CNBC reports that on Thursday Judge Richard Berman ordered accused sex trafficker and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein be allowed to file information about his finances under seal. The move comes just as financial experts are theorizing that the alleged billionaire's money likely comes from blackmailing powerful individuals with an underage sex scheme, per The Inquisitr.
According to Epstein's defense lawyers, the seal was requested due to fear that the information in the financial disclosures would continue to fuel the media focus on the case, which is already high-profile given Epstein's ties to President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton.
When seeking bail, defendants in criminal cases typically file financial disclosures listing their assets. Epstein is attempting to be released on bond, but Berman must still determine the bond amount — if any — which he will calculate using the now-sealed disclosures. CNBC suggests that Epstein's bond could be secured by a mortgage on the 66-year-old's $77-million-dollar Manhattan townhouse.
"Under the Bail Reform Act, financial information provided by a defendant to a pretrial services officer 'shall be used only for the purposes of a bail determination and shall otherwise be confidential,'" Epstein's lawyers wrote. "Here, in the event Mr. Epstein is required to publicly file his financial statement, the information contained therein will inevitably be widely disseminated in the news media, contravening the statutory requirement of confidentiality."Epstein's lawyers also claim that Epstein "has not yet provided a complete financial disclosure" because he is waiting "to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information provided to the Court."
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Epstein's ties to Trump have already caused waves in the White House, pushing Alexander Acosta — who signed off on the cushy prosecution agreement for Epstein a decade ago as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida — to resign as Secretary of Labor. At the time, Epstein was facing sex trafficking charges similar to his recent charges, but Acosta agreed to give Epstein a lenient 13-month sentence. In addition, the agreement allowed Epstein to work from his office up to half of each day and was kept hidden from his accusers.
Trump, who previously expressed worries about Acosta affecting the White House, claims that the decision to step down was Acosta's alone.
"This was him, not me," he said, adding that Acosta did a "fantastic job" as labor secretary.
As for the next steps of the Epstein case, a detention hearing for the disgraced financier is scheduled for Monday.