DOL Secretary Acosta Gave 'Sweetheart Deal' to Accused Millionaire: Miami Herald

Acosta agreed in 2007 to allow a multimillionaire defendant accused of coercing underage girls into sex acts at his Florida mansion to plead guilty only to two prostitution charges in state court, and Acosta, then Miami's top federal prosecutor, also agreed to keep the deal from the defendant's victims, the Miami Herald's Julie K. Brown reported Nov. 28.

Alexander Acosta, the current U.S. secretary of Labor, agreed in 2007 to allow a multimillionaire defendant accused of coercing underage girls into sex acts at his Florida mansion to plead guilty only to two prostitution charges in state court, and Acosta, then Miami's top federal prosecutor, also agreed to keep the deal from the defendant's victims, the Miami Herald's Julie K. Brown reported Nov. 28.

The newspaper reported the following day that, as a result of Brown's investigative series about the plea deal, Acosta was no longer in the running to be named attorney general by President Donald J. Trump.

Her articles reported that Acosta agreed to the non-prosecution agreement during a breakfast meeting in October 2007 with a former colleague, Washington, D.C., attorney Jay Lefkowitz, who represented the wealthy defendant, Jeffrey Epstein. The agreement "essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein's sex crimes," Brown reported, citing emails, court documents, and FBI records as sources. As part of the plea deal, Epstein provided what the government called "valuable consideration" for unspecified information he supplied to federal investigators. The information may have been related to a case against two executives at Bear Stearns, the investment brokerage that failed in 2008, she reported.

The agreement required Epstein to plead guilty to two prostitution charges in state court. Epstein and four accomplices named in the agreement received immunity from all federal criminal charges; the agreement also granted immunity to "any potential co-conspirators"’ who were also involved in Epstein's crimes.

Acosta did not respond to numerous requests for an interview or answer emailed questions, she reported.

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