Two correctional officers responsible for watching Jeffrey Epstein face charges of falsifying records:

The indictment charged the workers, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, with making false records and conspiring to defraud the United States. Specifically, the indictment said the two workers failed to make their rounds to check on detainees and instead “sat at their desk, browsed the internet and moved around the common area.” Then they signed documents saying they had looked in inmates when they had not.

“The defendants had a duty to ensure the safety and security of federal inmates in their care at the Metropolitan Correctional Center,” Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement. “Instead, they repeatedly failed to conduct mandated checks on inmates and lied on official forms to hide their dereliction.”

Epstein allegedly hung himself in his cell on August 10. I say allegedly because many believe someone murdered him in order to keep his secrets from reaching the public. His family hired a forensic pathologist who said the “evidence points to homicide.”

Epstein’s death happened as he waited for his “trial on charges he sexually abused underage girls.” He allegedly ran an underage prostitute ring for some of the most wealthy men on the planet.

Investigators discovered “‘serious irregularities’ at the jail” while uncooperative witnesses slowed down the FBI’s investigation:

Federal prosecutors had subpoenaed up to 20 staff members at the jail in August. The case was a top priority for the Justice Department. Both Barr and Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen received regular updates.

Falsification of records has been a problem throughout the federal prison system.

Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, who was named director of the Bureau of Prisons after Epstein’s death, disclosed in an internal memo earlier this month that a review of operations across the agency found some staff members failed to perform required rounds and inmate counts but logged that they had done so anyway. A copy of the memo was obtained by the AP.

Jose Rojas, an official in the prison workers’ union, claimed officials are using the two guards as scapegoats:

Mr. Rojas said missing rounds and doctoring records was generally treated as a policy violation in the bureau, not as a criminal matter.

And, he said, there was blame to go around.

“There’s culpability at the top,” Mr. Rojas said. “They always try to blame the lowest person on the totem pole.”

The situation also emphasized the staff shortage at the prison. This has caused “mandatory overtime for guards day after day and other staff being pressed into service as correctional officers.”

 
 
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