Crimes and Their Punishments – Through the Ages

Punishments for Crimes through the ages – from the bizarre to outrageous, from the sublime to the ridiculous. We don’t know how lucky we are!

Many of us are apt to complain about sentences handed out by our Courts for crimes these days – too harsh, too lenient. But a quick look at some punishments for crimes through the ages, including in some countries today, we should really consider how much we really have to complain about.

Not only have punishments been truly shocking (and in some instances still are), but even some of the crimes are truly unbelievable.

Many Sydney criminal lawyers would have had their work cut out for them if some of these historical crimes were still on the statute books! Lucky for us that our complaints about the justice systems these days are limited to whether an offender should be given a jail sentence or community service, or whether a 2 year sentence is sufficient or whether 5 would have been better, and so on.

Thank goodness we don’t have to contend with crimes for which the penalty is being tortured to death by some truly unimaginable means. Criminal lawyers in Australia, as in Europe, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and others, these days don’t have to plead for the type of mercy that offenders of times gone by had to. And of course, some of these barbaric practices do still exist today in other parts of the globe, as you can see below.

Some Crimes and Some Punishments You Won’t Believe

Take a look …

Crimes and Their Punishments

Kevin O' Leary Hires Justin Bieber's Top Gun Criminal Attorney Over Boat Death – The Blast

The high-powered attorney also repped Naomi Campbell and Catherine Smith, who in 1986, admitted injecting John Belushi with the fatal injection of heroin and cocaine.

As we reported, O’Leary’s ski boat crashed into another vessel, killing two people.

O’Leary is facing questions about statements he made following the deadly crash where he claimed the other boat took off and had no navigation lights on.

The brother of one of the victims said following the crash, he hoped that whoever is found guilty will “do the time.”

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An Oculus cofounder was accused of sexually assaulting a woman while she was wearing a VR headset during a demo (FB)

Michael Antonov Oculus Facebook

  • The Oculus cofounder Michael Antonov has been accused of reaching beneath a woman’s skirt during a private virtual-reality demo following an event at the 2016 Game Developers Conference.
  • Autumn Rose Taylor, now a marketing director in the VR industry, said Antonov invited her to a private demo while she was a college student where he inappropriately touched her underneath her skirt without her permission while she was wearing a VR headset.
  • Taylor said the incident had made her anxious to attend Oculus events; Antonov was Oculus’ chief software architect, but he left the Facebook-owned company earlier this year.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

One of Oculus‘ cofounders has been accused of sexual assault by a woman in the virtual-reality industry. Autumn Rose Taylor, the marketing director for Owlchemy Labs, said that Michael Antonov reached beneath her skirt and touched her inappropriately while she was wearing a VR headset during a private demo several years ago.

In a series of tweets this week about “an important person that I admired,” Taylor said a founder of a well-known VR hardware company invited her to a private demo at his apartment during the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco when she was a college student. She said the man put his hand under her skirt and touched her inappropriately while she was trying the demo.

Though Taylor left Michael Antonov’s name out of her initial thread, she named him as the subject of her tweets in a follow-up message several hours later.

In a separate statement to Business Insider, Taylor said she met Antonov at an industry after-party at the 2016 Game Developers Conference. She said it was her first major industry event and she was excited to meet one of Oculus’ cofounders — she had gotten her start in VR development using the Oculus Rift DK2. The consumer version of the Rift was scheduled for release weeks after GDC, and Taylor said Antonov offered to give her a private preview of the device.

“He offered to show me unreleased demos and games slated to launch with the Rift later that month,” Taylor said. “I didn’t think this was odd. Just the day prior, I tried a demo in the hotel room of someone I met at another VR mixer. It was a normal demo, nothing strange. Being new to the industry, I thought this was normal.”

Taylor said that after being touched by Antonov she tried to keep her physical distance from him while avoiding eye contact and giving few responses in conversation. Though Taylor said she initially felt too afraid to leave, she left and returned to her hotel room at the first opportunity.

