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Westlake Legal Group > fnc/us (Page 10)

Man arrested after gunfire at Chicago hospital for military veterans, cops say

A suspect is in custody after shots were fired outside a 200-bed hospital on Chicago’s West Side that provides care to about 62,000 military veterans, authorities said.

Officials reported that there were no injuries.

Tom Ahern, a police spokesman, said the man began shooting outside the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Monday afternoon and tried to enter the lobby.

He said security officers apprehended the man near the hospital entrance. Police took the man into custody.

“Nobody was hurt, there was nobody injured, there was nobody hit,” Jeffrey Sallet, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago field office, said, according to Fox 32. “We avoided tragedy here in the city of Chicago today.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Authorities recovered a rifle that the man is believed to have used.

Ahern said investigators haven’t determined what led to the gunfire or who the man might have been targeting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click for more from Fox 32.

Westlake Legal Group 59b9300d-Chicago-police Man arrested after gunfire at Chicago hospital for military veterans, cops say Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/crime/chicagos-crime-wave fox news fnc/us fnc article 966ef6e1-35c4-585e-93e1-057f7aff8fd8   Westlake Legal Group 59b9300d-Chicago-police Man arrested after gunfire at Chicago hospital for military veterans, cops say Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/crime/chicagos-crime-wave fox news fnc/us fnc article 966ef6e1-35c4-585e-93e1-057f7aff8fd8

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

This Day in History: Aug. 12

On this day, Aug. 12 …

1939: The MGM movie musical “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland, has its world premiere at the Strand Theater in Oconomowoc, Wis., three days before opening in Hollywood.

Also on this day:

  • 1909: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the Indianapolis 500, first opens.
  • 1937: President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominates Hugo Black to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • 1944: During World War II, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., eldest son of Joseph and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, is killed with his co-pilot when their explosives-laden Navy plane blows up over England.
  • 1953: The Soviet Union conducts a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.
Westlake Legal Group ibmpcword This Day in History: Aug. 12 fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc b1783a71-e374-542c-8b39-b87e86bb5760 article
  • 1981: IBM introduces its first personal computer, the model 5150, at a press conference in New York.
  • 1985: The world’s worst single-aircraft disaster occurs as a crippled Japan Airlines Boeing 747 on a domestic flight crashes into a mountain, killing 520 people. (Four people survive.)
  • 2004: New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey announces his resignation and acknowledges that he’d had an extramarital affair with another man.
Westlake Legal Group whitey-bulger-AP This Day in History: Aug. 12 fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc b1783a71-e374-542c-8b39-b87e86bb5760 article

FILE – This June 23, 2011, file booking photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows James “Whitey” Bulger. Officials with the Federal Bureau of Prisons said Bulger died Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in a West Virginia prison after being sentenced in 2013 in Boston to spend the rest of his life in prison. ((U.S. Marshals Service via AP, File))

  • 2013: James “Whitey” Bulger, the feared Boston mob boss who became one of the nation’s most-wanted fugitives, is convicted in a string of 11 killings and dozens of other gangland crimes, many of them committed while he was said to be an FBI informant. (Bulger is sentenced to life; he would be fatally beaten at a West Virginia prison in 2018, hours after being transferred from a facility in Florida.)
  • 2017: A car plows into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally in the Virginia college town of Charlottesville, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and hurting more than a dozen others. (The attacker, James Alex Fields, wold be sentenced to life in prison on 29 federal hate crime charges, and life plus 419 years on state charges.)
Westlake Legal Group getty-images-wizard-of-oz This Day in History: Aug. 12 fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc b1783a71-e374-542c-8b39-b87e86bb5760 article   Westlake Legal Group getty-images-wizard-of-oz This Day in History: Aug. 12 fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc b1783a71-e374-542c-8b39-b87e86bb5760 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

General orders ethics review of special forces community after criminal allegations against troops

Westlake Legal Group AP19224773957280 General orders ethics review of special forces community after criminal allegations against troops Louis Casiano fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/tech/topics/us-marines fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox news fnc/us fnc article 8b6062d6-77f1-5fee-9de4-45af1e37cdb5

The head of the U.S. Special Operations Command is ordering a top-to-bottom study of the military’s special forces community amid a rash of alleged misconduct that has focused attention on the normally secretive world of America’s elite fighting forces.

Army Gen. Richard Clarke said the review will focus on how special operators are recruited, educated and trained and how units address ethics failures. He said “recent incidents have called our culture and ethics into question and threaten the trust placed in us.”

Ken McGraw, a Special Operations Command spokesman, said the review was ordered Friday and is expected to be completed in November. The inquiry will see two teams created.

SERVICE MEMBER KILLED DURING MISSION IN IRAQ, US MILITARY SAYS

The first will comprise military leaders — with some in the Special Operations Command — who will form an advisory panel. The second will be a review panel made up of members of the various military branches of the command.

The review panel will go out and gather information from the various operations units –  which includes the Army Rangers, Green Berets, Army Delta units, Navy SEAL teams and special warfare units, and Marine and Air Force special operators.

To retain an independent view, members of the Army Special Operations Command may gather information on the Navy SEALs, McGraw said. The review panel will then turn over its reports to the advisory panel.

AFGHANISTAN PEACE TALKS IN DOUBT AFTER TALIBAN’S ABRUPT WALKOUT

The inquiry comes at a time when America’s special operations units have made headlines for all the wrong reasons. In July, a SEAL platoon from SEAL Team 7 was ordered back to the U.S. from Iraq amid charges of drinking and sexual assault. In a statement, the SOC said there had been a “deterioration of good order and discipline.”

In early July, Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher was acquitted of killing a teenage ISIS militant in Iraq. He was found guilty of taking a picture with a corpse. Two Navy SEALs and Marine Raiders are also accused of hazing an Army Green Beret to death during a deployment in Africa.

