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here