Two guards with the Bureau of Prisons who were watching disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein the night he killed himself will avoid any jail time after striking a plea deal, despite admitting they falsified records.
Tova Noel and Michael Thomas were accused of sleeping and surfing the internet the night Epstein died in 2019 and were charged with falsifying records in an attempt to convince prosecutors that they had checked on the prisoner.
According to the plea deal, which was revealed in court papers Friday, the two will be subjected to supervised release and forced to complete community service. As part of the deal, they came clean about forging records that showed they checked on Epstein prior to his suicide.
The deal still has to be approved by a judge.
Noel and Thomas’s mistakes resulted in a major scandal for the Bureau of Prisons, which was hit with an avalanche of criticism after Epstein killed himself in its custody in New York.
The bureau also faced questions over why Epstein was taken off suicide watch before he died at the Manhattan jail. Epstein, who awaited trial on charges of sexual abuse and trafficking involving girls in Florida and New York going back to the early 2000s, was being housed in a cell in the Special Housing Unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan.
Conspiracy theories quickly erupted over the death, with many looking at the well-connected financier's apparent suicide through a political lens.