Ex-Green Beret Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is expected to be tried in the killing of an unarmed suspected Taliban bombmaker in Afghanistan almost a decade ago.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

The review will be the second ordered by Special Operations Command leadership this year. Former Gen. Tony Thomas ordered an internal review before he retired in March.

McGraw said the advisory panel will take the results from Thomas’ review into consideration.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19224773957280 General orders ethics review of special forces community after criminal allegations against troops Louis Casiano fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/tech/topics/us-marines fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox news fnc/us fnc article 8b6062d6-77f1-5fee-9de4-45af1e37cdb5   Westlake Legal Group AP19224773957280 General orders ethics review of special forces community after criminal allegations against troops Louis Casiano fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/tech/topics/us-marines fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox news fnc/us fnc article 8b6062d6-77f1-5fee-9de4-45af1e37cdb5

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Firefighter loses 3 children in Pennsylvania blaze as he responds to another call

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072050917001_6072045408001-vs Firefighter loses 3 children in Pennsylvania blaze as he responds to another call Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox news fnc/us fnc b1e92d5a-06eb-51b0-b1f4-b8ba0c1412b6 article

Three of the five youngsters killed in a Sunday-morning fire at a Pennsylvania day care center were the children of a volunteer firefighter who was responding to another call several blocks away.

The firefighter, Luther Jones, was with the Lawrence Park Volunteer Fire Department handing other calls while the neighboring Erie Fire Department battled the deadly flames at the Harris Family Day Care.

His children — two daughters, one son — were among those killed. Jones dropped them off at the center before going to work and had no idea about the fire there. His department was responding to a false alarm at the time.

Erie firefighters responded to the blaze in the three-story building around 1 a.m. amid reports of children trapped inside.

The victims, who have not been officially ID’d, ranged from 8 months to 8 years old, authorities said.

Two other children, 17 and 12, climbing on the roof and jumped to the ground. Other children were rescued by firefighters.

Jones has been a volunteer firefighter for 15 years and has been with the Lawrence Park department for about a year, Lawrence Park Fire Chief Joe Crotty told Fox News.

“Just an outstanding young man,” Crotty said.

The cause of the blaze has not been determined. Erie Chief Fire Inspector John Widomski told The Erie Times-News that a smoke detector was found in the attic.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Day care owner Elaine Harris was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

The state Department of Human Services Office of Child Development and Early Learning listed the day care as in compliance with requirements following a Dec. 28, 2018, inspection. But a Jan. 3 inspection note highlighted “ashes and cigarette or cigar butts” in “a child care space, play space or food preparation area.”

Freelance reporter David Aaro contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072050917001_6072045408001-vs Firefighter loses 3 children in Pennsylvania blaze as he responds to another call Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox news fnc/us fnc b1e92d5a-06eb-51b0-b1f4-b8ba0c1412b6 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072050917001_6072045408001-vs Firefighter loses 3 children in Pennsylvania blaze as he responds to another call Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox news fnc/us fnc b1e92d5a-06eb-51b0-b1f4-b8ba0c1412b6 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

A look at Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged ‘recruiter’

She has been described as everything from vivacious and highly connected to the people-pleasing life of the party. She’s also been accused of functioning as something of a “madam” and “recruiter” for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, 66, who apparently took his own life on Saturday while in federal custody over sex trafficking charges.

With the convicted sex offender now gone, she is the center of attention. So who is his longtime confidante and former flame, Ghislaine  Noelle Maxwell?

The U.S attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, has vowed to continue the investigation into Epstein and allegations of an ongoing sex trafficking ring, in spite of the financier’s death. And even though criminal charges cannot be brought against a dead person, “co-conspirators” are not offered such a reprieve.

On the civil side of the legal spectrum, the Maxwell name has been routinely illuminated.

Westlake Legal Group Ghislaine-Maxwell-GettyImages-590696434 A look at Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's alleged 'recruiter' Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 0e0c6a3d-819e-57c6-b1b0-9225d3856e39

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in New York City in 2005. (Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images, File)

Several of Epstein’s accusers have pinpointed Maxwell as playing a pivotal role in enlisting victims, according to thousands of pages of court documents unsealed on Friday in relation to a 2015 defamation suit filed against Maxwell – just hours before Epstein’s death. Victims, with testimony from witnesses, have further accused Maxwell of being ultimately tasked with arranging massages and sexual favors for Epstein and a circle of high-profile associates.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S FINAL DAYS – AND THE LEGAL CASES THAT WON’T DIE WITH HIM

One affidavit claims that in 1996 Maxwell and Epstein sexually molested two victims, alleged to have reported the incident to the FBI only to have the claim fall on deaf ears, according to the Miami Herald.

However, Maxwell has not released any public statements since Epstein’s arrest in early July, which culminated in his apparent suicide on Saturday. No charges have been brought against her,

And from the beginning, she has vehemently and consistently denied any allegations of misconduct.

Lawyers for Maxwell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As questions mount, the socialite’s whereabouts are not publicly known. She has addresses linked to residences in Salisbury and in London, but her flashy Manhattan townhouse – off high-end Madison Avenue – was sold for $15 million in 2016, and she is thought to have moved back to the U.K the following year.

Her retreat from the limelight as the Epstein case evolved in recent years is a far cry from the heights of public adoration among New York’s jet-setters.

Maxwell, now 57, is a dual citizen of England and France. She was born on Christmas Day to British media mogul Robert Maxwell, owner of the tabloid Daily Mirror, who died under mysterious circumstances in 1991 – falling from the yacht he named after Ghislaine, his youngest of nine children. After his death, evidence surfaced suggesting that the late Maxwell may have been using the paper’s employee pension fund to keep the empire afloat.

A devastated Maxwell later relocated across the pond to New York, living off a $100,000-a-year trust fund and trying her hand at real estate. According to profile of her in Britain’s Sunday Times, Maxwell met Epstein shortly after her move to New York and in him she found a man who “could replace the lifestyle she had” with her father.

