Alex Acosta let the cat out of the bag: the Justice Department knew all about the Jeffrey Epstein Florida plea deal


By Robert Willmann

A taboo in our culture that is also a crime is sexual contact with a child or young person — usually less than 17 or 18 years old — by an adult or older person.  An exception is sexual experimentation during the struggle of adolescence, when the persons are no more than around two or three years apart in age, as long as there is consent. A greater age difference creates the crime often called "statutory rape", in which a statute (a law passed by a legislature) says that legal consent for sexual contact cannot be given by the underage person.

This taboo is a strong one, even more so than homicide, about which there are various levels and justifications, such as self-defense.  All over the country on a regular basis, underage sex crime cases are tried to a jury, even without medical or forensic evidence.  And with just one complainant and victim.

But then Jeffrey Epstein is named as a suspect in underage sex crimes in Palm Beach County, Florida, with not one complainant, but with at least 20.

What was the local State Attorney, Barry Krischer, going to do? Apparently, not very much. Attention shifted to the federal U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alexander Acosta, and the FBI. Was a federal prosecution pursued?  No.  Nothing.

A secret plea bargain and non-prosecution agreement with the federal government is what happened. It shifted the public face to the Florida state court system with Epstein pleading to two state prostitution crimes, which implied, of course, that the complainants were prostitutes. The public is now aware that the result was Epstein sleeping at the county jail and then going to his office during the day, for 13 months. Registering as a sex offender has not curtailed his travel or daily activity.

The whole nasty business disappeared from view and would have stayed hidden in its nicely wrapped package except that two civil lawsuits have pulled some of it into the light.


On 7 July 2008, a case under the federal Crime Victims' Rights Act (CVRA) was filed in the Southern District of Florida by lawyers Paul Cassell, Bradley Edwards, and two others against the federal government, with case number 08-cv-80736 [1].  Around ten and a half years later, on 21 February 2019, the trial court judge issued a 33-page opinion and order granting a request for partial summary judgment by two victims, ruling that there was no genuine issue of material fact about the assertion that the government violated the CVRA by failing properly to confer with the victims, and that therefore a contested trial on that issue is not necessary.  The opinion is worth reading, and the first 22 pages are a detailed statement of facts about the non-prosecution agreement and the activity surrounding it by lawyers for the government and Epstein, giving an insight into what was going on.  The beginning of the opinion references four startling factual assertions made by the complainants in their request for summary judgment and which the federal government admitted without qualification in its response [2]–

"1. Between about 1999 and 2007, Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused more than 30 minor girls, including Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, located in the Southern District of Florida, and elsewhere in the United States and overseas.

"2. Because Epstein and his co-conspirators knowingly traveled in interstate and international commerce to sexually abuse Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2, and other similarly situated victims, they committed violations of not only Florida law (see, e,g., Fla. Stat. sections 794.05, 796.04, 796.045, 39.201 and 777.04), but also federal law, including repeated violations of 18 U.S.C. sections 1591, 2421, 2422, 2423, and 371).

"3. In addition to personally abusing his victims, Epstein also directed other persons to sexually abuse the girls. For example, Nadia Marcinkova sexually abused Jane Doe 1 and other victims at the direction of Epstein.

"8. More generally, the FBI established that Epstein used paid employees to repeatedly find and bring minor girls to him. Epstein worked in concert with others to obtain minor girls not only for his own sexual gratification, but also for the sexual gratification of others."

The opinion in the CVRA case is here–

The present court activity is to figure out a procedure to determine a remedy for the government's violation of the CVRA and to establish a remedy. 

On 17 May 2010, a lawsuit revealing more of Epstein's degenerate attitude and mentality was filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, with case number 10-cv-21586.  It was based on parts 7 and 8 of the plea bargain / non-prosecution agreement, that–

"7. The United Sates shall provide Epstein's attorneys with a list of individuals whom it has identified as victims, as defined in 18 U.S.C. section 2255, after Epstein has signed this agreement and been sentenced.  Upon the execution of this agreement, the United States, in consultation  with and subject to the good faith approval of Epstein's counsel, shall select an attorney representative for these persons, who shall be paid for by Epstein. Epstein's counsel may contact the indentified individuals through that representative.

