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Accused child sex predator Jeffrey Epstein wired a total of $350,000 to a pair of possible co-conspirators just days after the publication of a newspaper story alleging he sexually abused dozens of underage girls, federal prosecutors said Friday.

The prosecutors said the payments, which were made last November after the bombshell Miami Herald story came out, demonstrate Epstein’s willingness to tamper with witnesses.

“This course of action, and in particular its timing, suggests the defendant was attempting to further influence co-conspirators who might provide information against him in light of the recently re-emerging allegations,” the prosecutors wrote in court papers arguing that Epstein should remain behind bars until his trial.

Epstein’s lawyers proposed that he be held under house arrest with electronic monitoring at his $77 million New York City mansion. But prosecutors said in the new court papers that the wealthy financier is worth more than $500 million and poses a considerable flight risk.

“The defendant is an incredibly sophisticated financial actor with decades of experience in the industry and significant ties to financial institutions and actors around the world,” the court papers say. “He could easily transfer funds and holdings on a moment’s to places where the government would never find them so as to ensure he could live comfortably while a fugitive.”

The prosecutors also said multiple victims have told the government “they would be fearful for their safety” if Epstein were released from jail.

Epstein’s lawyers did not immediately return a request for comment.

Epstein is facing up to 45 years in prison on allegations that he sexually abused dozens of underage girls at his homes in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005. Epstein is also accused of paying his victims to recruit others, allowing him to build a vast network of girls to exploit. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors said in the new court papers that Epstein’s attempts to obstruct the investigation follow a pattern that began more than a decade ago when he was being investigated for similar crimes in Palm Beach, Florida.

“Police reports suggest that an associate of Epstein’s was offering to buy victims’ silence during the course of the prior investigation,” the court papers say.

One victim told investigators that an Epstein associate told her she would be compensated for refusing to cooperate with police, according to a 2006 Palm Beach Police report cited by the prosecutors.

“Indeed, the victim reported having been told: ‘Those who help him will be compensated and those who hurt him will be dealt with,'” the court papers say.

Epstein was arrested Saturday after his private plane landed at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. Federal prosecutors in New York charged him with sex trafficking and conspiracy more than a decade after he signed a controversial non-prosecution deal. The once-secret 2007 agreement ended a federal sex crimes investigation against him and spared him the prospect of a long prison sentence.

Instead, Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution and served 13 months at Palm Beach county jail. Epstein was also required to register as a sex offender and pay his restitution to his victims.

President Donald Trump’s labor secretary, Alex Acosta, who had overseen the deal as the U.S. attorney in Miami at the time, announced his plans to resign Friday amid the simmering controversy.

Earlier this week, a new Epstein accuser spoke out for the first time, telling NBC News that he raped her when she was 15.

Jennifer Araoz, 32, said she was 14 years old when she was recruited outside her New York City high school to provide sexual massages for Epstein. A year later, she said, he turned violent.

“He raped me, forcefully raped me,” Araoz said in an exclusive interview. “He knew exactly what he was doing.”



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‘Bottled it!’ Labour FURY as Holly and Phil sideline ITV interview for Boris selfie

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LABOUR supporters have furiously reacted to Boris Johnson’s selfie with ITV’s Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby who have been accused to costing up to the Prime Minister instead of interrogating the Tory leader in the run-up to the general election.

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Two Russian hackers charged in sweeping malware attack on U.S.

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Federal prosecutors have filed charges against two Russian nationals accused of carrying out one of the largest cybercrime sprees in history, orchestrating a string of attacks on computer systems in the United States and targeting victims in at least 11 states.

The accused were responsible for tens of millions of dollars in damages, and the attacks netted them over $3 million, according to court documents.

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Maksim Yakubets and Igor Turashev are accused of planting malware on computers, attacking several institutions in Pennsylvania — a bank, companies, a school district — in addition to targets in other states, including a lumber company, a natural gas company, and a small organization of nuns in Chicago, according to a complaint unsealed Thursday.

Yakubets, who is linked to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), was the leader of the hacking operation and Turashev was his assistant, prosecutors said. The two men, who were both indicted in Pittsburgh but whose whereabouts are unknown, obtained access to the U.S. computer systems through phishing emails claiming to be from legitimate companies and groups.

Igor Turashev, left, and Maksim Yakubets are accused of planting malware on victim computers.FBI

The attacks were among “the worst computer hacking and bank fraud schemes of the past decade,” Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski said at a news conference.

Benczkowski added that Yakubets was a “true 21st century criminal” and the “leader of a cybercriminal gang” who allegedly orchestrated “the kinds of criminal schemes so audacious and sophisticated they would be difficult to imagine if they were not real.”

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The accused targeted, apparently unsuccessfully, the Sharon City School District in western Pennsylvania. But they had more success draining funds from the bank account of Penneco Oil.

The Department of Treasury has added the defendants to its Office of Foreign Assets Control list, which administers and enforces sanctions. The State Department and the FBI are offering a $5 million reward for information that leads to Yakubets’ arrest and conviction.

Tom Winter contributed.



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LIB DEM SHAME: Swinson's team twisted Express story for anti-Boris 'biased agenda'

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THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS have been blasted for pursuing a “fake news agenda” after a general election leaflet was found to have “manipulated” an Express.co.uk article in order to condemn Boris Johnson.

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