As the story goes, he had the wealth to open doors, while she possessed the power to cement crucial social connections.

“New York City high society has always been dominated by the rich and powerful, and the status and perceived wealth that comes with the Maxwell name certainly helped Ghislaine make connections in the city,” noted Ronn Torossian, crisis communications expert and CEO of the Manhattan-based firm 5WPR. “Even after her father’s death in 1991, Ghislaine had already made a name for herself and was cemented as a high-profile member of the New York City society.”

From an initial romantic fling with the financier, their relationship developed into a tight-knit, “best friend” companionship, and it was the publishing heiress who reportedly connected Epstein with the Duke of York, Prince Andrew and President Bill Clinton.

In time, the duo’s style of living morphed into a money-mad world of billionaires and bikinis, private planes and posh parties, and it was Maxwell who sought to satisfy the whims of the rich and powerful who operated at her periphery.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN FEARED CELLMATE, A MUSCLE-BOUND EX-COP CHARGED IN MURDER WHO WAS MOVED BEFORE FINANCIER’S DEATH: REPORT

For years, Maxwell has had an “in” at the hottest tickets in town. In 2000, she donned gold trousers, a midriff top and a brash blond wig – alongside British Royal Prince Andrew – to attend supermodel Heidi Klum’s “Hookers and Pimps”-themed Halloween party in Manhattan.

Then there were the Vanity Fair Oscar bashes, fashion week soirees and high-rolling charity benefits; in 2010 she was one of 500 elite guests at the upstate New York wedding ceremony of Chelsea Clinton and investment banker, Marc Mezvinsky.

In 2008, her financier close friend Epstein pleaded guilty to two counts of solicitation of prostitution, including one with a minor, and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, but under a highly controversial plea deal he was allowed to leave for work five days a week and was released five months early.

While Epstein was convicted in a Florida state court, he was given a pass from federal prosecution under a plea deal that ensured four unnamed co-conspirators and “any potential co-conspirators” immunity from all criminal charges.

Despite the blemish, Maxwell’s profile on the social and philanthropic scenes gained in luster over the ensuing years.

Her private passions have been devoted to “cleaning up the seas.” Once an aspiring marine biologist, Maxwell went on in her adult life to earn licenses to pilot submarines, helicopters, ROVs and AUVs – which she described in interviews as “remote and tethered vehicles off the back of boats for doing underwater exploration.” Maxwell was also known to have become a qualified emergency medical technician (EMT), and was fluent in several languages. She no longer holds an FAA certification despite once being listed as a licensed pilot.

She wrote columns for National Geographic in 2015 urging Americans to sign the “I Love the Ocean Pledge” to have the U.N. take up ocean issues as part of its Sustainable Development Goals. A year earlier, she gave a TED talk and spoke at the University of Texas, Dallas on ocean protection matters.

Seven years ago, Maxwell founded the TerraMar Project, an environmentalist nonprofit devoted to marine protection and positioned herself as something of a leader in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. It was abruptly shuttered less than a week after Epstein was taken into federal custody in July and sex trafficking charges were brought against him by New York federal prosecutors.

“I’ve started and incubated and sold lots of small businesses. I have some that I’m incubating now,” she told the wealth management and business magazine Spears in 2015. “For example, I’ve helped patent a new medical device, inbuilt scrubs that you wear on your person to reduce the rate of infection in hospitals. I don’t think I’m employable per se. Also, I love the freedom of being an entrepreneur.”

Maxwell never had children of her own, and she never married. After Epstein, she was romantically tied in reports to tech billionaire Ted Waitt, who also advocates for ocean conservation through his Waitt Foundation.

Although registered to vote in Florida – with no declared political affiliation and no voting activity for more than a decade – Maxwell’s primary residence was in the heart of Manhattan. According to The Washington Post, Maxwell depicted herself as “unemployed” and donated the maximum $2300 toward Hillary Clinton’s 2008 election campaign.

It’s not yet clear if Maxwell will now cooperate with authorities, or to what degree, if any, she might be under federal investigation – but according to Melissa L. Jampol, a former sex crimes assistant at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, it’s highly likely at this point she is facing a criminal probe.

“Now that Epstein is deceased, prosecutors and victims will want to focus on anyone else who is culpable. One of the counts filed against Epstein was a conspiracy count,” said Jampol. “The bottom line is that anything you say can and will be used against you. So at this point, her silence is protecting her to the extent that it can.”

Defense attorney Doug Richards concurred that Maxwell’s lay-low tactic on the topic has worked to date, but can only work for so long.

“Ghislaine Maxwell has managed to avoid scrutiny since the 2008 plea agreement largely by keeping a low public profile and refraining from public statements about Epstein’s new charges and his death,” he said. “That’s a smart strategy from a criminal defense standpoint, but the questions swirling around his death make it increasingly likely that she and other co-conspirators will now be in the government’s sights.

“From both a civil and criminal standpoint, Epstein’s death does her no favors. Victims are rightly unsatisfied with the way that this case was handled, and his death rekindles the demand for someone to be held accountable and for justice to be done, and she’s next in line.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

But regardless of what comes from the Epstein scandal – convictions or otherwise – some already say Maxwell’s socialite days are done.

“Ghislaine is irreversibly tied to Jeffrey Epstein and his public image. Ms. Maxwell can never erase the stain of being seen as the enabler of Jeffrey Epstein. No matter what happens in the court of law, she is thought of as guilty in the court of public opinion,” Torossian added. “I don’t believe there is a reputable public relations agency in the United States that will work with Ghislaine Maxwell. She won’t redeem her name in this city.”

Westlake Legal Group Ghislaine-Maxwell-GettyImages-590696434 A look at Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's alleged 'recruiter' Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 0e0c6a3d-819e-57c6-b1b0-9225d3856e39   Westlake Legal Group Ghislaine-Maxwell-GettyImages-590696434 A look at Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's alleged 'recruiter' Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 0e0c6a3d-819e-57c6-b1b0-9225d3856e39

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

A look at Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged ‘recruiter’

She has been described as everything from vivacious and highly connected to the people-pleasing life of the party. She’s also been accused of functioning as something of a “madam” and “recruiter” for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, 66, who apparently took his own life on Saturday while in federal custody over sex trafficking charges.

With the convicted sex offender now gone, she is the center of attention. So who is his longtime confidante and former flame, Ghislaine  Noelle Maxwell?

The U.S attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, has vowed to continue the investigation into Epstein and allegations of an ongoing sex trafficking ring, in spite of the financier’s death. And even though criminal charges cannot be brought against a dead person, “co-conspirators” are not offered such a reprieve.

On the civil side of the legal spectrum, the Maxwell name has been routinely illuminated.

Westlake Legal Group Ghislaine-Maxwell-GettyImages-590696434 A look at Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's alleged 'recruiter' Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 0e0c6a3d-819e-57c6-b1b0-9225d3856e39

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in New York City in 2005. (Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images, File)

Several of Epstein’s accusers have pinpointed Maxwell as playing a pivotal role in enlisting victims, according to thousands of pages of court documents unsealed on Friday in relation to a 2015 defamation suit filed against Maxwell – just hours before Epstein’s death. Victims, with testimony from witnesses, have further accused Maxwell of being ultimately tasked with arranging massages and sexual favors for Epstein and a circle of high-profile associates.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S FINAL DAYS – AND THE LEGAL CASES THAT WON’T DIE WITH HIM

One affidavit claims that in 1996 Maxwell and Epstein sexually molested two victims, alleged to have reported the incident to the FBI only to have the claim fall on deaf ears, according to the Miami Herald.

However, Maxwell has not released any public statements since Epstein’s arrest in early July, which culminated in his apparent suicide on Saturday. No charges have been brought against her,

And from the beginning, she has vehemently and consistently denied any allegations of misconduct.

Lawyers for Maxwell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As questions mount, the socialite’s whereabouts are not publicly known. She has addresses linked to residences in Salisbury and in London, but her flashy Manhattan townhouse – off high-end Madison Avenue – was sold for $15 million in 2016, and she is thought to have moved back to the U.K the following year.

Her retreat from the limelight as the Epstein case evolved in recent years is a far cry from the heights of public adoration among New York’s jet-setters.

Maxwell, now 57, is a dual citizen of England and France. She was born on Christmas Day to British media mogul Robert Maxwell, owner of the tabloid Daily Mirror, who died under mysterious circumstances in 1991 – falling from the yacht he named after Ghislaine, his youngest of nine children. After his death, evidence surfaced suggesting that the late Maxwell may have been using the paper’s employee pension fund to keep the empire afloat.

A devastated Maxwell later relocated across the pond to New York, living off a $100,000-a-year trust fund and trying her hand at real estate. According to profile of her in Britain’s Sunday Times, Maxwell met Epstein shortly after her move to New York and in him she found a man who “could replace the lifestyle she had” with her father.

As the story goes, he had the wealth to open doors, while she possessed the power to cement crucial social connections.

“New York City high society has always been dominated by the rich and powerful, and the status and perceived wealth that comes with the Maxwell name certainly helped Ghislaine make connections in the city,” noted Ronn Torossian, crisis communications expert and CEO of the Manhattan-based firm 5WPR. “Even after her father’s death in 1991, Ghislaine had already made a name for herself and was cemented as a high-profile member of the New York City society.”

From an initial romantic fling with the financier, their relationship developed into a tight-knit, “best friend” companionship, and it was the publishing heiress who reportedly connected Epstein with the Duke of York, Prince Andrew and President Bill Clinton.

In time, the duo’s style of living morphed into a money-mad world of billionaires and bikinis, private planes and posh parties, and it was Maxwell who sought to satisfy the whims of the rich and powerful who operated at her periphery.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN FEARED CELLMATE, A MUSCLE-BOUND EX-COP CHARGED IN MURDER WHO WAS MOVED BEFORE FINANCIER’S DEATH: REPORT

For years, Maxwell has had an “in” at the hottest tickets in town. In 2000, she donned gold trousers, a midriff top and a brash blond wig – alongside British Royal Prince Andrew – to attend supermodel Heidi Klum’s “Hookers and Pimps”-themed Halloween party in Manhattan.

Then there were the Vanity Fair Oscar bashes, fashion week soirees and high-rolling charity benefits; in 2010 she was one of 500 elite guests at the upstate New York wedding ceremony of Chelsea Clinton and investment banker, Marc Mezvinsky.

In 2008, her financier close friend Epstein pleaded guilty to two counts of solicitation of prostitution, including one with a minor, and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, but under a highly controversial plea deal he was allowed to leave for work five days a week and was released five months early.

While Epstein was convicted in a Florida state court, he was given a pass from federal prosecution under a plea deal that ensured four unnamed co-conspirators and “any potential co-conspirators” immunity from all criminal charges.

Despite the blemish, Maxwell’s profile on the social and philanthropic scenes gained in luster over the ensuing years.

Her private passions have been devoted to “cleaning up the seas.” Once an aspiring marine biologist, Maxwell went on in her adult life to earn licenses to pilot submarines, helicopters, ROVs and AUVs – which she described in interviews as “remote and tethered vehicles off the back of boats for doing underwater exploration.” Maxwell was also known to have become a qualified emergency medical technician (EMT), and was fluent in several languages. She no longer holds an FAA certification despite once being listed as a licensed pilot.

She wrote columns for National Geographic in 2015 urging Americans to sign the “I Love the Ocean Pledge” to have the U.N. take up ocean issues as part of its Sustainable Development Goals. A year earlier, she gave a TED talk and spoke at the University of Texas, Dallas on ocean protection matters.

Seven years ago, Maxwell founded the TerraMar Project, an environmentalist nonprofit devoted to marine protection and positioned herself as something of a leader in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. It was abruptly shuttered less than a week after Epstein was taken into federal custody in July and sex trafficking charges were brought against him by New York federal prosecutors.