“I felt uncomfortable and scared, but was afraid to refuse his advances — after all, he was a cofounder and executive for one of the biggest VR companies in the world,” Taylor said in her statement. “I was afraid of being blacklisted from the industry I had just joined and was so excited to be a part of. I was afraid of potentially severing a relationship between the VR company I worked for and Oculus. I was just… so afraid.”

Taylor told Business Insider that she was motivated to speak about her experience after seeing multiple women in the gaming industry share their encounters with sexually abusive men. At least three other men in the gaming industry were accused of sexual misconduct on Wednesday.

Business Insider reached out to Antonov through LinkedIn and Facebook Messenger for comment but did not hear back.

Read more: Senior leader at Facebook’s Oculus arrested and accused of soliciting sex from cop posing as underage girl

Antonov left Oculus and Facebook earlier this year, Facebook confirmed to Business Insider. He is one of Oculus’ original founders along with Palmer Luckey, Nate Mitchell, Brendan Iribe, and Andrew Scott Reisse. Oculus launched with a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 and was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $2.3 billion. Mitchell announced his departure from Facebook earlier this month, the last of the five cofounders to leave.

Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of augmented reality and virtual reality, replied to Taylor’s allegations on Twitter and said he had asked internally about how the allegations against Antonov had been handled in the past. Bosworth was named vice president of Facebook’s AR/VR and Oculus division last year and said he would take personal accountability for the company’s culture moving forward.

“These stories are sickening,” Bosworth wrote. “I’m sorry it happened then and that you have to face the trauma again now. I took over our AR/VR and Oculus team in 2018. I do not accept this behavior. I’ve asked to understand how the situations were handled that have been brought up.”

SEE ALSO: Senior leader at Facebook’s Oculus arrested after police say he solicited sex from cop posing as underage girl

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'I am far from perfect': Alphabet's chief legal officer responds to report that he had a child with a Google employee and emotionally abused her, saying there are 'two sides' to the story (GOOG, GOOGL)

David Drummond

Alphabet’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, gave a personal statement first reported by BuzzFeed News on Thursday in which he said he was “far from perfect,” but he declined to apologize for an extramarital relationship he had with a subordinate at Google.

Drummond, one of the highest-paid executives at Google’s parent company, acknowledged what he described as a “difficult break-up” 10 years ago but said he had a “very different view” of some of the claims made public Wednesday by Jennifer Blakely — a former paralegal on Drummond’s team.

In a remarkable blog post on Wednesday, Blakely said Drummond, then Google’s chief legal exec, fathered a son with her while he was married and then abandoned her and abused her emotionally.

“The abuse of power didn’t stop with being pushed out,” she wrote, referring to leaving her job at Google. “Afterwards I was pushed down, lest I got in the way of the behavior that had become even more oppressive and entitled.”

Google has refused to comment on the matter, which involves allegations about one of the highest-paid and most powerful executives at the company. “We don’t have a statement on this to share,” a Google representative told Business Insider in an email. “We’ve seen that Mr. Drummond has issued a personal statement, see here,” Google said.

The company, which has been rocked by allegations that it protects its male executives who have engaged in sexual misconduct, in some cases giving them huge payouts, declined to make Drummond available for an interview.

In November, roughly 20,000 Google employees staged a walkout to protest the company’s treatment of executives accused of misconduct and what the employees saw as a lack of accountability at a company whose founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, control a majority of the voting power.

Drummond’s statement Thursday, which was tweeted out in full by the BuzzFeed News reporter Ryan Mac, calls into questions some of the claims raised by Blakely’s recent account of their relationship.

“Her account raises many claims about us and other people, including our son and my former wife,” Drummond said in the statement. “As you would expect, there are two sides to all of the conversations and details Jennifer recounts, and I take a very different view about what happened. I have discussed these claims directly with Jennifer, and I addressed the details of our relationship with our employer at the time.”

‘I won’t be getting into a public back and forth about these personal matters’

According to Blakely’s account from Wednesday, Drummond had multiple relationships with other colleagues at Google, including a “personal assistant” who Blakely said moved into one of his homes.

Drummond took issue with the claim, insisting that besides Blakely, he had “never started a relationship” with anyone else at Google or Alphabet. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply untrue,” he said.

