Federal prosecutors are investigating if disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein committed wire fraud or violated other laws while attempting to silence his accusers, The Wall Street Journal reports. As part of the probe, they’re looking to see whether Weinstein may have “intimidate[d] women and cover[ed] up the accusations against him using hush money.” Sources also told the newspaper that Manhattan prosecutors are investigating Weinstein’s alleged relationship with Black Cube, an Israeli investigative firm that made an “effort to stop the publication of sexual harassment allegations” against Weinstein, according to a July 2017 contract between the firm and the once-powerful producer. Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman said he met with prosecutors to “demonstrate that Black Cube was retained and supervised by prominent lawyers…who we believed would never have authorized illegal activity of any kind.” He also insisted that Weinstein hired the firm to “defend himself through legal action from serious and patently false allegations.” Weinstein, who denies all claims of nonconsensual sex, could now face federal charges on top of the state charges he was arrested on earlier this year. He pleaded not guilty to sex-crime charges in May, and was released after paying $1 million bail.
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