Federal prosecutors in New York overseeing the case against millionaire Jeffrey Epstein are preparing to hand over highly-sensitive investigative material to the financier’s defense attorneys after a federal judge on Friday granted the government’s request to place a protective order on the documents.
Prosecutors sought the order because, they said in court filings, they intends to produce documents and materials that could … “affect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals…[and that] would impede, if prematurely disclosed, the Government’s ongoing investigation of uncharged individuals.”
When Epstein secured a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors in southern Florida in 2008 over a previous investigation, the much-criticized deal also immunized any and all potential co-conspirators, known or unknown, and also included the names of four women who had been suspected by authorities of having facilitated or participated in alleged crimes against children.
The deal, which is currently under review by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, allowed Epstein to plead guilty to two state counts and avoid federal charges for an allegedly broad pattern of similar conduct.
Throughout the negotiations — and for nearly a year after the agreement was signed — the victims were kept in the dark, their attorneys said, claiming they were strung along as government lawyers promised victims they were still investigating even long after they had cut the deal with Epstein.