“I’ve started and incubated and sold lots of small businesses. I have some that I’m incubating now,” she told the wealth management and business magazine Spears in 2015. “For example, I’ve helped patent a new medical device, inbuilt scrubs that you wear on your person to reduce the rate of infection in hospitals. I don’t think I’m employable per se. Also, I love the freedom of being an entrepreneur.”

Maxwell never had children of her own, and she never married. After Epstein, she was romantically tied in reports to tech billionaire Ted Waitt, who also advocates for ocean conservation through his Waitt Foundation.

Although registered to vote in Florida – with no declared political affiliation and no voting activity for more than a decade – Maxwell’s primary residence was in the heart of Manhattan. According to The Washington Post, Maxwell depicted herself as “unemployed” and donated the maximum $2300 toward Hillary Clinton’s 2008 election campaign.

It’s not yet clear if Maxwell will now cooperate with authorities, or to what degree, if any, she might be under federal investigation – but according to Melissa L. Jampol, a former sex crimes assistant at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, it’s highly likely at this point she is facing a criminal probe.

“Now that Epstein is deceased, prosecutors and victims will want to focus on anyone else who is culpable. One of the counts filed against Epstein was a conspiracy count,” said Jampol. “The bottom line is that anything you say can and will be used against you. So at this point, her silence is protecting her to the extent that it can.”

Defense attorney Doug Richards concurred that Maxwell’s lay-low tactic on the topic has worked to date, but can only work for so long.

“Ghislaine Maxwell has managed to avoid scrutiny since the 2008 plea agreement largely by keeping a low public profile and refraining from public statements about Epstein’s new charges and his death,” he said. “That’s a smart strategy from a criminal defense standpoint, but the questions swirling around his death make it increasingly likely that she and other co-conspirators will now be in the government’s sights.

“From both a civil and criminal standpoint, Epstein’s death does her no favors. Victims are rightly unsatisfied with the way that this case was handled, and his death rekindles the demand for someone to be held accountable and for justice to be done, and she’s next in line.”

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But regardless of what comes from the Epstein scandal – convictions or otherwise – some already say Maxwell’s socialite days are done.

“Ghislaine is irreversibly tied to Jeffrey Epstein and his public image. Ms. Maxwell can never erase the stain of being seen as the enabler of Jeffrey Epstein. No matter what happens in the court of law, she is thought of as guilty in the court of public opinion,” Torossian added. “I don’t believe there is a reputable public relations agency in the United States that will work with Ghislaine Maxwell. She won’t redeem her name in this city.”

Westlake Legal Group Ghislaine-Maxwell-GettyImages-590696434 A look at Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's alleged 'recruiter' Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 0e0c6a3d-819e-57c6-b1b0-9225d3856e39   Westlake Legal Group Ghislaine-Maxwell-GettyImages-590696434 A look at Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's alleged 'recruiter' Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 0e0c6a3d-819e-57c6-b1b0-9225d3856e39

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A look at Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged ‘recruiter’

She has been described as everything from vivacious and highly connected to the people-pleasing life of the party. She’s also been accused of functioning as something of a “madam” and “recruiter” for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, 66, who apparently took his own life on Saturday while in federal custody over sex trafficking charges.

With the convicted sex offender now gone, she is the center of attention. So who is his longtime confidante and former flame, Ghislaine  Noelle Maxwell?

The U.S attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, has vowed to continue the investigation into Epstein and allegations of an ongoing sex trafficking ring, in spite of the financier’s death. And even though criminal charges cannot be brought against a dead person, “co-conspirators” are not offered such a reprieve.

On the civil side of the legal spectrum, the Maxwell name has been routinely illuminated.

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Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in New York City in 2005. (Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images, File)

Several of Epstein’s accusers have pinpointed Maxwell as playing a pivotal role in enlisting victims, according to thousands of pages of court documents unsealed on Friday in relation to a 2015 defamation suit filed against Maxwell – just hours before Epstein’s death. Victims, with testimony from witnesses, have further accused Maxwell of being ultimately tasked with arranging massages and sexual favors for Epstein and a circle of high-profile associates.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S FINAL DAYS – AND THE LEGAL CASES THAT WON’T DIE WITH HIM

One affidavit claims that in 1996 Maxwell and Epstein sexually molested two victims, alleged to have reported the incident to the FBI only to have the claim fall on deaf ears, according to the Miami Herald.

However, Maxwell has not released any public statements since Epstein’s arrest in early July, which culminated in his apparent suicide on Saturday. No charges have been brought against her,

And from the beginning, she has vehemently and consistently denied any allegations of misconduct.

Lawyers for Maxwell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As questions mount, the socialite’s whereabouts are not publicly known. She has addresses linked to residences in Salisbury and in London, but her flashy Manhattan townhouse – off high-end Madison Avenue – was sold for $15 million in 2016, and she is thought to have moved back to the U.K the following year.

Her retreat from the limelight as the Epstein case evolved in recent years is a far cry from the heights of public adoration among New York’s jet-setters.

Maxwell, now 57, is a dual citizen of England and France. She was born on Christmas Day to British media mogul Robert Maxwell, owner of the tabloid Daily Mirror, who died under mysterious circumstances in 1991 – falling from the yacht he named after Ghislaine, his youngest of nine children. After his death, evidence surfaced suggesting that the late Maxwell may have been using the paper’s employee pension fund to keep the empire afloat.

A devastated Maxwell later relocated across the pond to New York, living off a $100,000-a-year trust fund and trying her hand at real estate. According to profile of her in Britain’s Sunday Times, Maxwell met Epstein shortly after her move to New York and in him she found a man who “could replace the lifestyle she had” with her father.

As the story goes, he had the wealth to open doors, while she possessed the power to cement crucial social connections.

“New York City high society has always been dominated by the rich and powerful, and the status and perceived wealth that comes with the Maxwell name certainly helped Ghislaine make connections in the city,” noted Ronn Torossian, crisis communications expert and CEO of the Manhattan-based firm 5WPR. “Even after her father’s death in 1991, Ghislaine had already made a name for herself and was cemented as a high-profile member of the New York City society.”

From an initial romantic fling with the financier, their relationship developed into a tight-knit, “best friend” companionship, and it was the publishing heiress who reportedly connected Epstein with the Duke of York, Prince Andrew and President Bill Clinton.

In time, the duo’s style of living morphed into a money-mad world of billionaires and bikinis, private planes and posh parties, and it was Maxwell who sought to satisfy the whims of the rich and powerful who operated at her periphery.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN FEARED CELLMATE, A MUSCLE-BOUND EX-COP CHARGED IN MURDER WHO WAS MOVED BEFORE FINANCIER’S DEATH: REPORT

For years, Maxwell has had an “in” at the hottest tickets in town. In 2000, she donned gold trousers, a midriff top and a brash blond wig – alongside British Royal Prince Andrew – to attend supermodel Heidi Klum’s “Hookers and Pimps”-themed Halloween party in Manhattan.

Then there were the Vanity Fair Oscar bashes, fashion week soirees and high-rolling charity benefits; in 2010 she was one of 500 elite guests at the upstate New York wedding ceremony of Chelsea Clinton and investment banker, Marc Mezvinsky.

In 2008, her financier close friend Epstein pleaded guilty to two counts of solicitation of prostitution, including one with a minor, and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, but under a highly controversial plea deal he was allowed to leave for work five days a week and was released five months early.

While Epstein was convicted in a Florida state court, he was given a pass from federal prosecution under a plea deal that ensured four unnamed co-conspirators and “any potential co-conspirators” immunity from all criminal charges.

Despite the blemish, Maxwell’s profile on the social and philanthropic scenes gained in luster over the ensuing years.

Her private passions have been devoted to “cleaning up the seas.” Once an aspiring marine biologist, Maxwell went on in her adult life to earn licenses to pilot submarines, helicopters, ROVs and AUVs – which she described in interviews as “remote and tethered vehicles off the back of boats for doing underwater exploration.” Maxwell was also known to have become a qualified emergency medical technician (EMT), and was fluent in several languages. She no longer holds an FAA certification despite once being listed as a licensed pilot.

She wrote columns for National Geographic in 2015 urging Americans to sign the “I Love the Ocean Pledge” to have the U.N. take up ocean issues as part of its Sustainable Development Goals. A year earlier, she gave a TED talk and spoke at the University of Texas, Dallas on ocean protection matters.

Seven years ago, Maxwell founded the TerraMar Project, an environmentalist nonprofit devoted to marine protection and positioned herself as something of a leader in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. It was abruptly shuttered less than a week after Epstein was taken into federal custody in July and sex trafficking charges were brought against him by New York federal prosecutors.

“I’ve started and incubated and sold lots of small businesses. I have some that I’m incubating now,” she told the wealth management and business magazine Spears in 2015. “For example, I’ve helped patent a new medical device, inbuilt scrubs that you wear on your person to reduce the rate of infection in hospitals. I don’t think I’m employable per se. Also, I love the freedom of being an entrepreneur.”

Maxwell never had children of her own, and she never married. After Epstein, she was romantically tied in reports to tech billionaire Ted Waitt, who also advocates for ocean conservation through his Waitt Foundation.

Although registered to vote in Florida – with no declared political affiliation and no voting activity for more than a decade – Maxwell’s primary residence was in the heart of Manhattan. According to The Washington Post, Maxwell depicted herself as “unemployed” and donated the maximum $2300 toward Hillary Clinton’s 2008 election campaign.

It’s not yet clear if Maxwell will now cooperate with authorities, or to what degree, if any, she might be under federal investigation – but according to Melissa L. Jampol, a former sex crimes assistant at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, it’s highly likely at this point she is facing a criminal probe.

“Now that Epstein is deceased, prosecutors and victims will want to focus on anyone else who is culpable. One of the counts filed against Epstein was a conspiracy count,” said Jampol. “The bottom line is that anything you say can and will be used against you. So at this point, her silence is protecting her to the extent that it can.”

Defense attorney Doug Richards concurred that Maxwell’s lay-low tactic on the topic has worked to date, but can only work for so long.

“Ghislaine Maxwell has managed to avoid scrutiny since the 2008 plea agreement largely by keeping a low public profile and refraining from public statements about Epstein’s new charges and his death,” he said. “That’s a smart strategy from a criminal defense standpoint, but the questions swirling around his death make it increasingly likely that she and other co-conspirators will now be in the government’s sights.

“From both a civil and criminal standpoint, Epstein’s death does her no favors. Victims are rightly unsatisfied with the way that this case was handled, and his death rekindles the demand for someone to be held accountable and for justice to be done, and she’s next in line.”

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But regardless of what comes from the Epstein scandal – convictions or otherwise – some already say Maxwell’s socialite days are done.

“Ghislaine is irreversibly tied to Jeffrey Epstein and his public image. Ms. Maxwell can never erase the stain of being seen as the enabler of Jeffrey Epstein. No matter what happens in the court of law, she is thought of as guilty in the court of public opinion,” Torossian added. “I don’t believe there is a reputable public relations agency in the United States that will work with Ghislaine Maxwell. She won’t redeem her name in this city.”

Westlake Legal Group Ghislaine-Maxwell-GettyImages-590696434 A look at Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's alleged 'recruiter' Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 0e0c6a3d-819e-57c6-b1b0-9225d3856e39   Westlake Legal Group Ghislaine-Maxwell-GettyImages-590696434 A look at Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's alleged 'recruiter' Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 0e0c6a3d-819e-57c6-b1b0-9225d3856e39

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Federal agents search Jeffrey Epstein’s home in Virgin Islands

The FBI says agents are on the grounds of the U.S. Virgin Islands home of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

The bureau confirmed to Fox News that agents were at his Little Saint James Island home in St. Thomas, but did not provide details.

