Two correctional officers who were assigned to guard Jeffrey Epstein on the night he died in his cell have been indicted for allegedly ignoring more than 75 mandatory checks on the wealthy financier then fabricating records to cover it up.
Federal authorities charged Michael Thomas and Tova Noel with multiple counts of falsifying records and conspiracy. The two worked as guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal facility in Manhattan that is mostly used for defendants awaiting trial.
At a court appearance on Tuesday, Thomas and Noel pleaded not guilty and a judge released each of them on a $100,000 bond.
The indictment provides the first official account of what happened in the hours before Epstein’s death.
According to video surveillance footage obtained by prosecutors, Epstein was in his cell unobserved for eight hours before he was found dead. The unit he was in requires that all inmates be accounted for twice an hour.
Prosecutors say that while working an overnight shift, Thomas and Noel, the only two officers assigned to Epstein’s wing, neglected to check on him.