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  1. #376

    Re: The Manafort/Stone/Epstein/Flynn Trials & Scandals

    Stephen Brown @PPVSRB

    Feds accidentally preserved footage of the wrong cell during Jeffrey Epstein's suicide attempt.
    A backup system for video footage at MCC also wasn't working, prosecutors say, meaning the surveillance vid is gone.

    Surveillance video of Jeffrey Epstein’s cell during suicide attempt was destroyed: prosecutors
    JAN 09, 2020 | 11:37 AM

    Photos released by a medical examiner reveal billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell after he allegedly killed himself. (Handout)

    Surveillance footage from outside Jeffrey Epstein’s cell during his suicide attempt was destroyed, prosecutors revealed Thursday.

    The revelation in a letter filed by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maurene Comey and Jason Swergold is the latest head-spinning disclosure from the feds about the footage from the Metropolitan Correctional Center on July 22 and 23. Epstein attempted to hang himself that night while sharing a cell with accused quadruple murderer Nick Tartaglione, officials have said.

    Swergold initially said last month in White Plains Federal Court that the video had not been preserved. He reversed himself less than 24 hours later, saying it had been archived.

    Now, the feds say that due to a record-keeping error, MCC staff preserved footage from outside the wrong cell.

    “The footage contained on the preserved video was for the correct date and time, but captured a different tier than the one where Cell-1 was located because the preserved video did not show corrections officers responding to any of the cells seen on the video. After speaking with MCC legal counsel, the Government was informed that the MCC computer system listed a different, incorrect cell for Tartaglione,” prosecutors wrote in a letter filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

    Even worse, there was a backup system for the video footage, but that wasn’t working, either.

    “The requested video no longer exists on the backup system and has not since at least August 2019 as a result of technical errors,” the prosecutors wrote.

    Tartaglione’s attorney Bruce Barket had asked MCC to preserve the video days after the incident. He has said Tartaglione acted “admirably,” possibly saving Epstein’s life. Correctional officers found Epstein dead in a different cell at the troubled jail on Aug. 10. He’d hanged himself in the cell, which he occupied alone.

    “It is stunning that a video which we asked to be preserved and which the jail should have saved without a request was destroyed. More troubling are the various and inconsistent accounts of what happened to the video. We believe that the video would have strongly corroborated our client’s assertion that he acted appropriately that evening and are deeply disturbed it has disappeared,” Barket wrote in a text.

    Tartaglione, a former Briarcliff Manor cop, is facing the death penalty for the murders prosecutors allege were linked to a drug deal gone bad with a Mexican cartel. The footage could potentially be useful to Barket if he must argue to a jury Tartaglione does not deserve the death penalty.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  2. #377

    Re: The Manafort/Stone/Epstein/Flynn Trials & Scandals

    Epstein Case: New Lawsuit Claims He Trafficked Girls Until 2018
    The attorney general of the Virgin Islands says Mr. Epstein and co-conspirators used a database to track victims as young as 11 years old.

    Jan. 15, 2020, 12:57 p.m. ET

    New evidence shows Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused and trafficked hundreds of young women and girls on his private Caribbean island as recently as 2018, significantly expanding the scope of his alleged conduct, a top law enforcement official said in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

    Mr. Epstein, a wealthy financier who died by suicide in a Manhattan jail last year, was bringing girls as young as 11 and 12 to his secluded estate in the Virgin Islands, known as Little Saint James, and kept a computerized database to track the availability and movements of women and girls, the lawsuit said.

    The lawsuit, which was filed by Denise N. George, the attorney general of the Virgin Islands, broadened the dimensions of the wrongdoing in which Mr. Epstein was said to have engaged. He had been charged by Manhattan prosecutors in July with sexually exploiting dozens of women and girls in New York and Florida, but they did not point to any actions beyond 2005.


    The new accusations — which draw both from independent investigations by Ms. George’s office and court documents from cases across the country — argue that Mr. Epstein ran a decades-long sex trafficking scheme that had a primary nexus in the Virgin Islands.