Still, the specific phrasing that Drummond — a lawyer by training — used in saying he never “started” a relationship with other Google staffers is likely to raise questions about his forthrightness on the matter.

“I know Jennifer feels wronged and understand that she wants to speak out about it,” Drummond said, “but I won’t be getting in a public back and forth about these personal matters.”

Drummond joined Google in 2002 as head of corporate development, two years before the company’s initial public offering. Over the following years he assumed increasing responsibility, overseeing the legal department and government relations, as Google grew into one of the world’s most valuable companies and restructured into Alphabet.

Here is Drummond’s full statement, as given to BuzzFeed:

It’s not a secret that Jennifer and I had a difficult break-up 10 years ago. I am far from perfect and I regret my part in that.

Her account raises many claims about us and other people, including our son and my former wife. As you would expect, there are two sides to all of the conversations and details Jennifer recounts, and I take a very different view about what happened. I have discussed these claims directly with Jennifer, and I addressed the details of our relationship with our employer at the time.

But I do want to address one claim that touches on professional matters. Other than Jennifer, I never started a relationship with anyone else who was working at Google or Alphabet. Any suggestion otherwise is simply untrue.

I know Jennifer feels wronged and understand that she wants to speak out about it. But I won’t be getting into a public back and forth about these personal matters.

David Drummond

SEE ALSO: Current and former Googlers are horrified by allegations that a top exec had a child with a fellow employee and then abandoned her

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Michael Cohen's lawyer vows to subpoena Trump in fight over legal bills – CNBC

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen departs after testifying behind closed doors before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 26, 2019.

Carlos Barria | Reuters

The attorney for President Donald Trump‘s former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen vowed Friday to subpoena the president and his associates as Cohen seeks to prove Trump’s company reneged on a promise to pay his legal bills.

Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, made that promise a day after a state judge in Manhattan agreed to allow the imprisoned Cohen to gather evidence to support a claim in a lawsuit that the Trump Organization as a result of a promise by the company’s general counsel owes him more than $1 million in legal fees he incurred from legal proceedings and criminal investigations.

But Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joel Cohen said that the purported agreement, if it existed, would only apply to such probes “that were pending in July 2017, when the agreement allegedly was made.”

The judge said the Trump Organization would not be required to pay Michael Cohen’s criminal penalties and fines, which he incurred from investigations by special counsel Robert Mueller and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

“It is not shocking that Mr. Trump welches on his legal commitments to pay what he owes. He has done that all his life and gotten away with it,” Davis said in a prepared statement.

“But, this time, Michael Cohen won’t relent,” Davis said. “He will now serve Mr. Trump and his associates with subpoenas for testimony. If Mr. Trump refuses to testify and thus violates the subpoena, Mr. Cohen should be entitled to receive a ‘default judgment’ against Mr. Trump for the full amount owed.”

“That means Mr. Cohen will have the right to attach and seize Mr. Trump’s assets to pay what Mr. Cohen is owed. And that is exactly what Mr. Cohen intends to do.”

Davis’ law firm and other firms that represented Cohen are owed almost $2 million by Cohen, according to his complaint against the Trump Organization.

Marc Mukasey, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, was dismissive of Davis’s statement.

“Read the judge’s opinion,” Mukasey told CNBC. “The bulk of Michael Cohen’s claims were rejected. No spin doctor can change that. We won this round. They lost. Period.”

Cohen, 53, is serving a three-year federal prison sentence for various crimes, which include campaign finance violations related to his admitted facilitation of nearly $300,000 in hush money payments to two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claim to have had sexual affairs with Trump more than a decade ago.

Trump denies having sex with either woman.

Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about details of a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

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Police footage from 2005 reportedly shows Jeffrey Epstein's Palm Beach mansion littered with massage chairs and nude pictures of young women

jeffrey epstein

Police footage of Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion may offer some clues into the convicted sex offender’s lifestyle.

The video, which was shot during an October 20, 2005 police raid and recently obtained by Fox News, provides viewers with a walkthrough of the $12 million estate

Florida police opened up an investigation into Epstein based on a tip from a victim in 2005. Two years later, the financier worked out a deal with federal prosecutors, which held that he would register as a sex offender and serve 13 months in jail. This summer, Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking of minors. He died by suicide on August 10.

