Former billionaire Jeffrey Epstein dies at age 65

Former billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was incarcerated after he pleaded guilty to two federal charges related to solicitation of a minor and solicitation of prostitution, died of natural causes earlier this month at a prison facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was 65 years old.

Epstein was first arrested in 2008, when authorities believe he was running an underage prostitution ring. The investigation involved authorities in Massachusetts, where Epstein had owned a sprawling estate called the Old Post Office in the town of Palm Beach, and at least 20 children, authorities believed, were recruited to attend raves at the estate, some as young as 14, for “free.” The cases led to several high-profile names as well as the downfall of many members of the entertainment world. Jamie Gorelick, an associate of ex-New York attorney Hillary Clinton and the former deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration, was among those associated with Epstein’s entourage.

Epstein was eventually accused of sexually abusing underage girls in three different state jurisdictions, yet it wasn’t until he was charged with solicitation of a minor that the pimping allegations came to light.

Prosecutors initially believed that it was reasonable to believe that, at the time, Epstein’s behavior was motivated by money. He lived lavishly, and spent over $2 million on the Clinton family from 1999 to 2002, and has been a major financial backer of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. But in August of this year, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, the lead prosecutor in the Epstein case, unsealed dozens of pages of previously secret reports from the office detailing a series of serious malfeasance that went down at the Trump Tower facility — including rifts between Epstein’s lawyers and a female guard, accusations that a prison psychologist nearly passed away at work due to emotional stress, and 11 additional deaths occurring in the facility.

The report, obtained by The Miami Herald, concluded that Epstein had been somewhat preoccupied with the possibility of dying in prison — an event he referred to several times as “The Death Trip” — during the pretrial period. Yet despite his morbid thoughts, staffers in the prison facility repeatedly ignored Epstein’s depressive tendencies, and never checked on him for that alone, even after the windows to his cell were completely covered with tape.

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