The U.S. magistrate overseeing the legal battle between Craig Wright and the estate of Dave Kleiman over who owns a $10 billion bitcoin fortune and Bitcoin’s underlying IP is not without controversy of his own: Bruce Reinhart once quit his job as a U.S. Attorney to work for Jeffrey Epstein, the multimillionaire accused sex trafficker who was being targeted in a probe by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
As reported in the Miami Herald on November 28, 2018:
“Epstein also hired Bruce Reinhart, then an assistant U.S. attorney in South Florida, now a U.S. magistrate. He left the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Jan. 1, 2008, and went to work representing Epstein’s employees on Jan. 2, 2008, court records show. In 2011, Reinhart was named in the Crime Victims’ Rights Act lawsuit, which accused him of violating Justice Department policies by switching sides, implying that he leveraged inside information about Epstein’s investigation to curry favor with Epstein.”
Also reported in the Miami Herald, Reinhart made plans that would establish his private practice while still in office:
“On Oct 23, 2007, as federal prosecutors in South Florida were in the midst of tense negotiations to finalize a plea deal with accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, a senior prosecutor in their office was quietly laying out plans to leave the U.S. attorney’s office after 11 years.
“On that date, as emails were flying between Epstein’s lawyers and federal prosecutors, Bruce E. Reinhart, now a federal magistrate, opened a limited liability company in Florida that established what would become his new criminal defense practice.”
In 2011 affidavit, Reinhart swore, under penalty of perjury that “he was not part of the team involved in Epstein’s investigation and therefore was not privy to any confidential information about the case” while he was at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
However, as the Miami Herald points out:
“Reinhart’s former supervisors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a court paper contradicting him, saying that “while Bruce E. Reinhart was an assistant U.S. attorney, he learned confidential, non-public information about the Epstein matter.’’
In one of the 2011 Epstein cases—Jane Does # 1 and #2 v. United States—Reinhart took offense at the idea that he did anything wrong. In that motion, the plaintiffs alleged that Reinhart:
“‘joined Epstein’s payroll shortly after important decisions were made limiting Epstein’s criminal liability’ and improperly represented Epstein victims in follow-on civil suits. (DE 48 at 22). Plaintiffs contend that such conduct ‘give[s], at least, the improper appearance that Reinhart may have attempted to curry [favor] with Epstein and then reap his reward through favorable employment.’ (DE 48 at 23). Reinhart takes great offense to these accusation—which he contends are false, irrelevant to the CVRA claims, and gratuitous—and seeks intervention to rebut these allegations and move for sanction.”
In 2012, he went to work for the white collar crime division of McDonald Hopkins LLC in Miami. At the time, a public relations firm put out a press release stating, “Since 2008, Reinhart has been in private practice providing white collar and complex civil litigation strategies for a variety of businesses, executives and nonprofit entities around the country.”
As Julie K. Brown of the Miami Herald put it:
“Reinhart’s defection was one of many highly unusual turns that the Epstein case took 12 years ago, moves that could merit examination as the multimillionaire’s controversial non-prosecution agreement is dissected in the wake of his arrest last week on sex trafficking charges.”
In 2015, Reinhart defended Epstein on TV not as his attorney of seven years but as a legal expert and a “former U.S. prosecutor.”
Reinhart was appointed U.S. magistrate in March 2018, nearly a year after Acosta began his stint as Labor Secretary. Acosta resigned on July 19, 2019 over his handling of the Epstein case. At the time, Reinhart is recorded in the Palm Beach Post as saying, “It’s been a good week in our house.”
That was odd because the next sentence is about a guilty verdict for a client:
“He recently represented former Boynton Beach police officer Michael Brown. The veteran cop last month was sentenced to six months house arrest and three years of probation…”
The Sun Sentinel headline on the story on November 10, 2017 was, “Boynton Beach cop found guilty in beating of unarmed man.”