Business Insider previously reported that the 2005 footage appears to show a picture of Epstein and his longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell posing in the White House, though the authenticity of the photo can’t be confirmed.

Read more: Jeffrey Epstein was accused of sex trafficking young girls on his mysterious private island. Over 40 years ago, a different millionaire escaped justice in a stunningly similar case.

The video also shows at least two massage tables in the residence. Epstein was accused of receiving sexual massages from underaged girls. The walls of the nine-bedroom abode appear to be decorated with explicit photos of young women and girls. According to the Daily Mail, police blurred out one graphic image of a girl around the age of six.

Also hanging on the wall was a picture of a baby and a skull, bearing quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson and “Star Trek.”

This isn’t the only one of Epstein’s properties to come under scrutiny. Locals called his private island in the US Virgin Islands “Orgy Island.” The convicted sex offender’s Manhattan mansion contained a painting that depicted former President Bill Clinton — a former associate of Epstein’s — wearing a blue dress. And police in New Mexico were investigating Epstein’s $18 million Zorro Ranch, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported earlier in August.

SEE ALSO: Epstein took business calls while receiving sexual massages from trafficked women, lawsuit claims

READ MORE: A look inside Jeffrey Epstein’s real-estate portfolio, from the Florida and NYC mansions where sex trafficking reportedly took place to the private island in the Caribbean that was raided by the FBI

SEE ALSO: Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Orgy Island’ is becoming a tourist attraction in the Caribbean — here’s what the curious visitors are able to see

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NOW WATCH: The oil boom in North Dakota now has a serious sex-trafficking problem

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Jeffrey Epstein’s Little-Known Lawyer Lands in Spotlight – The Wall Street Journal

A house on Little St. James Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a private island owned by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.


Photo:

marco bello/Reuters

NEW YORK—Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime lawyer has operated behind the scenes for decades. Now he finds himself in the spotlight over the scandal surrounding the disgraced financier.

Darren Indyke

was named co-executor of Mr. Epstein’s will filed earlier this month in a U.S. Virgin Islands court, a document Mr. Epstein signed two days before his apparent suicide. Mr. Indyke and Mr. Epstein had worked together for more than 25 years as Mr. Epstein expanded his business and social ties.

As federal prosecutors investigate Mr. Epstein’s operations and some of his alleged sexual-assault victims seek to recover assets from his estate, Mr. Indyke has hired a criminal defense lawyer, though no charges have been filed against him.

Among his wide-ranging work as an attorney, Mr. Indyke set up companies for Mr. Epstein and his colleagues, represented Mr. Epstein in real estate deals and handled matters involving his charitable giving, public records show. He also invested alongside Mr. Epstein in at least one instance, contributed to politicians favored by Mr. Epstein and represented him in a Federal Election Commission matter involving an excessive political donation, public records indicate.

Mr. Indyke also once had an address at the Manhattan condominium building where several Epstein employees lived, according to real-estate records. That building was purchased in the early 1990s by a former affiliate of J. Epstein & Co., Mr. Epstein’s investment firm, real-estate records and New York state filings show.

All that means the 54-year-old lawyer could attract the attention of anyone hoping to track Mr. Epstein’s financial holdings—worth at least $577 million, according to court papers filed with his will.

Another wrinkle in Mr. Epstein’s case involves how much of Mr. Indyke’s work is protected by attorney-client privilege. When a lawyer conducts business dealings for a client that don’t involve legal advice or representation, that work isn’t covered by the privilege, said

Peter Joy,

a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

Mr. Indyke declined to comment for this article through

Marc Agnifilo,

his criminal-defense lawyer.

Mr. Epstein died Aug. 10 in a New York federal jail cell of what a coroner said was a suicide. He had pleaded not guilty to sex-trafficking counts arising from a scheme federal prosecutors said involved sexual abuse of dozens of girls.

Jeffrey Epstein in a 2017 photo provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry.


