"Piles of Cash" and Passport with Fake Name Found during Raid of Jeffrey Epstein's NYC Home

By Brian Pascus
CBS News
July 15, 2019

Federal prosecutors revealed in court on Monday that authorities found "piles of cash," "dozens of diamonds," and an expired passport with Jeffrey Epstein's picture and a fake name during a raid of his Manhattan mansion earlier this month.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller revealed at a bail hearing that the bogus passport, issued in the 1980s, listed a Saudi Arabia residence and has a photo of Epstein but a different name, CBS News' Cassandra Gauthier reported from the courtroom. Prosecutors also cited a mysterious lack of financial records.

Epstein was arrested in New York on July 6 and charged last week with sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy. He is alleged to have abused dozens of underage girls as young as 14 over a number of years. Monday's hearing concluded with Judge Richard Berman saying he needed more time before making a decision as to whether Epstein would be granted bail. He is expected to announce his decision on Thursday.

A courtroom sketch of Jeffrey Epstein's bail hearing on July 15, 2019.

At a bail hearing last week, Epstein's attorneys had asked Judge Berman to free their client as he awaits trial in New York. Since his arrest, Epstein has been held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Manhattan, near City Hall.

In their bail memorandum to Judge Berman, Epstein's attorneys requested pre-trial release and offered 14 conditions for his release that included home detention, electronic monitoring, grounding his private planes, and a bond secured by a mortgage on Epstein's New York townhouse, valued at $77 million.

Prosecutors for the Southern District of New York countered this request with their own bail memorandum, calling Epstein an "extraordinary risk of flight" and arguing that his "potential avenues of flight from justice are practically limitless."

But defense attorney Martin Weinberg insisted Epstein plans to fight the charges and that if he wanted to flee, he already would have. Epstein, 66, faces up to 45 years in prison.

Prosecutors cited Epstein's mansions in New York, Palm Beach, New Mexico, and France, as well his as two private jets and 15 motor vehicles as examples of his massive wealth and mobility. In the bail memorandum, prosecutors said a search of his New York residence uncovered "an extraordinary volume of photographs of nude and partially nude young women or girls," some of which "appear to be of underage girls." At least one of Epstein's alleged victims was identified in the pictures, prosecutors said.

On Monday, each side's attorneys made their case before Judge Berman. CBS News' Cassandra Gauthier reports Epstein's attorneys argued that their client has been self-disciplined, in compliance, and has had "no violation for 9 years." They said the level of publicity and Epstein's wealth make him "an attractive civil defendant."

"It's not like he's an out-of-control rapist," Weinberg said during Monday's hearing.

Judge Berman replied, "How do you know that?"

Citing precedent in a "narrow scope of cases," Judge Berman noted that the sex trafficking charges Epstein is facing, ones that include the alleged sexual abuse of minors, have the presumption that no conditions will ensure a defendant will not flee if released on bail. The judge then asked the defense how they rebutted that burden.

Weinberg maintained that since the 2005 charges that Epstein pled guilty to in Florida that resulted in a controversial immunity deal in 2008 and 13 months in jail, Epstein has had no allegations against him.

Weinberg said Epstein has complied with the requirements of the deal that required him to register as a sex offender, that he has "disciplined himself" and had a clean record for 14 years – "that is the rebuttal," argued Weinberg.

"I'm not so sure," Judge Berman replied, noting that compliance with the deal he struck with prosecutors in Florida is a requirement and should not be viewed as a merit.

Rossmiller, the Assistant U.S. Attorney, began his argument by insisting the perceived danger around Epstein "is not speculative."

"How much money does he have? Where is it?" Rossmiller asked.

Rossmiller said the financial information the Southern District of New York has on Epstein is "limited at best," but he explained that in just one week's time, the government's evidence is "already significantly stronger" and they have "dramatically expanded the scope of their investigation."

Through all this, Epstein sat still with his hands clasped, resting under his chin. He had glasses on and was wearing a navy jail jumpsuit.

Two Epstein accusers also spoke on Monday. Courtney Wild said she was abused by Epstein at his Palm Beach home at age 14. Annie Farmer said Epstein behaved inappropriately with her when she was 16 and that he flew her to New Mexico.

Judge Berman said he will announce his bail decision on Thursday.

—Cassandra Gauthier and Mola Lenghi contributed to this report








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