Jeffrey Epstein cell guards get 100 hours of community service, judge allows

Jeffrey Epstein's guards, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, admit to having made false counts and round slips on the night that financier died by suicide

A federal judge approved an agreement on Tuesday that will let Jeffrey Epstein's guards skirt jail time.

Instead, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas will each perform 100 hours of community service, according to the deal.

"You shall complete 100 documented hours of community service, preferably related to the criminal justice system, including working with recently released inmates," said Southern District of New York Judge Analisa Torres at a virtual conference on Tuesday. 

Michael Thomas and Tova Noel will each perform 100 hours of community service, according to the deal reached with prosecutors.

Michael Thomas and Tova Noel will each perform 100 hours of community service, according to the deal reached with prosecutors. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

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The judge also warned that the case will only be dismissed if the defendants comply with the terms of the agreement for the next six months. 

The Bureau of Prisons' employees working at the Metropolitan Correctional Center were on duty on Aug. 10, 2019, the night Epstein died by suicide. They were accused of sleeping and surfing the internet instead of monitoring the financier. They were charged with lying on prison records to make it look like they had made the mandatory checks. Noel and Thomas had resisted entering an agreement with prosecutors until now.

Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Aug. 10, 2019.

Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Aug. 10, 2019.

Judge Torres asked Noel and Thomas if they "understand that you're admitting that you willfully and knowingly completed materially false count and round slips, regarding required counts and rounds in the special housing unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 9 and 10 of 2019?" Both defendants replied, "Yes, Your Honor," in a regretful tone.  

Both Noel and Thomas are also required to cooperate with a DOJ's inspector general’s ongoing probe, federal prosecutors had said in a filing last week. 

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"The defendants will cooperate with a pending Department of Justice Office of Inspector General review by providing truthful information related to their employment by the Bureau of Prisons, including about the events and circumstances described in the Indictment," the filing states.  

A follow-up conference has been scheduled for Dec. 16, 2021.