Jeffrey Epstein, who is accused of multiple sex-trafficking charges in New York, allegedly paid $350,000 to silence potential witnesses, prosecutors said Friday.
Prosecutors say the payments were made in November 2018 after a story in the Miami Herald broke listing the details of a plea deal he struck with federal authorities to avoid charges.
“This course of action, and in particular its timing, suggests the defendant was attempting to further influence co-conspirators who might provide information against him in light of the recently re-emerging allegations,” the prosecutors wrote in court papers obtained by NBC News.
The papers stated that the reported payments were enough evidence to keep Epstein in jail until his trial in case he tries to influence other witnesses.
Court documents state that Epstein wired $100,000 to an associate two days after the Herald published the story, and then gave $250,000 to one of his supposed employees.
Neither of the recipients was named, but both recipients of the money were said to have co-conspired in the alleged sex crimes detailed in the Herald.
The prosecutors cited a police report from Palm Beach County, Florida, stating that one of Epstein’s associates tracked down one of his alleged victims when she was home from college to tell her Epstein would pay her to be quiet, the New York Post reported.
Another Palm Beach police report stated that one of Epstein’s victims told authorities he hired private investigators to stalk and intimidate her family.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Epstein on Monday with multiple sex trafficking charges, and he faces a maximum of 45 years in prison if convicted. Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges.