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Jeffrey Epstein had cash, diamonds and a foreign passport stashed in safe, prosecutors say

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Image: Jeffrey Epstein Appears In Manhattan Federal Court On Sex Traffickin
Protesters hold up signs of Jeffrey Epstein in front of the Federal courthouse on July 8, 2019 in New York City. -
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Agents unearthed a "pile of cash, diamonds" and "a passport from a foreign country" in a safe belonging to Jeffrey Epstein, prosecutors told a judge on Monday during a bail hearing for the wealthy financier and accused sex trafficker.

Federal authorities are arguing for Epstein to be denied bail and remain behind bars until he's tried for sex-crime charges in acts allegedly involving underage girls.

"Just this morning the government became aware of a safe that contained a pile of cash, diamonds, a passport from a foreign country with a picture of the defendant under another name," Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller told U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman.

"The passport was issued in the name of a foreign country, it was issued in the 1980s, it is expired, it shows a picture of Jeffrey Epstein, and another name," Rossmiller said, adding the passport showed Epstein's residence as Saudi Arabia.

Earlier in the hearing. Judge Berman said he would not rule on Epstein's bail request until Thursday.

The 66-year-old Epstein was arrested July 6 at a New Jersey airport after arriving from Paris and accused of sex trafficking and conspiracy. He faces 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.

His arrest camemore than a decade after he signed a controversial non-prosecution deal in 2008 that allowed him to dodge a federal indictmentalleging he abused several underage girls.

Epstein ultimately pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting minors for prostitution, and served a 13-month sentence in a Florida county jail. He was forced to register a sex offender, under that deal.

New York State Division of Criminal Justice via Reuters
U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services\' sex offender registry in 2017.New York State Division of Criminal Justice via Reuters

Since the wealthy financier was nabbed off his private plane at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, he's been locked up at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. He's pleaded not guilty to the two-count indictment.

Federal agents conducting a search of his lavish Upper East Side townhouse found "an extraordinary volume of photographs of nude and partially-nude young women or girls," prosecutors say in court papers.

Federal prosecutors have said Epstein poses an "extraordinary risk of flight" given his exorbitant wealth, private planes and international ties.

Federal prosecutors on Friday also said Epstein needs to be kept locked up because he has a history of seeking to "influence" possible co-conspirators.

He wired $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, according to prosecutors. The prosecutors said the payments were made last November after the bombshell Miami Herald story came out about his crimes and favorable plea bargain, demonstrating Epstein's alleged 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 against Epstein's bail.

In their court papers, Epstein's lawyers proposed that his bond be secured by a mortgage on his Manhattan mansion, valued at $77 million. They say his private jet can be pledged as collateral.

Epstein's arrest shed renewed light on the deal he struck in 2008 with local and federal prosecutors in south Florida. The U.S. attorney in Miami at the time was Alexander Acosta, who went on to labor secretary for President Donald Trump.

During a lengthy press conference on Tuesday of last week, then-Labor Secretary Acosta defended the deal, saying it was the best prosecutors could do at the time. Acosta then resigned on Friday.

Prosecutors have said Epstein has long made a habit of bringing in teenage girls he paid for "massages" at his West Palm Beach, Florida, estate in the early 2000s.

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