The notorious island took on a string of nicknames over the years, including “Pedophile Island” and “Orgy Island.”

Westlake Legal Group little-st-james-1 Federal agents search Jeffrey Epstein's home in Virgin Islands Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/us fnc e1b3a596-9b7a-515d-9c93-24335adc916c article

A view of Little St. James Island, in the U. S. Virgin Islands, a property owned by Jeffrey Epstein. (The Associated Press )

The 66-year-old Epstein was known to frequent the lush property in the U.S. Virgin Islands. What’s more, an employee who reportedly worked there has claimed the wealthy financier kept a mysterious safe inside the main residence.

The employee, speaking to Bloomberg, suggested that a steel safe in his office there may have stored more than just cash.

On Saturday Epstein was found unconscious in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, and he was later pronounced dead, having apparently committed suicide, said the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN DEAD: TIMELINE OF SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS AND RELATED LEGAL CASES

The death is said to have occurred after his cellmate was transferred for reasons that were not immediately clear.

He was reportedly found hanging in his jail cell with a bedsheet wrapped around his neck and secured to the top of a bunk bed, the New York Post reported.

Epstein was being held in connection with charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy.

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(New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)

Epstein was being held on the charges after he was denied bail. Prosecutors said he sexually abused dozens of young girls in his New York and Florida residences between 2002 and 2005, to which Epstein pleaded not guilty.

He faced up to 45 years in prison.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S PRIVATE CARRIBBEAN ISLAND HAD MYSTERIOUS SAFE, FORMER EMPLOYEE CLAIMS

Epstein started transforming Little St. James Island after he bought it more than two decades ago — clearing the native vegetation, ringing the property with towering palm trees and planting two massive U.S. flags on either end.

He also built a stone mansion with cream-colored walls and a bright turquoise roof surrounded by several other structures, including the maids’ quarters and a massive, square-shaped white building on one end of the island. Workers there, the Associated Press reports, told each other it was a music room fitted with a grand piano and acoustic walls, whose gold dome flew off during the deadly 2017 hurricane season.

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An aerial view of Little St. James Island and its buildings. (The Associated Press )

The employee who spoke to Bloomberg said when Epstein visited the property, he would walk around shirtless in shorts and flip-flops, and had a rule that he should never catch sight of the staffers who maintained the place.

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Locals recalled seeing Jeffery Epstein’s black helicopter flying back and forth from the international airport in St. Thomas to his helipad on Little St. James Island, where he built a cream colored mansion with a bright turquoise roof surrounded by several other structures including the maids’ quarters and a massive, square-shaped white building on one end of the island that some say is a music room fitted with acoustic walls. (The Associated Press)

Sometimes, the employee added, women would sunbathe topless or in the nude around a pool near the island’s main residence.

Many people who worked for Epstein on the island told AP last month that they had signed long nondisclosure agreements. One former employee who declined to be identified said Epstein once had five boats, including a large ferry in which he transported up to 200 workers from St. Thomas to his island every day for construction work.

The man said he saw a handful of young women when he was on Epstein’s property but he believed they were older than 18.

“When he was there, it was keep to yourself and do your thing,” the man recalled, adding that Epstein paid well and would give away older machinery and surplus including lumber to his employees.

Epstein later bought neighboring Great St. James Island, which once was popular with locals and tourists for its main attraction, Christmas Cove, a place where you could hang out and order pizza and have it delivered via boat.

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Federal authorities considered the smaller of the two islands Epstein’s primary residence in the United States, a place where at least one alleged victim said in a court affidavit that she participated in an orgy, as well as had sex with Epstein and other people.

She said she saw former U.S. President Bill Clinton on the island, but that she never saw him having sex with anyone. A Clinton spokesman has issued a statement saying he never visited there.

Fox News’ Greg Norman, Nicole Darrah, Tamara Gitt and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Jeffrey Epstein used bedsheet to make noose: report

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Deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein used a bedsheet to create a makeshift noose and hang himself in his New York jail cell over the weekend, according to a report.

The New York Post reported Monday that Epstein, 66, was found with the sheet wrapped around his neck and secured to the top of a bunk bed. He kneeled toward the floor and used the noose to strangle himself, the paper said, citing to an unnamed law enforcement official.

Epstein’s death has prompted outrage and questions from lawmakers about how he was able to kill himself in the Special Housing Unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan. He was found unconscious Saturday morning and pronounced dead at a hospital.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S LIFE, DEATH, CRIMES AND CONTROVERSIES: A TIMELINE

He had been placed on suicide watch and evaluated psychologically last month after he was found with bruising on his neck. However, he was taken off the watch in late July

Epstein was supposed to have a cellmate, but that person was transferred before his death. It was not clear why no one else was assigned to the cell.

Epstein was being held on multiple child sex trafficking charges after he was denied bail. Prosecutors said he sexually abused young girls between 2002 and 2005 in his New York and Florida residences.

He pleaded not guilty, and was facing 45 years in prison.

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An autopsy was performed Sunday but the cause of death was not revealed pending the results of other investigations.

The FBI and the Justice Department are investigating the matter. Attorney General William Barr said he was “appalled” upon hearing the news of Epstein’s death and said it “raises serious questions that must be answered.”

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Jeffrey Epstein’s final days — and the legal cases that won’t die with him

In the final days of Jeffrey Epstein’s life, the high-flying financier who had once counted royalty and presidents among his friends was largely flying under the radar, communicating little from his eight-foot-square cell in a New York federal lockup.

Epstein was grounded following his July arrest on the sex-trafficking charges that had dogged him for decades — charges that now threatened to keep him locked up for 45 years (for the 66-year-old, the equivalent of a life sentence).

He mostly kept to himself,” a federal source connected to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan told Fox News. “He was polite. Didn’t say much.”

