NEW YORK - Updated, July 7, 2019, 5:15 a.m.
Wealthy financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was arrested Saturday in New York on sex-trafficking charges involving allegations that date to the 2000s, according to law enforcement officials.
Epstein, a wealthy hedge fund manager who once counted as friends former President Bill Clinton, Great Britain's Prince Andrew, and President Donald Trump, was taken into federal custody, according to two officials.
The officials spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the pending case.
Epstein is expected to appear Monday in Manhattan federal court. A message was sent to his attorney seeking comment.
Epstein's arrest was first reported by The Daily Beast.
Plea deal scrutiny
The arrest comes amid renewed scrutiny of a once-secret plea deal that ended a federal investigation against him.
In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida to state charges of soliciting and procuring a person younger than 18 for prostitution. The deal ended a federal investigation that could have landed Epstein in prison for life.
Instead, he was sentenced to 13 months in jail and was required to reach financial settlements with dozens of his once-teenage victims. Epstein also was required to register as a sex offender.
Trump labor secretary
Epstein's deal was overseen by former Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, who is now Trump's labor secretary. Acosta has defended the plea deal as appropriate under the circumstances, though the White House said in February that it was “looking into” his handling of the deal.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra of Florida ruled earlier this year that Epstein's victims should have been consulted under federal law about the deal, and he is now weighing whether to invalidate the non-prosecution agreement, or NPA, that protected Epstein from federal charges.
It was not immediately clear whether the cases involved the same victims since nearly all have remained anonymous.
Federal prosecutors recently filed court papers in Florida case contending Epstein's deal must stand.
“The past cannot be undone; the government committed itself to the NPA, and the parties have not disputed that Epstein complied with its provisions,” prosecutors wrote in the filing.
They acknowledged, however, that the failure to consult victims “fell short of the government's dedication to serve victims to the best of its ability” and that prosecutors “should have communicated with the victims in a straightforward and transparent way.”
The victims in the Florida case have until Monday to respond to the Justice Department's filing.
According to court records in Florida, authorities say at least 40 underage girls were brought into Epstein's Palm Beach mansion for what turned into sexual encounters after female fixers looked for suitable girls locally and in Eastern Europe and other parts of the world.
Some girls were also allegedly brought to Epstein's homes in New York City, New Mexico and a private Caribbean island, according to court documents.