"8.  [In part] If any of the individuals referred to in paragraph (7), supra, elects to file suit pursuant to 18 U.S.C. section 2255, Epstein will not contest the jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida over his person and/or the subject matter, and Epstein waives his right to contest liability and also waives his right to contest damages up to an amount as agreed to between the identified individual and Epstein, so long as the identified individual elects to proceed exclusively under 18 U.S.C. section 2255, and agrees to waive any other claim for damages, whether pursuant to state, federal, or common law."

Title 18, U.S. Code, section 2255, creates the right for an underage person (a minor) to bring a civil lawsuit in federal court for money for personal injury suffered as a victim of certain federal crimes.  The victim can seek money for the actual harm suffered, or the fixed amount of $150,000, plus attorney fees and litigation costs. [3].

The attorney representative selected to help the females who wanted to seek compensation by that route under the non-prosecution agreement (NPA) was Robert Josefsberg, of the Podhurst & Orseck law firm in Miami, Florida, known to have experience in litigation.  Some number over 12 of the 34 females named by the U.S. Attorney's Office as complainants against Epstein sought compensation through the representative. 

However, although Epstein agreed in the NPA to pay the attorney representative and to not contest liability in the claims the females made under 18 U.S.C. 2255, he not only breached the agreement by contesting liability in the cases, but also he paid only a small part of what was owed to Josefsberg, and tried to stiff the representative by not paying over $2 million dollars due for attorney fees and costs!  For over 20 months, Josefsberg tried unsuccessfully to get Epstein to pay him under the NPA, and finally sued Epstein for breach of contract and breach of the implied doctrine of good faith and fair dealing.  Attached to the lawsuit document was a copy of the NPA.  Here are the scandalous plea bargain / non-prosecution agreement and addendum, and the informative original petition brought by the representative for some of the victimized females–

This produced an amusing turn of events, shown by the court clerk's docket sheet.  Epstein quickly settled with the attorney representative by 8 June 2010, only 22 days after the lawsuit was filed [4].  After all, he had breached the NPA and it could have been cancelled (and should have been) and a prosecution started in Florida. 

Picking apart the NPA is in itself an interesting exercise, but looking at the agreement as a whole, you can see that it is designed to keep his sexually abusive conduct from being disclosed, both as to criminal charges — he pled only to state prostitution offenses — and as to civil cases involving females who decided to seek compensation through the NPA's representative and 18 U.S.C. section 2255.  In those civil cases, Epstein agreed to not challenge his liability, so no stories would be told in court; the only issue would be the amount of money to be paid.

With that background, we come to the recent fascinating events, in which Epstein was arrested, and the role of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta in this whole rotten mess was revealed to some extent.  He had been the U.S. Attorney for that part of Florida at that time.  The NPA on page 2 asserted that: "On the authority of R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, prosecution in this District for these offenses shall be deferred in favor of prosecution by the State of Florida, provided that Epstein abides by the following conditions and the requirements of this Agreement set forth below". 

Well, not exactly.  When publicity heated up, fingers were pointed at Acosta with the usual hollering by some that he should resign.   This produced a pathetic press conference on Wednesday, 10 July, in which Acosta tried to justify what the materials presented above reveal [5].  On Friday, 12 July, when president Trump went outside the White House to talk to the press before leaving on a trip, Acosta went with him.  At around 1 minute, 40 seconds into this short video excerpt, Acosta says–

"I have seen coverage of this case, that is over 12 years old, that had input and vetting at multiple levels of the Department of Justice.  And as I look forward, I do not think it is right and fair for this administration's labor department to have Epstein as the focus, rather than the incredible economy that we have today.  And so I called the president this morning.  I told him that I thought the right thing was to step aside…."

There you have it:  "… this case … had input and vetting at multiple levels of the Department of Justice."  The cat was out of the bag.  It was a sad sight:  Alex Acosta, after achieving two significant positions in the federal government, took a dive to be the fall guy.

"Multiple levels" of  "input" and "vetting" at the DOJ, you say?  Who might that be?