Photo:

New York State Sex Offender Registry/Associated Press

In 2008, Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida to two counts related to prostitution; he went to jail but was allowed to participate in a work-release program later that year.

While Mr. Epstein hired criminal defense attorneys to represent him in the prostitution case, Mr. Indyke frequently visited Mr. Epstein in jail, court records show. In July 2009, Mr. Epstein was released early, having served 13 months of an 18-month sentence.

Mr. Indyke graduated from Cornell University’s law school in 1991, according to the university’s website, and joined the New York state bar in 1992. He owns a house in Livingston, N.J., purchased in 2003 for $1.7 million, and one he bought in Boca Raton, Fla., in 2015 for $3.1 million cash, public records show.

Mr. Indyke also owns a condominium in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Mr. Epstein owned two private islands, public records show.

Over the past two decades, Mr. Indyke has made open-records requests to three federal agencies on behalf of Mr. Epstein. It couldn’t be determined what kind of information Mr. Epstein was seeking or whether any was produced.

In 2013, Mr. Indyke requested records from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on behalf of Mr. Epstein. The types of records obtainable under such requests, according to the CBP website, are information pertaining to an individual’s U.S. entries and exits, apprehensions, detentions and results of background checks.

In March 2014, Mr. Indyke asked the National Security Agency for “documents, communications, memorandums, orders, agreements and/or instructions” relating to Mr. Epstein dating back to 2000. The record for the request is marked “Denial of Information” and below that “Not Closed.”

Mr. Indyke also has ties to Mr. Epstein’s main investment client,

Leslie Wexner,

the billionaire founder of retailers

L Brands

and Victoria’s Secret. Mr. Wexner said in a statement several weeks ago that Mr. Epstein stole more than $46 million from him. The statement made no mention of Mr. Indyke.

In 1999, Mr. Indyke was secretary of the nonprofit Wexner Foundation, securities filings show. A year earlier, Mr. Indyke supplied an affidavit in a legal dispute in New York federal court against a German shipbuilder that had constructed Mr. Wexner’s 316-foot yacht, “Limitless.”

Representatives for Mr. Wexner and L Brands didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Indyke also invested alongside Mr. Epstein at least once, regulatory filings show. In 2004, Mr. Indyke held an unspecified stake in Second City Capital Partners, a private-equity firm specializing in real-estate investments. One of Mr. Epstein’s foundations for which Mr. Indyke was an officer also held a Second City Capital Partners stake at the time.

Mr. Indyke moreover was a registered agent for multiple companies located at the New York address of J. Epstein & Co. And he assisted Mr. Epstein in his 1993 purchase of the Zorro Ranch, a vast property near Albuquerque, N.M.; land leases show that the ranch is owned by Cypress Inc. of the U.S. Virgin Islands and that Mr. Indyke is a vice president of Cypress.

A number of donations Mr. Indyke made to politicians over the years mirrored those made by Mr. Epstein, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. On Aug. 4, 2016, for example, Mr. Indyke donated $2,700 to U.S. Rep. Stacey Plaskett, a Virgin Islands Democrat; Mr. Epstein also donated to her that day, records show. And on July 23, 2018, Mr. Indyke and Mr. Epstein both made donations to Ms. Plaskett.

Write to Gretchen Morgenson at gretchen.morgenson@wsj.com

Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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It took Twitter longer to secure Jack Dorsey's account from hackers than it would for a nuclear missile to travel around the world — and that should terrify you

Dorsey trump 4:3

  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s account was hacked on Friday. 
  • The hackers unleashed a tweetstorm of offensive, racist tweets.
  • Everyone who watched the events seemed to have the same thought: If Twitter can’t protect its CEO’s account from hackers, how can it protect President Donald Trump’s account?
  • It’s a terrifying question, made all the more worrisome because this is not the first time Twitter has raised doubts about its safeguards for Trump’s account. 
  • Maybe the San Francisco-based company isn’t up to the task of managing something so powerful?
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

On Friday afternoon, at 12:44 p.m. PT, the internet stood still and watched as something terrifying unfolded over the next 20 minutes.

