Now that the criminal case against New York financier Jeffrey Epstein has effectively ended – following his death over the weekend – many are wondering whether charges could be on the way for other high-profile individuals close to the convicted sex offender.
Epstein reportedly was found hanging in his jail cell, where staffers at the prison attempted to revive him on Saturday morning, according to The New York Post.
While lawyers representing Epstein’s accusers are likely to file civil lawsuits against his estate, prosecutors could turn their attention toward other people who may have helped Epstein carry out an alleged sex-trafficking scheme, which is believed to have involved underage girls.
The chief federal prosecutor in Manhattan said that his office would continue its investigation, noting that charges against Epstein included conspiracy, according to The New York Times.
As previously reported by FOX Business, the 66-year-old was friends with a number of influential people, including politicians and business leaders.
No one else was named or charged alongside Epstein.
Chicago criminal defense attorney Steven Greenberg told FOX Business that the government was probably hoping Epstein would cooperate and potentially roll on others who may have been involved
“Now if they want to make cases against others they have to rely upon the accusers who didn’t come forward at the time, and perhaps circumstantial documentary evidence,” Greenberg said. “But these are prominent people and jurors are going to be extraordinarily skeptical of claims against them absent the kinds of things they found when they searched Epstein’s house, such as records and pictures. Instead these folks will be able to point out that there is no supporting evidence.”
The financier was found unconscious in his cell over the weekend and later pronounced dead. Correctional officers reportedly did not check on Epstein for hours leading up to his death, despite the fact that they were supposed to do so every 30 minutes.
The New York Post reported, citing a law enforcement source, that he used his bed sheets to hang himself from the top of a bunk bed.
Epstein was previously found unconscious with bruises on his neck – but was taken off of suicide watch last month.
The FBI and Justice Department’s inspector general office are investigating the death.
A union representative told FOX News on Monday that Epstein’s death was the direct result of understaffing at prisons. Two of the staff members who were watching a unit of inmates – including Epstein – were working overtime, the union said.