    “Epstein clearly used the Virgin Islands and his residence in the U.S. Virgin Islands at Little Saint James as a way to be able to conceal and to be able to expand his activity here,” Ms. George said.

    The suit in the Virgin Islands, which was filed against Mr. Epstein’s estate, underscores the legal complications of reckoning with such wide-reaching crimes as those Mr. Epstein is said to have committed. Ms. George’s suit is the first filed against the estate by a government entity, but it joins a field of similar claims filed by more than a dozen women.

    It remains unclear how Mr. Epstein’s assets, which are valued at about $500 million, could be allocated.

    “We don’t have a long history of figuring out what to do in cases of human trafficking,” said Bridgette Carr, the director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School, who consulted with Ms. George’s team on the case. “I think this litigation and the courts are just trying to come up with the best, imperfect solution.”

    Mr. Epstein’s executor, Darren K. Indyke, could not immediately be reached for comment.

    The suit seeks the forfeiture of Little Saint James and Mr. Epstein’s second private island, Great Saint James, as well as the dissolution of numerous shell companies he established in the territory that officials have said acted as fronts for his sex trafficking enterprise.

    As part of its policies, the government of the Virgin Islands could take any assets recovered from Mr. Epstein’s estate and consider disbursing them to women and girls who were victimized by him in the region, Ms. George said.

    Ms. George said she believed the case could chip away at the region’s reputation as a notorious haven for the rich and powerful.

    “We will not remain complacent, and we will enforce our laws whatever way we can,” Ms. George said. “It doesn’t matter the social status of the person. It’s that the laws apply equally.”

    The court documents said that Mr. Epstein operated with impunity for years at Little Saint James and Great Saint James, which he obtained through a straw purchaser in 2016.

    As recently as July 2018, Mr. Epstein refused to permit an investigator from the Virgin Island’s Department of Justice to enter Little Saint James, claiming the island’s dock was his “front door,” according to the lawsuit. The investigator was doing routine monitoring of Mr. Epstein because he was a registered sex offender.

    Mr. Epstein’s victims included aspiring models from South America, according to court documents.

    Mr. Epstein used a ring of associates to rotate the women and girls in and out of sexual servitude, using fraudulent modeling visas to transport them across state lines and international borders, the lawsuit said. He tracked their availability and proximity using the database, court documents said.

    Prosecutors in New York have said their investigation has continued and anyone who helped Mr. Epstein could face criminal charges.

    In one instance, according to the lawsuit, one young girl attempted to swim off Mr. Epstein’s island and escape after she was forced to engage in sex acts with one of his co-conspirators. The girl was found, and held hostage on Mr. Epstein’s island after he confiscated her passport.

    In addition, the lawsuit said, Mr. Epstein embarked on several illegal construction projects at Great Saint James, which caused damage to native coral and wildlife.

    The more than a dozen women who have filed lawsuits against Mr. Epstein’s estate in New York City since his death have accused him of exploiting and sexually abusing them when they were young women and girls, according to court documents. Many are seeking financial compensation.

    The lawsuit in the Virgin Islands appears to be the first filed against the estate in that jurisdiction. Mr. Epstein maintained his legal permanent residence — and his estate — there. He hastily filed his will in a Virgin Islands court just days before he killed himself.

    Ms. George’s lawsuit also seeks to head off an effort by Mr. Epstein’s executor, Mr. Indyke, to turn Mr. Epstein’s vast wealth into a victim’s compensatory fund. Mr. Indyke’s proposal, which is currently being litigated in a separate Virgin Islands case, imposes confidentiality on any claimants, Ms. George said.

    “The estate continues to engage in a course of conduct aimed at concealing the criminal activities of the Epstein enterprise,” the lawsuit said.

    In a statement when that fund was first announced, Mr. Indyke said it would give victims “the opportunity to obtain appropriate compensation and to be heard and treated with compassion, dignity and respect.”
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

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