A former close associate of the late mobster John Gotti Sr. has said that if Jeffrey Epstein killed himself inside his cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, he would have had to ‘pay dearly’ for help.
Epstein, the 66-year-old convicted sex offender who was found in cardiac arrest and later died on Saturday is said to have hanged himself while behind bars at the New York City facility.
‘If he killed himself someone had to have helped him,’ Lewis Kasman, who visited Gotti at the facility several times in 1992, told the New York Post.
Epstein had been thought to have attempted suicide nearly three weeks ago, around the time that Kasman said Attorney General William Barr made a discreet visit to the federal detention center, but was taken off suicide watch 12 days before he died.
‘When does that happen?’ Kasman asked, rhetorically, of Barr’s alleged trip to Metropolitan Correctional Center, referred to within the Federal Bureau of Prisons as MCC New York.
‘The attorney general never visits jails. Something’s not right there,’ he said.
In a statement on Saturday, Barr said: ‘Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered.’
He added: ‘In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of the death’.
Kasman said for the right price, inmates could get virtually anything they wanted from corrupt guards standing watch over the institution.
‘There are cameras going 24/7 and they’re watching 24/7. Someone had to give [Epstein] the equipment to kill himself and he had to pay for it dearly,’ Kasman said.
He noted that while Gotti was locked up in both the 9 South and 10 South units, which are supposed to be the most secure on site, Gotti had no problem having his favorite steak dinner hand-delivered.
‘He had Peter Luger’s whenever he wanted,’ Kasman said.
‘That facility for years had issues of corruption, with correction officers bringing in food or cellphones for wealthy people.’
As a U.S. attorney in the southern district of Florida, former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta negotiated a 2008 deal that allowed Epstein to avoid federal criminal charges and serve only 13 months in prison– in an arrangement that victims were not notified about in advance.
As part of the deal, Epstein pleaded guilty to a single state charge of solicitation of a minor for prostitution related to sex acts with girls as young as 14.
Epstein was then sentenced to 18 months in prison, but was released five months early and was permitted work release during his incarceration.
Epstein was arrested again in New Jersey on July 6 with New York federal prosecutors alleging he sexually abused dozens of girls between 2002 and 2005, and authorities saying nude photos of underage girls were found in his mansion.
Epstein, a billionaire hedge funder and admitted sex offender, was known for his high-profile connections including former President Bill Clinton, President Donald Trump, and Prince Andrew.
But while Kasman said inmates with the right connections and enough cash could sneak things in to MCC New York, he also said the living conditions there are ‘totally disgusting’ and ‘worse than Guantanamo Bay.’
‘There are roaches crawling all over you — in every orifice — when you sleep. The Bureau of Prisons’ answer to that is that they can’t spray. It’s toxic,’ Kasman said.
Epstein pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court on July 8 to the new sex trafficking charges.
His death on Saturday came just 24 hours after more than 2,000 pages of documents detailing the lurid allegations of his sexual abuse of underage girls were unsealed to the public.
On Friday morning, a federal appeals court published explosive documents pertaining to a 2015 settled lawsuit that Virginia Roberts Giuffre had filed against Epstein’s associate, socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
Giuffre claimed Epstein and Maxwell kept her as a ‘sex slave’ in the early 2000s, while she was underage.
The unsealed papers – which made international news on Friday – implicated a number of high-profile men in the sex scandals.