Michael Thomas, Tova Noel were assigned to guard Jeffrey Epstein on the night he was found dead in his cell of an apparent suicide. They have been given criminal charges, federal prosecutors in New York announced Tuesday.
Michael Thomas, Tova Noel Age
Michael Noel is 31 years old while Michael Thomas is 41 years old.
Michael Thomas, Tova Noel Career
Since 2016, Noel had worked at the MCC but as of August 2019, he worked in the SHU. He worked during the night Epstein was found dead.
Thomas had been working at the MCC since 2007, but as of 2013 “regularly worked overtime shifts as a correctional officer, including in the SHU”. He also worked an overtime shift from August 9 into August 10.
The two worked as prison guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal jail in Manhattan that’s mostly used for defendants awaiting trial.
Michael Thomas, Tova Noel Found Accused
Manhattan prison guards are accused of making false records regarding the death of the accused sexual offender Jeffrey Epstein. The video surveillance shows that in the hours before his death, with the exception of two other unnamed officials who briefly visited a common area, no one else entered the Epstein housing point.
NEW: Two guards at Epstein’s prison facility, Michael Thomas and Tova Noel, have been indicted for falsifying records on the night of his death.
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) November 19, 2019
The indictment alleges that, instead of completing the required counts and rounds, including Epstein’s check, Noel and Thomas were sitting at the law enforcement officers’ desk using computers, moving in the common area and “seeming to have seemed” during approximately two hours, they had fallen asleep.
Noel is accused of searching online for sites selling furniture and charity sites while Thomas is accused of searching online for motorcycle sales and sports news.
Michael Thomas, Tova Noel Charges
Authorities have charged Michael Thomas and Tova Noel making false records and conspiracy.
Prosecutors say Thomas and Noel neglected to check on Epstein every half-hour as they had to, then falsified prison logs to make it appear as if they were keeping an eye on him.
“They repeatedly failed to conduct mandated checks on inmates, and lied on official forms to hide their dereliction”, said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.
Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, correctional officers at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, were charged with making false records and conspiring to interfere with the functions of the federal prison. https://t.co/jZ5r5tm9hi #PerversionOfJustice
— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) November 19, 2019
According to the indictment, Thomas and Noel “sat at their desks, browsed the Internet, and moved around the common area” of the prison instead of monitoring Epstein in his cell in the Special Housing Unit.
Michael Thomas, Tova Noel Indictment
According to the indictment, Thomas was one of the officers who responded to Epstein’s first reported suicide attempt on July 23. On August 10 at around 6:33 a.m., an alarm sounded in the SHU. Noel told a supervisor, and we quote from the indictment, “Epstein hung himself”.
Federal investigators say federal corrections officers Tova Noel and Michael Thomas failed to perform mandatory checks on convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein before his suicide, even though his cell was just 15 feet away https://t.co/dA908bApSt pic.twitter.com/O2ZK0L4jRX
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) November 20, 2019
The defendants were charged with five counts, four for falsifying records to say they conducted “counts” at 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. on August 9 and conducted “counts” at 12 a.m., 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on August 10. They were also charged with conspiracy.
You can read the rest of the indictment below.