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Prison Guards Tasked With Watching Jeffrey Epstein Admit To Falsifying Records, Will Avoid Jail In Plea Deal

New York, NY – The two federal correctional officers charged for falsifying prison records on the night of Jeffrey Epstein’s death have struck a deal with prosecutors.

Epstein died in custody of New York authorities a month after he was indicted and incarcerated on sex trafficking charges in 2019.

Federal Bureau of Prisons Correctional Officer Michael Thomas and Officer Tova Noel were indicted in November of 2019 in connection with his death.

According to prosecutors, Correctional Officer Thomas and Correctional Officer Noel browsed the internet looking for motorcycles and furniture and took naps while Epstein allegedly committed suicide in his cell on Aug. 10, 2019, WITI reported.

Prosecutors said in the indictment that both correctional officers “sat at their desk, browsed the internet, and moved around the common area” instead of carrying out their mandated prisoner checks that night, The New York Times reported.

“For a period of approximately two hours, Noel and Thomas sat at their desk without moving, and appeared to have been asleep,” the indictment read, according to CNBC.

They then allegedly falsified prison documents, claiming to have checked on inmates when they really hadn’t.

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

Both correctional officers allegedly confessed to having shirked their duties during a conversation with a supervisor following Epstein’s death, CNBC reported.

“Epstein hung himself,” Correctional Officer Noel told the supervisor, according to the indictment. “We did not complete the 3 a.m. [nor] 5 a.m. rounds.”

“We messed up,” Correctional Officer Thomas allegedly added. “I messed up – she’s not to blame. We didn’t do any rounds.”

Thomas was charged with conspiracy and two counts of false records, according to CNBC.

Noel was charged with conspiracy and four counts of false records.

According to court documents filed on May 21, prosecutors have entered into deferred prosecution agreements with Thomas and Noel that will allow them to avoid prison time, WITI reported.

Prosecutors said they both “admitted that they ‘willfully and knowingly completed materially false count and round slips regarding required counts and rounds’” in the inmate housing unit where Epstein was incarcerated.

If the judge approves the deferred prosecution agreement as-is, Noel and Thomas will be placed on supervised release and will be required to cooperate fully with the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation, WITI reported.

They will also have to complete 100 hours of community service each.

The judge’s final ruling on the matter could come as early as this week, WITI reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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