Who was Jeffrey Epstein and what was his cause of death?

JEFFREY Epstein is a US financier who was convicted of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution in 2008.

He was arrested on July 6, 2019 for sex trafficking minors in Florida and New York and was found dead in apparent suicide on August 9.

Who is Jeffrey Epstein?

The 66-year-old was born in Brooklyn, New York City and grew up on Coney Island.

His father worked for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Epstein attended classes at Cooper Union, a private college, but dropped out in 1971.

He then went to the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University but left before he completed his degree.

He started his career in finance in 1976 as an options trader at Bear Stearns and became a limited partner in the firm in 1980.

Epstein then formed his own firm, J Epstein & Co in 1982. The firm changed its name to the Financial Trust Company and based itself in the US Virgin Islands for tax purposes.

What was his cause of death?

Epstein's death comes two weeks after he was placed on suicide watch after he was found nearly unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck.

Law enforcement officials confirmed on August 10 he had taken his own life at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, which is where is had been held without bail pending trial on child sex-trafficking charges.

It is understood he hanged himself.

A stretcher carrying a man who looked like Epstein was wheeled out of the Manhattan Correctional Center around 7.30 am.

The ambulance went to New York Downtown Hospital, reports the New York Post.

What are the 2019 trafficking charges?

Epstein was arrested on July 6, 2019 on sex trafficking charges.

Court documents allege that at least 40 underage girls were brought to Epstein’s mansion for sexual encounters.

He was arrested at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.

FBI agents are also said to have broken down the door to his Manhattan townhouse.

He pleaded not guilty to child sex trafficking charges in New York and could face 45 years in prison if found guilty.

On July 18, a federal judge said that the disgraced financier presented a "danger to the community" and must stay in one of New York's toughest prisons while he awaits a trial over the sex trafficking accusations.

The shamed financier was locked up amid fears he would flee the country.

He was caught with piles of cash and a fake Saudi passport in his £60million Manhattan mansion during the raid, prosecutors said in court on Monday.

Attorney Spencer Kuvin, who represents three of Epstein’s accusers, says he “sees lots of similarities” between the banker and shamed paedophile British TV star Jimmy Savile.

He told The Sun Online: “For many years Savile was a large benefactor and he gave to a lot of different charities and used his money to make it look like from the outside he was a good person and he was doing good things.

“Epstein was doing the same thing.

"He worked a lot with Bill Clinton’s foundation in Africa to assist people with Aids and other non-profit foundations.

"Like Mr Savile, Mr Epstein was using his wealth to try and make himself look good when the dark reality was he was abusing young girls for many years.

“So there is an interesting connection between the two.”

Kuvin says the three victims that he represents – including Jane Doe 1 who was the first to go to police in Palm Beach and spark the initial investigation – are still affected daily by the alleged abuse.

He said they were "angry and frustrated" that Epstein was handed such a short sentence in 2008.

Mr Kuvin said: "These women are still affected by what Mr Epstein did to them without a doubt.

"None of my clients want their names out there – it’s still a stain on their past history and they don’t want to have to relive this unless they absolutely know it’s going to make a difference.

"It affects them everyday it affects their relationships with men and husbands it affects everything abut their lives going forward.

“When you abuse a child it forever creates that scar on their persona.”

His friend Donald Trump is reported to have said of Epstein in 2002: "I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with.

"It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side,” according to New York magazine.

What was Epstein charged with in 2008?

In March 2005 a woman contacted the Palm Beach Police Department in Florida and alleged her 14-year-old stepdaughter had been taken to Epstein’s mansion by an older girl.

There she was said to have been paid$300 to strip and massage Epstein.

The cops began an undercover investigation and also searched his home. The FBI also became involved in the case.

During the investigation they interviewed five of the alleged victims and found that some of the girls had been under 18.

Papers filed in 2006 were also said to contain allegations Epstein had installed concealed cameras on his property to record sexual activity with underage girls by prominent people as a possible means of blackmail.

A plea deal was eventually agreed and Epstein pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges, register as a sex offender and pay restitution to three dozen victims identified by the FBI.

He pleaded guilty in June 2008 to a single charge of soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14.

What's Epstein's 'paedo island'?

Epstein's private Caribbean island has become the centre of a sex trafficking probe against him, amid claims underage girls were used as sex slaves and repeatedly abused inside a temple.

The billionaire bought the island of Little St James more than two decades ago – transforming it into a high-security private oasis, complete with a mansion and a bizarre blue and white gold-domed structure.

To date, the island has remained Epstein’s main residence, but has been shrouded in mystery.

It's high security, secluded location and locally-known moniker as "Pedophile Island" has given rise to more sinister theories about its use.

Neighbouring islander Kevin Goodrich, who operates boat charters from nearby St Thomas, said: “Everybody called it ‘Paedophile Island' … It’s our dark corner.”

Epstein set about building an enormous stone mansion with cream-coloured walls and a bright turquoise roof surrounded by a maids’ quarters.

Years later, and on the other southwest edge of the island, he built a square-shaped blue and white building resembling a religious temple, topped with a gold dome.

Many have speculated that the child sex abuse Epstein has been accused of may have occurred in this secluded space.

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