Jeffrey Epstein's jail guards admit they lied the night he died

·2-min read

Two prison workers tasked with guarding Jeffrey Epstein the night he killed himself in a New York jail have admitted they falsified records.

The pair will avoid spending time in prison after a deal was struck with federal prosecutors, authorities say.

The prison workers, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, were accused of sleeping and browsing the internet instead of monitoring Epstein the night he took his own life in August 2019.

They were charged with lying on prison records to make it seem as though they had made required checks on the financier before he was found in his cell on August 10.

Michael Thomas (left) and Tova Noel (right) at court.
Michael Thomas (left) and Tova Noel (right) have admitted they falsified records but will skirt any time behind bars under a deal with federal prosecutors. Source: Associated Press

New York City's medical examiner ruled Epstein's death a suicide.

As part of the deal with prosecutors, they will enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department and will serve no time behind bars, according to a letter from federal prosecutors that was filed in court papers on Friday.

Noel and Thomas will instead be subjected to supervised release, will be required to complete 100 hours of community service and will be required to fully co-operate with a probe by the Justice Department's inspector-general.

The two "admitted that they 'wilfully and knowingly completed materially false count and round slips regarding required counts and rounds'" in the housing unit where Epstein was being held.

The deal will need to be approved by a judge, which could come as soon as next week.

This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry, shows Jeffrey Epstein.
Jeffrey Epstein's 2019 death was ruled a suicide. Source: New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File

Prosecutors allege Noel and Thomas sat at their desks just five metres from Epstein's cell, shopped online for furniture and motorcycles, and walked around the unit's common area instead of making required rounds every 30 minutes.

During one two-hour period, both appeared to have been asleep, according to the indictment filed against them.

Epstein, a wealthy financial adviser, died at age 66 after he was indicted on multiple charges related to the sexual abuse of dozens of underage girls over many years.

Epstein's longtime friend Ghislaine Maxwell is in custody awaiting trial on charges that she lured underage girls so he could abuse them.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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