The non-prosecution agreement has signature dates from 24 September to 7 December 2007, and page 3 of Robert Josefsberg's lawsuit against Epstein confirms this.  The Department of Justice is a bureaucracy, and even though a U.S. Attorney has significant authority and some independence, the Justice Department in Washington D.C. — sometimes called "Main Justice" — ultimately controls things.  In the organizational chart, the U.S. Attorneys are under the Deputy Attorney General, the number two person [6]–

The U.S. Attorney General from 3 February 2005 to 17 September 2007 was Alberto Gonzales.  Michael Mukasey was nominated on 17 September and became Attorney General on 8 November 2007 until Eric Holder was sworn in on 3 February 2009. 

The FBI Director from 4 September 2001 to 4 September 2013 was Robert Mueller.

More research is needed to identify persons in various positions in the Department of Justice from 2005 through at least 2010, when Epstein breached the NPA by contesting liability and failing to pay attorney fees and costs, and had to be sued by Robert Josefsberg and the Podhurst & Orseck law firm.  

And from July 2008 into this year, the Justice Department has resisted the CVRA lawsuit in Florida.

The CVRA opinion on page 3 confirmed that by May 2007, the U.S. Attorney's Office had drafted a 53-page indictment and an 82-page prosecution memorandum about federal sex crimes committed by Epstein.  The opinion on pages 5-6 quotes a letter to Epstein's counsel that the U.S. Attorney's office did not have the power to bind the Immigration service, but that they did not plan on bringing immigration charges against two of Epstein's female co-conspirators.

The CVRA opinion on page 7 tells us that–

"On September 21, 2007, Palm Beach County State Attorney Barry Krischer wrote the line prosecutor [Assistant U.S. Attorney] about the proposed agreement and added:  'Glad we could get this worked out for reasons I won’t put in writing. After this is resolved I would love to buy you a cup at Starbucks and have a conversation'."

This material is presented here for viewing or downloading so that you can think for yourself.  Mass media has reported next to nothing about the 11-year course of the Crime Victims' Rights Act lawsuit and the detail in the first 22 pages of the trial court's opinion, other than that the court found the government violated the CVRA.  I am not aware of one word reported about the 2010 lawsuit brought by Robert Josefsberg against Epstein for breaching the non-prosecution agreement. 

From this information, you can see the brazen lack of a basis for the extra protection put in the plea bargain / NPA on page 5, that–

"In consideration of Epstein's agreement to plead guilty and to provide compensation in the manner described above, if Epstein successfully fulfills all of the terms and conditions of this agreement, the United States also agrees that it will not institute any criminal charges against any potential co-conspirators of Epstein, including but not limited to Sarah Kellen, Adriana Ross, Lesley Groff, or Nadia Marcinkova."

Jeffrey Epstein was being protected.   The process and communications that accomplished it, and who did it, are not yet known.


[1]  The Crime Victims' Rights Act, Title 18, United States Code, section 3771

[2]  The request (motion) for partial summary judgment by the victims (Jane Doe 1 and 2) contained a list of what they claimed were 157 undisputed material facts.  The federal government filed a response which either admitted, or admitted with a qualification, or denied the asserted facts.  The numbered facts 1, 2, 3, and 8 were admitted.

[3]  Title 18, U.S. Code, section 2255

[4]  The court clerk's docket sheet for the Robert Josefsberg and Podhurst & Orseck lawsuit against Epstein


[6]  A text version of the Department of Justice organizational chart


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34 Responses to Alex Acosta let the cat out of the bag: the Justice Department knew all about the Jeffrey Epstein Florida plea deal

  1. GeneO says:

    I had hoped we would learn from today’s hearings more regarding Epstein’s source of wealth – and exactly how much it was.
    Plus more info on his doctored passport.
    More about the money trail between him and various Florida officials.
    Anyone new calling the tip line – especially from during his time as a teacher at that prep school in NY?
    And more about the Dershowitz and Starr involvement back 12 years ago.
    Unfortunately the food fight between Trump and the four frosh sucked all the air out of the media.

  2. Walrus says:

    Why nobody is above the law! Not even a President! Oh! Wait! 23 flights! And a scion of the house of Windsor allegedly involved as well?
    Is it going to be possible to clean the stable? If it isn’t, you have lost your Republic.

