Jeffrey Epstein, the U.S. billionaire who was charged with sex trafficking of minors last month, was found dead by suicide in a New York jail, local media reported Saturday.
Epstein, 66, hung himself at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan before his body was discovered at around 7:30 a.m. (1130 GMT), sources told nbcnews reports.
Epstein was accused in early July of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of underage girls in the early 2000s. He was denied bail weeks after and would face up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
About two weeks ago, the billionaire was found unconscious in his cell with injuries on his neck, and was therefore moved to a suicide-watch unit.
Epstein has often been called a “billionaire” in media reports, but in 2010 — two years after he received an 18-month prison sentence in Florida for soliciting a minor for sex — Forbes published a blog post with the headline “Sex Offender Jeffrey Epstein is Not A Billionaire,” explaining that he’s never cracked the Forbes 400 and that his Virgin Islands-based money management firm produces no public records.
Prior to his guilty plea in Florida — part of a sweetheart deal brokered with then-US Attorney Alex Acosta — one of Epstein’s major clients was billionaire Leslie Wexner, CEO of L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works.