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, had his account hacked, and it proceeded to tweet a barrage of offensive and racist tweets.

The tweets themselves were sophomoric and of no real consequence. And the fact that Dorsey’s genuine musings were interrupted on the Friday afternoon before the long Labor Day weekend was also, in the grand scheme of things, not that big of a deal. 

The alarming thing was that hijackers managed to take control of the Twitter CEO’s account. Not because anyone cares about Jack Dorsey, per se. But because of what that means. 

Just about every journalist and social-media junkie on Twitter Friday afternoon had the same unnerving thought at the same moment: If Twitter can’t keep its own CEO’s account safe from hackers, how the heck can it make sure President Donald Trump’s account doesn’t get hacked?

It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to think of the kind of chaos that could be unleashed if Trump’s account, which has 63.7 million followers, suddenly tweeted declarations of security threats, disease outbreaks, emergency laws, or even war. 

Trump’s Twitter is already ‘like a rocket’

Because Trump already uses Twitter in unprecedented ways to carry out diplomacy and politics, and tweets shocking things almost every day, tweets from a hacker masquerading as Trump might not immediately be dismissed as bogus (as Dorsey’s quickly were). And because Trump is the leader of the free world, his tweets carry a massive amount of weight and immediacy.

“Like a rocket,” Trump said himself in July, when describing the impact of one of his previous tweets accusing President Barack Obama of wiretapping his office. 

Twitter, the corporation, has kept silent about the safeguards it has in place for Trump’s account. So we largely have to take it as a matter of faith that the company, presumably with government security assistance, is on top of it. 

But there’s already been cause for concern, such as in 2017, when a rogue Twitter support staffer, on his last day on the job, decided to temporarily deactivate Trump’s account. That lasted for 11 minutes. 

Twitter’s response

Twitter said on Friday that it was investigating the hacking of Dorsey’s account, adding that there was “no indication that Twitter’s systems have been compromised.”

If that is supposed to reassure anyone, it failed. In fact, it’s damning evidence of how out of touch Twitter is. Whether or not Twitter’s systems were compromised is beside the point. The fact is that someone was able to exploit its platform. That’s a big problem for Twitter, regardless of how the perpetrators managed to do it.

In total, 21 minutes elapsed before the company was even able to confirm that its CEO’s account had been hacked. At 2:22 p.m. PT — one hour and 36 minutes after the first hacked tweet hit the ether — Twitter pronounced Dorsey’s account “secure.”

How long would it take a nuclear-tipped missile to travel from North Korea to the US? In 37 minutes, a North Korean missile could reach Honolulu; it would take only 41 minutes to reach Washington, DC.

Trump is right. Twitter is like a rocket. And we’ve now had two very clear warnings that the company is not up to the task of handling such a serious responsibility.

SEE ALSO: What we know about how Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s account was hacked, and the group called ‘Chuckling Squad’ who is claiming responsibility

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Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case dismissed due to jailhouse death, lawyers still want judicial probe – CNBC

Jeffrey Epstein attends Launch of RADAR MAGAZINE at Hotel QT on May 18, 2005.

Patrick McMullan | Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday dismissed the pending criminal child sex trafficking case against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, who authorities have said killed himself in a Manhattan jail earlier this month.

The dismissal by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman of both counts against Epstein in response to a request by prosecutors was a formality, given the death of the former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.

But it came two days after Epstein’s defense lawyers urged the judge to conduct an inquiry into Epstein’s death after casting doubt on the finding by the New York City medical examiner’s office that he died from suicide by hanging himself in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

One of Epstein’s lawyers, Martin Weinberg, in a statement to CNBC said: “We do not interpret today’s ruling as a determination that Judge Berman has rejected our requests that he exercise his inherent judicial authority to investigate both the cause of Mr. Epstein’s death or the horrific conditions in which the MCC held our client while he was pending trial.”

Prosecutors had opposed the idea of Berman doing an inquiry of his own into Epstein’s death. They noted that the incident is already the focus of a federal grand jury probe, as well as being under investigation by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Justice Department.

Another Epstein lawyer, Reid Weingarten, on Tuesday told Berman that the injuries suffered by Epstein are “far more consistent with assault than suicide.” Weingarten cited the defense’s own medical experts.

Broken bones were found in Epstein’s neck during an autopsy after he died Aug. 10. Such fractures are somewhat more common in cases of strangulation than in hanging.

“We want the court to help us find out what happened,” Weingarten said at Tuesday’s hearing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where nearly two dozen women spoke or had statements read about being abused by Epstein and their dismay that he died before he could be brought to trial.

“We’re skeptical of the certitude” of the finding of suicide by hanging by the medical examiner, he said. There are “significant doubts” regarding “the conclusion of suicide,” Weingarten said.

Epstein, 66, had been held without bail in the MCC since his arrest in early July.

He had pleaded not guilty in the case, where he faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.

An indictment accused Epstein of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls from 2002 through 2005 at his luxurious properties on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and in Palm Beach, Florida. Some of the alleged victims were as young as 14 years old.

Prosecutors said Epstein was aided by co-conspirators who provided him with access to the girls, who were paid several hundred dollars after visiting Epstein for purported “massages.”

Less than a month before he died, Epstein had been placed on suicide watch at the MCC for nearly a week after he was found semiconscious, with marks on his neck, in his cell.

Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, met with some of Epstein’s accusers and their lawyers on Tuesday after the hearing.

During that meeting, Berman and William Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, thanked the victims for their bravery and noted that their offices are continuing to investigate Epstein’s possible co-conspirators, NBC News reported Wednesday.

Berman previously had said, on the heels of Epstein’s death, “To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment — which included a conspiracy count — remains ongoing.”

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We still don't know if Jeffrey Epstein's money is floating around Silicon Valley, but several top venture capital firms say they've never accepted funds from the disgraced financier

FILE PHOTO: U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services' sex offender registry March 28, 2017 and obtained by Reuters July 10, 2019.  New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services/Handout/File Photo via REUTERS

Jeffrey Epstein may have been involved in the epicenter of yet another financial powerhouse: Silicon Valley venture capital.

After revelations that Epstein helped fund an investment firm led by MIT Media Lab director Joichi Ito, speculation has grown about whether Epstein — the now-deceased financier charged with sex trafficking — may have had more extensive ties to the VC industry at the heart of Silicon Valley’s booming tech economy.

The possibility that Epstein invested his money as a so-called Limited Partner in the gilded venture capital firms that fund and advise tech startups would represent an embarrassing, and potentially problematic development, for any firms involved.

Business Insider contacted 34 of the top venture capital firms in the tech industry to ask whether or not Epstein had ever been a limited partner, or investor, in any of the firms or whether he had worked with the firms in a personal or professional capacity at any point.

Of the 34 VC firms, 27 confirmed that Epstein had no direct involvement.

These are the firms, representing some of the most prominent names in venture capital, that said they have no direct involvement with Epstein: Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Baseline Ventures, Battery Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, CRV, DFJ Growth, Day One Ventures, FirstMark Capital, First Round Capital, Forerunner Ventures, GGV Capital, Greylock, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, L Catterton, Lightspeed Ventures, Mayfield Fund, Menlo Ventures, NEA, Redpoint Ventures, Sequoia Capital, TCV, True Ventures, Tusk Venture Partners, and Union Square Ventures.

Read More:  ‘I’ve suffered and he has won’: More than 20 of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers gave emotional testimonies in court as prosecutors moved to shut down his case

Several firms, however, did not respond to Business Insider’s multiple requests for comment or confirmation. The VC firms that would not respond to requests for information about Epstein are: Felicis Ventures, Floodgate, Founders Fund, General Catalyst, IVP, Softbank, and Venrock.

Not a single VC firms that Business Insider reached out to has said that Epstein was a limited partner.

But there’s a big asterisk

However, even for those VC firms that disavowed any direct involvement with Epstein, it’s not yet possible to rule out the possibility that he was invested in the firms. That’s because many of the limited partners in VC firms are not specific named individuals, but rather a family office, a “fund of funds,” and other types of wealth funds not legally required to disclose whose money they manage. 