  3. anon says:

    Came across this site with the court documents .The FBI travelled to Australia in 2011 and interviewed ms Roberts at the american consulate in Sydney.9 years ago then in 2015 she sued Epstein and maxwell.Only now in 2019 did Epstein fly back from Paris knowing he was going to be arrested.
    Some of those girls were collecting info for him and getting paid.The whole thing stinks time to call in the plumbers.

  4. John Minehan says:

    I saw this in a couple of places (;; and I’m not sure if it the report is accurate. (It’s not showing up in the NY Times or The economist. But it doesn’t seem impossible.
    Many things are disposed of by plea Bargaining. With high profile crimes, it is always difficult to know if you did the right thing. Here, it is fairly obvious it wasn’t. Acosta is a Harvard College/HLS, a very able and connected guy and his error here has damaged his life.

  5. JamesT says:

    The part that I haven’t seen being reported or discussed:
    “The federal non-prosecution agreement Epstein’s legal team negotiated with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida immunized all named and unnamed “potential co-conspirators” in Epstein’s child trafficking network, which includes those who allegedly procured minors for Epstein and also any powerbrokers who may have molested them.”
    Who gets a plea deal in which “all named and unnamed potential co-conspirators” get immunity?

  6. Barbara Ann says:

    Department of what now?
    Thanks for the link to the NPA I didn’t realize it was in the public domain, it is an astonishing read. I’m not familiar with NPA’s (having never been party to one!) so forgive me if the following questions are uninformed:
    To what extent are NPA’s legally binding upon the USG, are there circumstances where a court can set one aside for reasons other than breach of contract?
    The NPA appears to try and indemnify Epstein and both known and unknown co-conspirators (Ghislaine Maxwell?) in both the offenses prosecuted and any other offenses subject to the joint USAO/FBI investigation. In fact on page 5 the indemnity given uses the wording “the [US] also agrees it will not institute any criminal charges against any potential co-conspirators of Epstein included but not limited to..” (my emphasis) i.e. scope here appears to be unlimited. This cannot be legally enforceable surely?
    I thought NPA’s were used to go after people further up the food chain. This one seems to have given carte blanche immunity to all involved at every level. I’m astonished Acosta had the authority, merely with “consultation” within DOJ to do this. This is a travesty and is starting to make FISA abuse look like chicken feed.

  7. Walrus says:

    Was Acosta making an “error”? Looks to me he was a fully paid up member of the Swamp, doing what swampians do and he will no doubt settle back into a Swamp law firm or Professorship somewhere. Weep not for him.

  8. Harry says:

    What a fantastic piece! Excellent work and I cannot poke a hole in the reasoning.

  9. Walrus says:

    As previously observed, Epstein is going to be killed. Arkancide. The poor schmuck that does it won’t realise that he is next.

  10. turcopolier says:

    yes. I con’t see him living much longer. On Morning joe today, Joe and his imbecile consort went on at length about a party in 1992 at Mar A Lago for a bunch of NFL cheerleaders. Trump, Epstein and other me stood around ogling the ladies. So what! Not a wird was said about the absent Bill Clinton.

  11. srw says:

    Doubt if Bubba Bill was involved in any of Epstein’s sexual shenanigans after being burnt by Lewinsky. Clinton always had the proverbial ability to “talk a dog off a gut wagon” and could most likely find an agreeable partner elsewhere. Might be wrong but doubt it.

  12. Rhondda says:

    If I understand correctly, Epstein broke the agreement. Would it follow that the WTF!? immunity deal is now nixed?
    What a rotten underbelly oozes out. This foul beast needs to be wrestled into the light. Where is the people’s champion? There must be some good people in there somewhere.

  13. John Minnerath says:

    Crossing the Clinton cabal in any manner is seriously dangerous.
    The list of those who have and died mysteriously is very long.

