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FBI investigates ‘criminal enterprise’ re Jeffrey Epstein death | Daily Mail Online

The two federal Bureau of Prisons employees, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, were charged on Tuesday with falsifying records and conspiracy in relation to Jeffrey Epstein’s death 

The FBI is investigating the possibility of ‘criminal enterprise’ in connection with Jeffrey Epstein’s death as two correctional officers were charged with falsifying records to cover up their failure to check in on him the night he killed himself.  

The two federal Bureau of Prisons employees, Tova Noel, 31, and Michael Thomas, 41, were charged on Tuesday with falsifying records and conspiracy in relation to Epstein’s death. 

They are accused of falling asleep and surfing the internet instead of checking on the millionaire pedophile in his cell just 15 feet away from them at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10.

Their arrest came as Bureau of Prisons’ director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer testified in front of a Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. 

‘The FBI is involved and they are looking at criminal enterprise,’ Sawyer said after being questioned as to how this could happen in such a high profile case. 

Noel and Thomas, who were assigned to Epstein’s Special Housing Unit at the federal jail, are accused of failing to check on him every half-hour, as required, and of fabricating log entries to claim they had. 

According to the indictment, Noel and Thomas sat at their desks, browsed online and moved about the common area for a substantial portion of their shift instead of completing the required checks on prisoners. Noel and Thomas allegedly appeared to be asleep at their desks for about two hours.

The indictment says Noel used her computer to search for furniture sales and benefit websites during her shift. Thomas allegedly searched online for motorcycle sales and sports news briefly at 1am, 4am and 6am.  

The two guards are accused of repeatedly signing false certifications saying that they had conducted multiple counts of inmates during their shift. The prisoners were not checked on for eight hours, according to the indictment. The guards discovered Epstein’s body at 6.30am.  

Noel and Thomas entered the tier where Epstein’s cell was just after 6.30am to serve breakfast to the inmates. An alarm was activated in the unit at 6.33am after the officers found Epstein unresponsive in his cell with a noose around his neck.

A supervisor who had just started his shift immediately responded to the unit.

Noel allegedly told him: ‘We did not complete the 3am and 5am rounds’. Thomas added: ‘We messed up’ and ‘I messed up, she’s not to blame, we didn’t do any rounds’. 

The guards are expected to be charged in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan later on Tuesday over their alleged failure to check on the millionaire pedophile in his cell the night he took his own life. His body is pictured above being brought out by medical examiners

The pending charges are the first in connection with Epstein’s death after he took his own life in August at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (above) while awaiting trial on charges of sexually abusing teenage girls

Noel, who has worked at the jail since 2016, was working an overtime shift and had been on duty for roughly 14 hours in the unit by the time Epstein’s body was found.  

Her colleague, Thomas, had worked at the jail since 2007. He was also working an overtime shift the night Epstein died.  

The two guards were required to jointly conduct institutional counts at 4pm, 10pm, 12am, 3am and 5am of the prisoners in the unit.

Both officers are required to walk the six levels of the unit to count and observe every inmate.

They then have to each fill in and sign a form with the date and time the counts were performed.

The slips are then collected and taken to the prison’s control center where officers double check them to make sure every inmate is accounted for.

In addition to the count, officers assigned to the unit Epstein was in are required to walk around every 30 minutes to ensure inmates are ‘alive and accounted for’, according to the indictment. They are also required to sign forms saying they carried out these 30-minute checks.

During their shift, Noel and Thomas were required to carry out five institutional counts. Prosecutors say surveillance video shows the pair did not conduct a single count despite them logging that they did.

Noel is accused of falsely signing off that they had carried out more than 75 separate 30-minute checks.

Surveillance video showed Epstein being taken to his cell by Noel at about 7.49pm after he met with his attorney, the indictment says.

Noel was filmed briefly walking up to the door leading to the tier where Epstein’s cell was at about 10pm.

‘This was the last time anyone, including any correctional officer, walked up to, let alone entered, the only entrance to the tier in which Epstein was housed until approximately 6.30am,’ the complaint says. 

