FILE - This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry, shows Jeffrey Epstein. Two correctional officers responsible for guarding Jeffrey Epstein the night before he took his own life are expected to face criminal charges this week for falsifying prison records. That’s according to two people familiar with the matter. The federal charges could come as soon as Tuesday and are the first in connection with Epstein’s death.. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)

World - Two prison officers responsible for guarding late US financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein the night he died were charged on Tuesday with falsifying records.

Correctional officers Tova Noel and Michael Thomas failed to check on Epstein every half hour and fabricated records to cover up their negligence, according to the US attorney for the Southern District of New York.

"As alleged, the defendants had a duty to ensure the safety and security of federal inmates in their care at the Metropolitan Correctional Center," US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement.

"Instead, they repeatedly failed to conduct mandated checks on inmates, and lied on official forms to hide their dereliction," he added.

The indictment said the guards "sat at their desk, browsed the internet, and moved around the common area" instead of checking on prisoners.

The two men surrendered on Tuesday morning, the attorney's office said.

The charges are the first in connection with Epstein's death.

The 66-year-old financier was found dead on August 10 in a high-security unit of a Manhattan jail, where he was awaiting trial on charges of sex-trafficking of minors and conspiracy.

New York's chief medical examiner ruled the death a suicide.

Epstein had only recently been taken off suicide watch and was supposed to be monitored every 30 minutes.

Epstein had ties to numerous wealthy people in the United States, including President Donald Trump and former president Bill Clinton.

DPA