  14. Jack says:

    Thanks for your excellent write-up.
    The sweetheart deal that Epstein received from Acosta and the DOJ seems rather unusual for the felony that is such a social taboo as you note. Not only did he get off extremely lightly but his co-conspirators were completely let off the hook. The way the children who were raped were also treated by the courts was also shameful.
    This case epitomizes the travesty of the current state of the rule of law. Sexual predators of children are typically thrown the book and quickly taken off the streets to serve a long sentence. Not only did that not happen but even worse he was allowed to continue his despicable behavior out in the open even when he was supposed to be serving his sentence. Clearly he had some powerful friends in the Bush administration, but even with these connections when such execrable behavior is shown repeatedly there were none with a conscience. A sad testament to the state of our justice system.
    Do you think the current case will also just be another white wash or do you think the DOJ will pursue the investigation with vigor to get to the bottom of his finances and all the other sexual predators of children in his orbit?

  15. Ogling NFL cheerleaders, big deal. That seemed pretty normal to me. I’m waiting for more to come out about the 1992 private party at Mar a Lago with Trump, Epstein and 28 calendar girls. I get the feeling Trump is going tweet crazy right now primarily to change the subject. With Trump, Clinton, the DOJ enablers who protected Epstein and probably a host of others, Epstein is bound to be whacked as you and walrus said.

  16. Marc b. says:

    Arkancide? Epstein is linked with E Barak, and Nicole Junkermann, per flight logs. Presumably that is the intelligence link Acosta was babbling about.

  17. Mark Logan says:

    Epstein’s NPA was limited to the Florida district of federal courts, hence another branch of the federal courts, the Southern District of New York, was free to re-open the issue..and did.
    Acosta says he acted in accordance with his superior’s wishes at the DOJ. Plausible, but lets see some corroborating evidence. If he agreed to negotiate this NPA without getting his boss’s orders in writing he is a remarkable fool.

  18. akaPatience says:

    Yes, the MSM are predictably silent about Bill Clinton and other leftists who are/were buddies with Epstein. I guess with all of his money, he could murder someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and…
    “imbecile consort”. THANK you, you made my day!

  19. robt willmann says:

    Barbara Ann,
    You are perceptive about the Epstein plea bargain / non-prosecution agreement (NPA). The one for Epstein is the complete opposite of what happens in federal criminal cases. Yes, agreements between the Justice Department and defendants are often used “to go after people further up the food chain”. There will be a plea bargain with a cooperation section in it. If cooperation is not part of the arrangement, that section is left out.
    They have a standard form they use for plea bargains, and some sections may be in or out of it depending on the situation. Classic examples are those that were used by “special counsel” Robert Mueller when he went around putting the squeeze on people. Here is the agreement between the Mueller group and Richard Gates, who was around Paul Manafort during the Trump campaign–
    The usual plea agrement requires the defendant to plead guilty to some federal criminal offense. The Epstein agreement did not require him to plead to a federal crime. It also did not require him to debrief or provide them with information. To the contrary, it required that the federal government do nothing to him or to other people who helped him or conspired with him to commit federal crimes!

  20. John Minehan says:

    I’m not a Trump supporter, but you have to say this for Trump: he banned Jeffery Epstein from his properties and made him PNG when Trump had complaints about the man’s conduct on site.

  21. Barbara Ann says:

    Many thanks for your kind response Robert. The agreement reads as the product of Epstein’s attorneys saying “jump” and the DOJ responding with “how high?”.

  22. Fred says:

    “who protected Epstein”… Donald Trump was not president nor was he directing the DOJ when this plea deal was made. NBC news showed some video from 1992, more than 25 years ago, which was also broadcast on multiple networks. Just like the Access Hollywood tape it is a distraction but I believe it is an effort to distract away from the owner of the Lolita Express and one of the “founders” of the Clinton Foundation, Mr. Epstein, and certainly his connection with those having a long term association with him. A lot of other nations’ governments funneled money into the Clinton Foundation and its “global initiative”.
    A whole lot of prominent Democrats were involved with that including people like Cheryl Mills, Hilary’s legal council and Chief of Staff at State. I believe there was a special deal cut for her too as part of the email investigation and now the DOJ inspector general is conducting an investigation in which Christopher Wray and deleted emails figure prominently. By all means Trump was with little girls and photos of a newly divorced boor standing around looking at half drunk adult women is all the evidence we need. We definitely don’t need to look into the connections between a member of the Board of Directors of the Clinton Foundation and things like what Cheryl Mills knew, when she new it, and just what Christopher Wray was trying to cover up.

