© New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services | Handout | Reuters
U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ sex offender registry March 28, 2017 and obtained by Reuters July 10, 2019. New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
The four lawyers from the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York filed a the legal equivalent of a clapback in court on Wednesday.

In a two paragraph letter sent to presiding Judge Richard Berman, US Attorney Geoffrey Berman responded to a claim made on Tuesday by accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and his defense team regarding his falsified passport.

In its filing after a bail hearing in the case, the defense team stated: '[A]s for the Austrian passport the government trumpets, it expired 32 years ago. And the government offers nothing to suggest — and certainly no evidence — that Epstein ever used it.'

That very strong comment was very swiftly shot down though on Wednesday, when prosecutors fired off a letter to the judge stating: 'In fact, the passport contains numerous ingress and egress stamps, including stamps that reflect use of the passport to enter France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia in the 1980s.'

The letter then points out that Epstein has once again not complied with the court's request.

'The Government further notes that the defendant's submission does not address how the defendant obtained the foreign passport and, more concerning, the defendant has still not disclosed to the Court whether he is a citizen or legal permanent resident of a country other than the United States,' states the letter.

Epstein obtained a passport from Austria in the 1980s 'for personal protection in the event of travel to dangerous areas, only to be presented to potential kidnappers, hijackers and terrorists' said his defense team on Tuesday.

That was stated in response to the revelation just one day prior that the passport had been found in a safe at Epstein's home by agents on the same night he was arrested at Teterboro Airport.

Epstein's attorney states that his client is an 'affluent member of the Jewish faith' and for that reason acquired the falsified document at a time 'when hijackings were prevalent, in connection to Middle East travel.'

A filing by prosecutors meanwhile detailed just what was found in Epstein's safe, and makes the moneyman sound a bit like Scrooge McDuck as he sits on a pile of gems and cash.

'After conferring with law enforcement agents who have reviewed the materials from the safe, the Government has learned that the safe contained more than $70,000 in cash,' reads the filing by prosecutors.

'In addition, the safe contained 48 loose diamond stones, ranging in size from approximately 1 carat to 2.38 carats, as well as a large diamond ring.'

It is then noted: 'The Government is currently unaware of whether the defendant maintains similar stashes of cash and/or jewels at his multiple properties, or in other locations. Such ready cash and loose diamonds are consistent with the capability to leave the jurisdiction at a moment's notice.'

Judge Richard Berman ordered Epstein to remain behind bars on sex trafficking charges at the Manhattan Correctional Center until his bail hearing Thursday.

Epstein's legal team pleaded with the judge to let the disgraced businessman out of jail and said he is in solitary confinement.

'We need him released, judge. This is an enormously challenging case for defense counsel,' argued Epstein's lawyer.
In their rebuttal, prosecutors said: 'Your honor, it's underage girls that are involved in this case, and it's underage girls that are the victims.'

Rossmiller also noted that Epstein's finances remain a mystery, something Judge Berman pointed out at the start of the proceedings as well while demanding a more complete accounting of the pedophile's assets.

Federal prosecutors said on Monday that they just recently learned about more hidden assets following the search of Epstein's home. Those assets were in diamonds and art, which were discovered throughout the residence according to Rossmiller. There were also 'piles of cash' found tucked away in Epstein's safe. 'How much money does he have? Where is it?' asked Rossmiller in court. 'How much of it is in diamonds or art?'

The financial records that have been handed over by Epstein already list his wealth at over $500 million according to prosecutors, with one account containing $110 million. He also has another $400 million in various holdings according to his incomplete filing.

Comment: See here for the Epstein Brief 7-16-19.

Epstein, who was asked a week ago to get his finances in order to present to the judge in the case, submitted just a single page of information to the court.

His lawyers defended this by noting the 'series of articles' in the media that emerge after every new development in the case.

Prior to that, the defense tried to mitigate Epstein's payment of $350,000 to two individuals after the Miami Herald exposé was first published last November.

His lawyers stated: "The payment of an employee and the payment of a friend is not 'witness tampering' because the Miami Herald wrote an article.''

Defense attorney Martin Weinberg also told Judge Berman that his client 'would sign any bond' or hand over 'any collateral' in order to 'virtually guarantee' all future appearances in court.

'[Bernie] Madoff was released on bail. He surrendered,' pointed out Weinberg.

Epstein, unlike Madoff, has a home in a foreign country and is not facing financial ruin. He has also been accused of sex crimes, while Madoff was solely convicted of financial crimes.

Epstein has spent every night since his arrest on Saturday July 6 in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Manhattan, where his new roommates include Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman.

Federal prosecutors are hoping to keep him locked up at the facility ahead of his trial after charging the previously convicted pedophile with two counts of sex trafficking minors.

His defense team will keep trying to get him released, citing the previous non-prosecution agreement he signed as part of a 2008 plea deal in Palm Beach.

