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Jeffrey Edward Epstein ( January 20, 1953 – August 10, 2019) was an American financier and convicted sex offender. He began his professional life as a teacher but then switched to the banking and finance sector in various roles, working at Bear Stearns before forming his own firm. He developed an elite social circle and procured many women, including underage girls, who were then sexually abused by Epstein and some of his contacts.

In 2005, police in Palm Beach, Florida, began investigating Epstein after a parent complained that he had sexually abused her 14-year-old daughter. Epstein pleaded guilty and was convicted in 2008 by a Florida state court of procuring an underage girl for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute. He served almost 13 months in custody, but with extensive work release. He was convicted of only these two crimes as part of a controversial plea deal; federal officials had identified 36 girls, some as young as 14 years old, whom Epstein had allegedly sexually abused.

Epstein was arrested again on July 6, 2019, on federal charges for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. He died in his jail cell on August 10, 2019. The medical examiner ruled the death of suicide. Epstein’s lawyers have disputed the ruling, and there has been significant public skepticism about the true cause of his death. Since his death precluded the possibility of pursuing criminal charges, a judge dismissed all criminal charges on August 29, 2019. Epstein had a decades-long association with Ghislaine Maxwell, who has faced persistent allegations of procuring and sexually trafficking underage girls for Epstein, which led to her arrest by the FBI on July 2, 2020. Epstein also maintained a years-long friendship with Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

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