Jeffrey Epstein victims sue FBI for alleged failure to investigate 'sex trafficking ring for the elite'

A dozen of Jeffrey Epstein's accusers have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government alleging that the FBI failed to properly investigate the financier's sex-trafficking crimes as far back as the 1990s.

"Jeffrey Epstein’s penchant for teenage girls was an open secret in the high society of Palm Beach, Florida and the Upper East Side of Manhattan which was disregarded by the FBI," reads the lawsuit on behalf of 12 Jane Does. "Epstein orchestrated an illegal sex trafficking ring for the elite and the FBI failed to adequately investigate the abuse, failed to interview the victims, failed to investigate the crimes and did not follow routine procedure or offer victim assistance notwithstanding credible reports and tips."

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, alleges that all 12 women were victimized by Epstein and "co-conspirators" because of the FBI's alleged past failures and that current FBI Director Christopher Wray has done nothing to "right that wrong," as Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn requested he do in a December 2023 hearing. 



Jeffrey Epstein pictured in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Sept. 8, 2004. (Rick Friedman/Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty Images)

Epstein and unnamed co-conspirators allegedly abused young women and underage girls between 1996 and his death in 2019, according to the lawsuit. Citing police documents, it alleges that Epstein recruited girls between 14 and 16 as well as students at Palm Beach Community College for "sex-tinged sessions."

His so-called client list has remained a secret, although a federal judge overseeing a separate lawsuit allowed allegations against a number of wealthy people in his orbit to be unsealed last month, including business leaders, prominent politicians and Ivy League academics.

Read the civil complaint

Epstein himself allegedly threatened them with violence to prevent them from coming forward.

"Epstein said things like, ‘You’re going to die; I'm going to break your legs,'" according to the lawsuit.

Allegations of child sex trafficking emerged as early as 1996, according to the lawsuit, when Epstein accuser Maria Farmer told police in New York City and the FBI that she and her sister had been victims of Epstein and his accomplice and former lover, Ghislaine Maxwell.


Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising, with a Performance by Rod Stewart at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005, in New York City. (Getty Images)

But the FBI allegedly "'hung up' on her and did nothing to investigate the report," according to the lawsuit.

Allegations continued to crop up until Epstein was arrested for having sex with a child prostitute in 2005. Even his bank, JP Morgan Chase, alerted the government of "suspicious transactions" around this time – however, that information remained secret for almost 20 years, according to the lawsuit. 


The victims' lawyers also took aim at the long delay before his prosecution and the lenient plea deal he reached with the Justice Department in 2008.

"Epstein served 13 months in jail, during which time he was allowed to leave for work release during the day," the lawsuit reads. "He continued to sexually abuse victims during his work release in close proximity to those who were supposed to be monitoring him."


Deborah Blohm, Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and Gwendolyn Beck at a party at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, 1995. (Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)

Search warrants served in that case found evidence that Epstein had other victims – including a message book that contained some of their phone numbers. The lawsuit alleges they were never interviewed by the FBI.


"The FBI’s repeated and continued failures, delays and inaction allowed Epstein and others to continue their sex trafficking conspiracy for almost 25 years," lawyers for the Does alleged.

Two additional Does are expected to join the lawsuit.

Lawyers said the plaintiffs used pseudonyms to protect their identities because they are victims of sexual assault and because they are "at serious risk of retaliatory harm because the co-conspirators who participated in the Epstein sex-trafficking venture had — and continue to possess — tremendous wealth and power and have demonstrated a clear ability to cause serious harm."

An FBI spokesperson said the bureau does not comment on pending litigation.


Epstein died in a federal jail cell in New York in 2019 while awaiting trial on additional sex-trafficking charges. His death was officially ruled a suicide, however, his family and some experts say the evidence doesn't add up.

Blackburn, a Republican, has separately demanded the FBI release unredacted records of Epstein's flight logs, "black book" and other evidence from his estate. Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin has stalled her efforts for a congressional subpoena. 

"The FBI has long been aware of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged human trafficking ring," Blackburn told Fox News Digital Thursday. "Yet, they have failed to uphold their duty to the American people to properly investigate this horrific abuse and bring those who participated in it to justice. We know the FBI seized a treasure trove of surveillance footage from Epstein’s Palm Beach home where he ran his operations. Why won’t they release those tapes or the flight logs I’ve been requesting for months? Epstein’s countless victims deserve justice, and the FBI should be held accountable for shamelessly sweeping this under the rug."

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