- Prosecutors revealed new details have about the arrest of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s cohort Ghislaine Maxwell in a recent court filing.
- Maxwell’s brother hired former British military operatives to protect Maxwell in her New Hampshire hideout, prosecutors said.
- She ran from FBI agents when they arrived at her home to arrest her, and FBI discovered a cellphone wrapped in tinfoil to avoid detection in her home.
Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s cohort Ghislaine Maxwell had former British military operatives guarding her New Hampshire hideout and was discovered by authorities with a cellphone wrapped in tinfoil to avoid detection, according to prosecutors.
The new details about Maxwell’s arrest emerged as prosecutors argued against Maxwell’s request for bail, calling her a flight risk and describing the arrest at length.
“There will be no trial for the victims if the defendant is afforded the opportunity to flee the jurisdiction, and there is every reason to think that is exactly what she will do if she is released,” federal prosecutors for the Southern District of New York said in the filing, listing reasons such as the fact that she “appears to have access to considerable wealth” both in the United States and abroad and that she is “skilled at living in hiding.”
“These are glaring red flags, even before the Court considers the gravity of the charges in this case and the serious penalties the defendant faces if convicted at trial,” the prosecutors add.
Defense attorneys for Maxwell argued Friday for a personal recognizance bond of $5 million, secured by real estate holdings in the United Kingdom, which government prosecutors said was inadequate to ensure that Maxwell appear to face the charges against her in New York.
The prosecutors emphasized that Maxwell’s behavior when she was arrested by the FBI on July 2 “underscores the risk of flight she poses,” describing how her home was guarded by a private security guard and claiming that Maxwell ignored the FBI’s request to open the door but instead tried to “flee to another room in the house, quickly shutting a door behind her.”
“Agents were ultimately forced to breach the door in order to enter the house to arrest the defendant, who was found in an interior room in the house,” the attorneys said.
The prosecutors also described how FBI agents discovered a cellphone in Maxwell’s house wrapped in tin foil, which the prosecutors described as a “seemingly misguided effort to evade detection, not by the press or public, which of course would have no ability to trace her phone or intercept her communications, but by law enforcement.”
The FBI spoke with Maxwell’s security guard and found that Maxwell’s brother had hired a security company that employed former members of the British military to guard Maxwell’s home in rotations. Maxwell had given one of the guards a credit card that had the same name as the LLC which had purchased her New Hampshire home, the filing said.
The security guard with whom the FBI spoke said that Maxwell had never left the property since he began working there and that the guard ran necessary errands for the property using the credit card Maxwell gave him.
Though Maxwell’s attorneys argued that she took these extreme measures to avoid unwanted press attention, the prosecutors said that this argument “entirely misses the point.”
“The defendant’s conduct is clearly relevant to the Court’s assessment of her risk of flight, because it evidences her readiness and ability to live in hiding, and to do so indefinitely,” prosecutors said. “As such, even if her behavior in the last year could be attributed solely to her desire to avoid media attention, that should give the Court serious concerns about what steps she would be willing to take to avoid federal prison.”
“Second, the fact that the defendant took these measures to conceal herself after Epstein was indicted in this District – and after the Government announced that its investigation into Epstein’s co-conspirators was ongoing – cannot be ignored,” the filing adds. “To the contrary, these measures are at least equally consistent with the notion that the defendant also sought to evade detection by law enforcement.”
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