And then, sometime in the early hours of Saturday morning, Epstein, alone in a special-housing cell separate from the rest of the prison, with extra monitoring and security – was apparently able to once again outmaneuver the justice system, taking his own life before facing his alleged victims in court. Indeed, Epstein’s shocking death in federal custody has opened a veritable Pandora’s box of questions: First and foremost — where has Epstein’s demise left the legal case against him?

“With regards to the criminal case, our law presumes him innocent,” said David Katz, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. “We will not have Epstein’s side of the story. While that may not have exonerated him, it might exculpate some alleged accomplices.”

EPSTEIN DEATH MAY NOT MEAN END OF SEX TRAFFICKING PROBE

The U.S. attorney in Manhattan has declared that others who may have conspired with Epstein will continue to be closely investigated.

But according to Katz, who did not work on the Epstein case, “anyone charged will likely claim that Epstein, alive, would have cleared him or her, and they were deprived of Epstein testifying for and providing material on their behalf because of the government’s negligence.”

At the same time, however, alleged accomplices may also face more time under the microscope without Epstein to shield them from view.

Melissa L. Jampol, a former sex crimes assistant at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, underscored that a brighter light will now likely shine on the “others” named in the Epstein circle and any possible criminal proceedings against them.

“There is a strong possibility that criminal charges could be brought against others involved in the allegations involving Epstein and who were potentially his co-conspirators – those who enabled his actions,” she said. “Epstein’s death may also make survivors likely to come forward and contact law enforcement authorities.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19222555004764 Jeffrey Epstein's final days -- and the legal cases that won’t die with him Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 31b72242-4094-5335-8a51-6ec0d65f203a

New York City medical examiner personnel at the Manhattan Correctional Center, where financier Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

But those who have yet to be implicated in Epstein’s alleged pedophilia ring may now never have to answer for their actions.

“If [Epstein] was alive and other names brought up truly did not do anything, he could have fessed up and exonerated them. On the flip side, he could have been pressured to give up information” on others, said Michael Weinstein, a New York-based lawyer and former trial attorney and federal prosecutor with both the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. “But he couldn’t have done what he did without help – and there is probably a sigh of relief from some people involved” since Epstein died.

Additionally, while criminal charges can’t be pursued against a dead person — and all charges will likely be dismissed against Epstein once his death certificate is presented to the court — his passing won’t stop any civil claims, criminal defense attorney Troy Slaten pointed out.

“The fact there will be no criminal case — either guilty verdict or guilty plea — does make it more difficult for the victims to win in civil court,” he said. “If he was convicted of a crime against a certain victim, the only issue in civil court is how much money in damages the estate of Epstein must pay. Now that there will be no criminal case to piggyback on, any victim must now prove, in every civil case, that they were harmed by Epstein and how much is fair to make them whole.”

GUARDS IN JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S JAIL UNIT WERE WORKING SUBSTANTIAL OVERTIME SHIFTS BEFORE HIS DEATH, REPORTS SAY

Many legal experts anticipate such claims may multiply dramatically, with many more alleged victims coming forward to tell their stories.

“Ironically, some victims who may have feared retribution from Mr. Epstein or those involved with him, may now feel more free to come forward,” said Joe Peters, a former police chief and federal prosecutor.

The civil cases will be aimed at Epstein’s estate, and, while his exact net worth has been subject to debate in recent weeks — it remains murky how he got so wealthy, and how he stayed that way — he was reported to have been worth at least $500 million, according to Bloomberg.

Less than three weeks before his death, Epstein was found semiconscious and curled up in his cell with marks on his neck in what was thought to have been a legitimate suicide attempt or a cry for better conditions. Authorities also probed the possibility he’d been assaulted by another inmate.

In 2008, the financier pleaded guilty to two counts of solicitation of prostitution, including one with a minor, and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. But under a highly controversial plea deal, he was allowed to leave for work five days a week and was released five months early.

While Epstein was convicted in a Florida state court, he was given a pass from federal prosecution under the plea deal — which also gave four unnamed co-conspirators and “any potential co-conspirators” immunity from criminal charges.

After his release, he continued to lead a lavish — if not slightly less flashy — lifestyle. But after the allegations against him received new national attention, he was apprehended — this time by the FBI — when his plane touched down at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport on July 6. At that time he was charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking. Soon after, he was denied bail while awaiting trial.

Westlake Legal Group c24c03e5-ContentBroker_contentid-819b92324e534495b7a0608f725a6e28 Jeffrey Epstein's final days -- and the legal cases that won’t die with him Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 31b72242-4094-5335-8a51-6ec0d65f203a

In this courtroom artist’s sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, center, sits with attorneys Martin Weinberg, left, and Marc Fernich last month. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Separately, the Bureau of Prisons is now the subject of extensive questions — there are new probes by the FBI and the Department of Justice’s inspector general — as officials wonder how such a high-profile inmate, who had reportedly attempted suicide and then been placed on a suicide watch for a week, could have still found the time, the means and the privacy to kill himself.

“There are the questions of whether Bureau of Prisons employees were overworked or incompetent,” said the federal official. “But many are still asking, did someone really get to someone to make this happen?”

Despite reportedly being required to frequently check his cell, corrections officers reportedly did not verify Epstein’s status for several hours on the night he died. It also wasn’t immediately clear if any cameras captured the events immediately preceding his death.

“Ultimately, BOP is responsible for the health, safety and welfare of everyone in its custody,” Slaten said. “Epstein may have had dirt on many high-profile people. His death may be a sigh of relief for those fearing he would ‘out’ them to save his own skin as most who are in federal custody, facing federal charges, do.”

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Jampol agrees, adding that wild speculation about Epstein’s death will likely continue unless all the questions surrounding it are answered in a transparent, complete and believable way.

“The ‘suicide’ raises questions of how this was possible in such a highly secure area of the prison,” she added. “There is a specter of malfeasance possible here – someone could have wanted Epstein silenced, given his apparent connection to many high-profile power brokers.”

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