  23. confusedponderer says:

    the interpretation of banning Epstein that you offer may indeed be a clear decision based on the insight that Epstein was behaving in an unacceptable way that should be sanctioned.
    That’s IMO a rather optimistic view since it assumes clear decisions and insights from Mr. Trump.
    Here’s a different and a bit more pessimistic view:
    With Mr. Trump it also may be a simple business calculation assumption – that the nasty, misbehaving Epstein was bad for business.
    Thus making him a PNG (persona non grata) was made for one because Epstein was bad for quarter numbers and then that the customers retained were more profitable than he anyway and that misbehaviour was just the more open uttered reason.
    Looks about the same but there’s that tiny nuance between what he did and why he did it.

  24. walrus says:

    The difference between horseplay, fun and flirting and sexual assault of a minor can be difficult to spot. I was once invited to a party with a lot of booze, pool and spas in use and everyone was having a good time………Then my schoolteacher partner noticed something I missed – our hostess dancing and laughing with the fourteen year old son of one of the other guests. My partner suddenly dragged me out of that party so fast my feet didn’t touch the floor. I was really annoyed, folk were just having fun.
    A week later she explained what I had missed – the boy was getting aroused and the hostess knew it. The is that fact that mere attendance when something like that is going on makes you an accessory.

  25. blue peacock says:

    If the DOJ wants to get to the bottom of this child sex trafficking ring they can. They have the authority, the resources and the means. The question of course is will they?
    The Acosta deal as Robert points out was highly unusual. Essentially the government agreed to handcuff itself while allowing Epstein and his associates to continue their child rape fetish.
    Isn’t it lovely that we lecture the world on human rights and rule of law?

  26. John Minehan says:

    I assume the two go hand and hand and that there is a further motivation of avoiding liability.

  27. Flavius says:

    Of course the DoJ knew about the Acosta deal. The question is what other Agencies, to include the WH, had oars in the water.
    With Epstein getting remanded today, it should not be long before the case begins to develop. While the MCC where he is being held should be relatively safe, Federal Penitentiaries can be dangerous places for celebrity sex offenders and protective custody on the inside, effectively isolation, can be close to torture – especially for a sybarite like Epstein. Epstein has been very much incentivized. The more fertile his imagination, the more incentivized he will be.
    The problem with witnesses like Epstein is that a) because their own behavior has been so vile and b) their penal exposure is so significant, they will c) tell you whatever it takes, true, false, or embellished to reduce b). Corroboration is the name of the game. Let’s hope he can produce it.

  28. Jack says:

    If there’s any serious investigation it will be a blockbuster parade of the depraved.

  29. Walrus says:

    wherever Epstein is sent his lawyer needs to promise big bubba $5 million if Epstein is left alone..

  30. Procopius says:

    Many things are disposed of by plea Bargaining.

    I believe something like 93% of all criminal charges are disposed of by plea bargan rather than trial. I think we need some way to reduce the power of prosecutors to accept plea bargains, in order to create incentives against the current overly aggressive prosecuting that has ramped up since 1972. That seems to be the bigger cause of the U.S. becoming the Carceral State. It seems to be more significant even than Joe Biden’s Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

  31. Cee says:

    Yes, they’ll blame a prisoner because we know they hate pedophiles and the story will end. His handler Ghislaine Maxwell isn’t even being charged.

  32. Procopius says:

    Minor quibble — Bill Clinton is not a leftist.

  33. anon says:

    The media would be advised to tread carefully as this could turn out to be a carefully constructed hoax.Especially if Epstein has records of all transactions.The franklin scandal on steroids could do a lot of damage to the media.

  34. blue peacock says:

    As many have speculated that Epstein ran a honeytrap here’s another story from someone that visited his pad.

    Soon after I walked into the entrance of Epstein’s mansion on E 71st Street, said to be the city’s largest private home, a butler asked me, ‘would you like an intimate massage, sir, by a pretty young girl?’ This offer seemed so out of place and weird to me that I swiftly declined.
    More important than indelicacy, as an old observer of intelligence affairs, to me this offer reeked of ye old honey trap, a tactic to ensnare and blackmail people that was old when Babylon was young. A discreet room with massage table, lubricants and, no doubt, cameras stood ready off the main lobby.

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