Noel was charged with five counts of falsifying records about how Epstein was monitored, while Thomas was charged with three counts. Both also face a conspiracy charge. Each count carries a maximum five-year prison term.

His autopsy report found his neck had been broken in several places, including the hyoid bone located near the Adam’s apple. The city’s medical examiner ruled Epstein’s death a suicide but that didn’t stop the conspiracy theories from swirling

Epstein’s autopsy report found his neck had been broken in several places, including the hyoid bone located near the Adam’s apple

The procedures that should’ve been followed in Epstein’s unit:  

The two guards were required to jointly conduct institutional counts at 4pm, 10pm, 12am, 3am and 5am of the prisoners in the unit.

Both officers are required to walk the six levels of the unit to count and observe every inmate.

They then have to each fill in and sign a form with the date and time the counts were performed.

The slips are then collected and taken to the prison’s control center where officers double check them to make sure every inmate is accounted for. 

In addition to the count, officers assigned to the unit Epstein was in are required to walk around every 30 minutes to ensure inmates are ‘alive and accounted for’, according to the indictment. 

They are also required to sign forms saying they carried out these 30-minute checks. 

In total, the two guards were required to carry out five institutional counts. 

Prosecutors say surveillance video shows the officers did not conduct a single count despite them logging that they did.

They are also accused of falsely signing off that they had carried out more than 75 separate 30-minute checks.  

The charges are the first in connection with the 66-year-old’s death after he took his own life in August at the Metropolitan Correctional Center while awaiting trial on charges of sexually abusing teenage girls.

Both guards had been working overtime because of staffing shortages when Epstein was found. 

The two officers were placed on administrative leave while the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general investigated the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death. The warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Center was also reassigned. 

Epstein had been on suicide watch after he was found July 23 on his cell floor with bruises on his neck. He was taken off suicide watch about a week before his death, which meant he was less closely monitored but still supposed to be checked on every 30 minutes.

Investigators believe those checks weren’t done for several hours before Epstein was discovered in his cell with a bed sheet around his neck. 

The city’s medical examiner ruled Epstein’s death a suicide but that didn’t stop the conspiracy theories from swirling. 

Both Epstein’s brother and the lawyers who represented him in his criminal case have expressed doubts about the medical examiner’s conclusion. 

His autopsy report found his neck had been broken in several places, including the hyoid bone located near the Adam’s apple. 

Forensic experts said that breakages to that specific bone could occur when people hanged themselves but were more commonly seen in victims who had been strangled. 

A source close to Epstein told DailyMail.com that he appeared to be in good spirits in the days before his suicide.

His brother Mark recently said he could not think of a single reason why Epstein would have taken his own life. He called the financier’s death ‘suspicious’ and said he has seen no evidence to support the official ruling on his brother’s cause of death.   

A 31-year-old woman, who claims she was trafficked and sexually abused by Epstein when she was 15, spoke out publicly for the first time on Monday to announce that she is launching a lawsuit against against his estate 

During a press conference in Los Angeles, the woman – only identified as Jane Doe 15 – was spotted wearing a bracelet that read: ‘Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself’ 

Dr Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist hired by Epstein’s family to observe the autopsy, has claimed the injuries were more consistent with homicide by strangulation than suicide.

He claimed he hadn’t seen the same fractures in a suicidal hanging case in 50 years.  

Dr Baden previously said authorities could help clear things up by being more transparent about their findings in Epstein’s death.  

Epstein’s death ended the possibility of a trial that would have involved prominent figures, and it sparked widespread anger that he wouldn’t have to answer for the allegations. 

He had pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing girls as young as 14 and young women in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.

Even with his death, federal prosecutors in New York have continued to investigate the allegations against Epstein. The Justice Department has vowed to aggressively investigate and bring charges against anyone who may have helped him.

There is also a related investigation in Paris, where accusers are complaining police haven’t done enough to track down potential witnesses.

A 31-year-old woman, who claims she was trafficked and sexually abused by Epstein when she was 15, spoke out publicly for the first time on Monday to announce that she is launching a lawsuit against against his estate.

During a press conference in Los Angeles, the woman – only identified as Jane Doe 15 – was spotted wearing a bracelet that read: ‘Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself’. 

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