Lawyers for Epstein also claim that his previous accusers and the alleged underage victims he is charged with trafficking were prostitutes.

There were 49 accusers in that previous Palm Beach case according to a deposition of Epstein that was taken by one of the victim's lawyers and obtained by DailyMail.com.

A few of those women sat in court to witness the proceedings on Monday, 14 years after police in Palm Beach first began investigating Epstein for sexual battery.

Epstein's lawyers informed Judge Berman last week that their client would agree to house arrest at his Manhattan mansion if released on bail ahead of his trial.

That was one of 14 conditions spelled out in the letter, which the defense was ordered to submit ahead of Judge Berman's ruling on Monday.

Epstein's lawyers said that their client would also install surveillance cameras inside and outside the mansion, wear electronic monitoring with a global positioning system,' and have no one 'enter the residence, other than Mr. Epstein and his attorneys.'

There was no mention of whom he could contact on his phone however, and while he agreed to a bond it has long been difficult to assess his net worth.

The lawyers stated that the bond would be in 'an amount set by the court after reviewing additional information regarding Mr. Epstein's finances, which Mr. Epstein will seek the court's permission to provide via sealed supplemental disclosure.'

It was also noted: 'Mr. Epstein stands ready and willing to pay for 24-hour armed guards should the Court deem it necessary or appropriate.'

Epstein would report daily to pretrial services on the phone, have a trustee or trustees move into his mansion to monitor him and deregister all vehicles and ground his jet.

'In essence, the government seeks to remand a self-made New York native and lifelong American resident based on dated allegations for which he was already convicted and punished - conduct the re-litigation of which is barred by a prior federal non-prosecution agreement,' wrote Epstein's lawyer Reid Weingarten in his submission.

'The government makes this drastic demand even though Mr. Epstein has never once attempted to flee the United States - despite a Florida federal judge's stated belief that he could void the NPA in appropriate circumstances, possibly threatening new charges there, and notwithstanding legally erroneous government assertions in ancillary litigation that Mr. Epstein was subject to potential prosecution in other federal judicial districts, including this one specifically.'

The letter also praises Epstein's rise to riches from humble beginnings, while stressing his inability to speak any foreign languages.

'Mr. Epstein, 66, is a U.S. citizen who's lived his entire life in this country. Born and bred in Coney Island, he worked his way up from humble origins - his father was a New York City municipal employee in the Parks Department - and earned every penny he's made with nothing more than a high school diploma,' stated Weingarten at one point.

'He speaks only English and knows no other languages. He owns no foreign businesses and holds no foreign bank accounts. Five of the six residences he maintains are located here in America. His brother, niece, and nephew all live here too.'

The federal court filing also references Epstein's status as a sex offender in the Virgin Islands, where he has received the lowest assignation, as opposed to the state of New York, where he is at the highest level.

'The defense respectfully suggests that Mr. Epstein's Virgin Islands designation is more consistent with the circumstances of the actual offenses for which he was convicted, and certainly more consistent with the predictive factor of whether there is a danger of recidivism which the defense contends there is not,' reads the filing.

In their response submitted on Friday, prosecutors cited Epstein's lack of family and wide network of associates as making him a flight risk while arguing for him to remain behind bars.

'The defendant is a serial sexual predator who is charged with abusing underage girls for years. A grand jury has returned an indictment alleging that he sexually exploited dozens of minors, including girls as young as 14 years old, in New York and Florida,' wrote prosecutors in a letter signed by US Attorney Geoffrey Berman and Assistant US Attorneys Alex Rossmiller, Alison Moe, and Maurene Comey.

'To this day, he is a registered sex offender designated by New York State in the highest category of risk to re-offend, despite unsuccessfully attempting to have that classification lowered.'

It continued: 'And any doubt that the defendant is unrepentant and unreformed was eliminated when law enforcement agents discovered hundreds or thousands of nude and seminude photographs of young females in his Manhattan mansion on the night of his arrest, more than a decade after he was first convicted of a sex crime involving a juvenile.'

That filing also addressed Epstein's defense tactic of pegging the victims in the case as prostitutes. 'The defense calls these disturbing alleged acts 'simple prostitution,'' read the letter.

'That characterization is not only offensive but also utterly irrelevant given that federal law does not recognize the concept of a child prostitute — there are only trafficking victims — because a child cannot legally consent to being exploited.'

Epstein entered a not guilty plea to federal charges last Monday just hours after it was revealed that an 'extraordinary volume of photographs of nude and partially-nude young women or girls' was discovered by agents over the weekend during their search of Epstein's Manhattan mansion.

Federal prosecutors detailed some of the other evidence discovered inside the home in the bail memorandum, which requests that Epstein remain in prison ahead of trial.

That listed 'documents and other materials, such as contemporaneous notes, messages recovered from the defendant's residence that include names and contact information for certain victims, and call records that confirm the defendant and his agents were repeatedly in contact with various victims during the charged period. '