Guards at Epstein prison mistakenly released convicted bank robber: report
© Getty Images

Guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), where the late financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell over the weekend, mistakenly released a convicted bank robber earlier this month, according to the New York Daily News.

Michael Matthews had served eight years of a nine-year sentence for multiple bank robberies when he was arrested in January for failing to report to a Brooklyn halfway house a few months earlier to finish his sentence. But on Aug. 7, MCC staff accidentally released him, the Daily News reported Thursday.

Matthews, 58, later turned himself back in to authorities.

ADVERTISEMENT

“When we advised him that the release was in error, he agreed to surrender and did so,” Matthews’s attorney, Mildred Whalen, told the Daily News. “Mr. Matthews is facing a significant new sentence, and I believe his surrender demonstrates his remorse for his offense and his commitment to rehabilitation."

After his January arrest, Matthews was charged with three more bank robberies he allegedly committed during his absence from the halfway house, the newspaper reported.

“The government is currently seeking additional information about the circumstances prompting the defendant’s pre-sentencing release, and sets forth below those facts that the government has confirmed to date,” prosecutors with the Eastern District of New York wrote in an Aug. 13 letter to Judge Dora L. Irizarry, the chief U.S. district judge for the Eastern District.

As of Thursday morning, the Bureau of Prisons’ “Find an Inmate” page still listed Matthews’s status as being released on Aug. 7.

The Bureau of Prisons declined to comment to The Hill, citing an ongoing review.

Epstein’s death in the same prison has led to calls for a wider investigation and scrutiny of security flaws at the facility. On Tuesday, The Associated Press reported that guards at the MCC were suspected of falsifying log entries indicating they checked on him every 30 minutes.

Updated 3:39 p.m.