Jeffrey Edward Epstein ( EP-steen; January 20, 1953 – August 10, 2019) was an American financier and convicted sex offender. He began his professional life as a teacher but then switched to the banking and finance sector in various roles, working at Bear Stearns before forming his own firm. He developed an elite social circle and procured many women, including underage girls, who were then sexually abused by Epstein and some of his contacts.In 2005, police in Palm Beach, Florida, began investigating Epstein after a parent complained that he had sexually abused her 14-year-old daughter. Epstein pleaded guilty and was convicted in 2008 by a Florida state court of procuring an underage girl for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute. He served almost 13 months in custody, but with extensive work release. He was convicted of only these two crimes as part of a controversial plea deal; federal officials had identified 36 girls, some as young as 14 years old, whom Epstein had allegedly sexually abused.Epstein was arrested again on July 6, 2019, on federal charges for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. He died in his jail cell on August 10, 2019. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide. Epstein's lawyers have disputed the ruling, and there has been significant public skepticism about the true cause of his death. Since his death precluded the possibility of pursuing criminal charges, a judge dismissed all criminal charges on August 29, 2019. Epstein had a decades-long association with Ghislaine Maxwell, who has faced persistent allegations of procuring and sexually trafficking underage girls for Epstein, which led to her arrest by the FBI on July 2, 2020. Epstein also maintained a years-long friendship with Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
He is also known as Jeffrey Edward Epstein and Jeffrey E. Epstein.
On July 23, 2019, three weeks prior to his death, Epstein was found unconscious in his jail cell with injuries to his neck. Epstein believed that he was attacked by his cellmate, who was awaiting trial for four counts of murder, while the correctional staff suspected attempted suicide. After that incident, he was placed on suicide watch. Six days later, on July 29, 2019, Epstein was taken off suicide watch and placed in a special housing unit with another inmate. Epstein's close associates said he was in "good spirits".
When Epstein was placed in the special housing unit, the jail informed the Justice Department that he would have a cellmate, and that a guard would look into the cell every 30 minutes. These procedures were not followed on the night of his death. On August 9, 2019, Epstein's cellmate was transferred out, but no one took his place. Later in the evening, in violation of the jail's normal procedure, Epstein was not checked every 30 minutes. The two guards who were assigned to check his jail unit that night fell asleep and did not check on him for about three hours; the guards falsified related records. Two cameras in front of Epstein's cell also malfunctioned that night.
Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City at 6:30 a.m. EDT on August 10, 2019. The Bureau of Prisons said lifesaving measures were initiated immediately upon the discovery of Epstein's body. Emergency responders were called and he was taken to a hospital. On August 10, 2019, the Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Attorney General William Barr called the death an apparent suicide, although no final determination had been made. The circumstances leading up to his death are being investigated by the Justice Department.