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US: Epstein offers up mansion, jet to avoid jail

Prosecutors say billionaire financier and registered sex offender is 'extraordinary flight risk'

Umar Farooq   | 12.07.2019
US: Epstein offers up mansion, jet to avoid jail

WASHINGTON

Billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein's legal team submitted a bail proposal Thursday in which the registered sex offender’s $77 million mansion and private jet would be put up for bond.

Under the proposal, Epstein would remain under house arrest in his mansion with a "trustee" that would live with him to make sure he does not break any rules of the arrest.

On Monday, prosecutors unsealed charges against him alleging he abused dozens of underage girls, some as young as 14, and conspired to commit sex trafficking.

Epstein, 66, is being held in a federal lock-up in Manhattan while facing one count of sex trafficking minors, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, and another count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors, which carries a maximum sentence of five years.

The indictment alleges that he lured his victims into engaging in sex acts in exchange for promises of money from 2002 to 2005. Prosecutors allege that Epstein developed a network of employees and associates to ensure he had a "steady supply" of minors to abuse and paid several of the victims to recruit other underage girls.

Epstein allegedly committed the crimes at his Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida properties, where he would lure girls to his homes under the guise of providing him massages in exchange for money. The massages would become sexual and would be paid off in hundreds of dollars in cash for each encounter, according to prosecutors.

The charges mark the second time prosecutors sought to hold Epstein to account for his alleged crimes.

He was formerly let off with a significantly lighter sentence in a secret deal that saw him serve about a year in prison and had him register as a sex offender. He served most of his term in work release.

He was able to get out of a possible life sentence in that case, which involved soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Epstein’s lawyers said if he is released and put under house arrest, he would agree to wear a GPS tracking device on his ankle and install surveillance cameras, according to a report by The Daily Beast.

Prosecutors have reportedly argued that Epstein is "an extraordinary flight risk", to which his legal team has said that his jet would be grounded in the deal in exchange for being placed in home confinement.

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