Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire who was taken into custody in New York last week on sex trafficking charges, allegedly paid off two people close to him just days after a newspaper published an extensive investigation into his past, prosecutors said Friday.
Officials claimed that Epstein wired $350,000 to the two people in an effort to silence potential witnesses against him. The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan made the claims in a court filing Friday arguing for Epstein's bail to be denied.
The officials argued that the payments show Epstein would attempt to influence witnesses if he were free before the trial.
Prosecutors said he made the payments in late November and early December, just days before the Miami Herald published a wide-ranging investigative report on Epstein and the secret deal he made with Florida authorities in his 2008 case, in which he was convicted of soliciting prostitution.
Epstein has not been charged in relation to the allegations made in Friday's court filing. His attorney did not respond to the New York Times' request for comment.
Epstein was taken into custody July 6 and charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy, accused of luring underage girls to his home for sex. He pleaded not guilty. FBI agents raided his Manhattan home and said they uncovered “an extraordinary volume of photographs of nude and partially-nude young women or girls,” according to court documents.