So, unless someone working at a VC firm had reason to be cautious of one of those investors and had asked for more details, it is unlikely they would know if any of the money in their funds came from Epstein.

Epstein was charged with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy. He was found dead by apparent suicide on August 10 in his prison cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan after being refused bail. 

Do you have a story to share about Epstein? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (331) 625-2555 using a non-work phone, email at mhernbroth@businessinsider.com, or Twitter DM at @megan_Hernbroth.

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Tips for Picking A Criminal Lawyer to Represent You – South Florida Reporter

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When you or someone you love is facing a criminal charge of any sort, whether it’s a DUI, theft or something else, you want an experienced criminal lawyer to represent the case. But there are many criminal lawyers to choose from, so how do you know you’re making the right choice?

A criminal lawyer also referred to as a criminal defense lawyer, is there to help fight your case in terms of helping to defend you when you’re accused of a crime. They’re the person who will be trusted to research and analyze what happened, then present their findings on your behalf.

Ultimately, their goal is to help ensure freedom for the accused individual. In some cases, a criminal lawyer may end up negotiating a settlement or plea bargain in the event the accused is found guilty. Naturally, you want a great criminal lawyer because you’ll be trusting them with a huge chapter in your life.

Should You Choose a Local Criminal Lawyer? 

Keep in mind, it’s important to find a local criminal lawyer who has experience in the courthouse where your case is pending. This will be helpful as they’ll be more familiar with procedures within the courthouse. Although most laws will be the same throughout the state, procedures will vary in terms of policies in each particular courthouse. Plus, if your criminal lawyer is local, they’ll have a better idea of the prosecutors and police officers who may be involved. This helps better prepare for the case, and at the end of the day, ensures a better outcome for you.

Last but not least, always remember the best attorney-client relationships are those in which the criminal lawyer sees the client as a partner, not a case file. You don’t want to be yet another case they’re working on. You want them to be passionate about helping you ensure your freedom. You should be involved throughout the decision-making process at all times.

Here are tips for picking someone to represent your case when there are countless criminal lawyers to choose from.

  1. Ask about their experience 

A criminal lawyer may have a decade or two of experience, but if they’ve been working on tax law, that’s not going to be beneficial to you in a criminal case. You want a criminal lawyer that has courtroom experience with cases similar to yours. Don’t hesitate to ask about their experience working with clients who have been charged with the same thing you have. If you’re looking at a DUI charge, don’t pick a criminal lawyer whose only experience is in violent crimes.

  1. Look at their team

If the criminal lawyer you’re considering seems to be the right person for the job, don’t forget to look at their team. Even the best criminal lawyers depend on a team to help them build their case. You should ask about anyone who will be involved in your case – from paralegals to administrative assistants and everything in between. You want to make sure his team members are experienced and prepared to help assist as needed. You never know when your chosen criminal lawyer will be too sick to work.

  1. Check references from previous clients

Similar to any service, you should always check references from previous clients when looking for a criminal lawyer. Feel free to ask around and see if you have any friends or colleagues who have used the criminal lawyer you’re considering. You can also ask the criminal lawyer themselves if they have any references from previous clients. Typically, good criminal lawyers will be happy to provide a few names you can speak with or quotes you can read.

  1. Pay attention to their confidence level

Confidence is a trait that’s necessary for a criminal lawyer. If they’re not confident, they may be skeptical about whether or not they can actually defend you enough to help you ensure your freedom. Make sure the criminal lawyer you’re considering has an air of confidence, not arrogance, that makes you feel comfortable about the outcome. Although there is no guarantee you’ll win and you shouldn’t be fooled into believing there is, it’s always nice to know your criminal lawyer feels positive about the situation.‘

  1. Make sure you feel comfortable with them

Lastly, you want a criminal lawyer that you feel comfortable working alongside. After all, this is likely an emotional, difficult time for you. You want to make sure they’re going to meet your needs, but above all, you want to make sure you’re able to talk to them in a truthful manner. You will likely feel quite vulnerable throughout the case so make sure you’re comfortable with them. The best criminal lawyer for someone else might not be the best criminal lawyer for you.

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