Billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was recently hit with sex trafficking charges in New York, has been accused of witness tampering by federal prosecutors, The New York Times reports.

According to the newspaper, federal prosecutors alleged Friday that Epstein wired $350,000 to two people who were potential witnesses in the case.

Prosecutors say that Epstein made the payments to the two people shortly after an investigation published in The Miami Herald in November found that the financier had allegedly sexually abused a number of underage girls.


Epstein, 66, was arrested by the FBI on Saturday and is in custody in New York.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan said earlier this week that Epstein created “a network and operation enabling him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls,” and that he paid victims to recruit other girls.

The indictment also said Epstein was aware they were minors and that some of the victims told him their age. However, Epstein has maintained in the past that all of the encounters were consensual. He also said he believed the girls were of legal age.

Epstein previously pleaded guilty in 2008 to a charge of soliciting a minor for prostitution and served 13 months of an 18-month prison sentence. He was also required to register as a sex offender. 

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