Ghislaine Maxwell refused to open the front door to the FBI when they raided her $1million home and fled to another room in the house, prosecutors claimed today.
The alleged chief recruiter for Jeffrey Epstein fled to another room and was seen ‘quickly shutting a door behind her’.
The FBI smashed down the door and discovered a mobile phone wrapped in tin foil which prosecutors called a ‘seemingly misguided effort to evade detection’ by law enforcement.
New York prosecutors said this was evidence that Maxwell was ‘skilled at living in hiding’ and should be denied bail.
Maxwell, 58, will appear in court Tuesday where a judge will decide if she can be freed.
Ghislaine Maxwell refused to open the front door to the FBI and tried to flee to another room when they raided her $1million home, prosecutors claimed today
The FBI smashed down the door and discovered a mobile phone wrapped in tin foil which prosecutors called a ‘seemingly misguided effort to evade detection’
Currently she is being held in the fortress-like Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where she is wearing paper clothes to ensure she doesn’t kill herself.
Epstein hanged himself last August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges and the Department of Justice wants to ensure she does not do the same.
Maxwell is accused of grooming girls as young as 14 for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 1997, a period when she was his girlfriend.
Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York outlined their case against Maxwell’s bail in a 19- page document filed Monday.
Maxwell had offered a $5million bond co-signed by two of her sisters and backed up more than $3.75million in property in the UK.
She would be confined to a home in the New York area, surrender all her travel documents and be subject to GPS monitoring.
But prosecutors argued nothing would ensure that somebody with three passports, including for France which has no extradition treaty with the UK, would suffice.
They said that her conduct during the 8.30am raid on July 2nd at the property called ‘Tuckedaway’ in the rural town of Bradford, New Hampshire was ‘troubling’.
They wrote that when the FBI arrived they were confronted by a locked gate which they forced their way through.
The filing said: ‘As the agents approached the front door to the main house, they announced themselves as FBI agents and directed the defendant to open the door.
‘Through a window, the agents saw the defendant ignore the direction to open the door and, instead, try 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.
‘Moreover, as the agents conducted a security sweep of the house, they also noticed a cell phone wrapped in tin foil on top of a desk, 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’.
New York prosecutors said in a filing Monday this was evidence that Maxwell was ‘skilled at living in hiding’ and should be denied bail
After Maxwell, the daughter of late newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, was arrested the FBI spoke to a security guard who worked on the property who said that her brother had hired him from a company staffed with former British military soldiers.
The filing states: ‘The guard informed the FBI that the defendant had not left the property during his time working there, and that instead, the guard was sent to make purchases for the property using the credit card. As these facts make plain, there should be no question that the defendant is skilled at living in hiding’.
In their filings to the court Maxwell’s lawyers had argued that she is at increased risk of catching the coronavirus whilst in prison.
They claim that the restrictions on access to her lawyers caused by the pandemic would mean it was impossible for her to get a fair trial.
The prosecutors said that in fact the prison had made substantial efforts to accommodate her and keep her safe.
Maxwell was arrested on July 2nd at her $1million home called ‘Tuckedaway’ in the rural town of Bradford, New Hampshire.
According to reports she had moved 36 times in the year since Epstein killed himself in jail out of fear for her safety.
The FBI have said they were quietly keeping tabs on her and smashed in her door during an 8.30am raid.
Maxwell was romantically involved with Jeffrey Epstein from around 1992, but then became his ‘right-hand woman’, managing his property empire and, it is alleged, his trafficking of minors
Her bail request (pictured) was filed in the US District Court in Manhattan and claims she was not ‘hiding’ from authorities, is not a flight risk and is at risk of contracting COVID-19 if she continues to be held in the Brooklyn jail
In her filing last Friday, Maxwell’s lawyers Mark Cohen and Jeff Pagliuca wrote that Maxwell ‘vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence’.
They claimed that after Epstein’s death last August ‘the media focus quickly shifted to our client – wrongly trying to substitute her for Epstein – even though she’d had no contact with Epstein for more than a decade, had never been charged with a crime or been found liable in any civil litigation, and has always denied any allegations of claimed misconduct.’
They wrote that it was ‘open season’ on Maxwell and she had received death threats which led her to hire security guards.
Maxwell’s lawyers also revealed that her family is standing by her and that she remains close to her nephews and nieces.
Epstein’s victims have long demanded Maxwell’s arrest and lawyers for them say that a slew of new accusers have come forward since she was apprehended.
Prosecutors will likely be looking to do a plea deal with Maxwell to lighten some of the six charges against her, two of which are perjury for allegedly lying during depositions.
They will be questioning her about powerful men in Epstein’s orbit including Bill Clinton with whom she flew on Epstein’s private jet, called the ‘Lolita Express’, on a tour of Africa in 2002.
Maxwell was also good friends with Prince Andrew and one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Roberts, claims she was loaned out to the Duke three times for sex when she was 17.
Maxwell is currently in custody in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
Prosecutors have called Maxwell – who has US, UK and French passports – an ‘extreme risk of flight’ who should remain detained until trial.
In a court document arguing against bail, they said she had at least 15 bank accounts which she owned or was associated with in the last four years alone.
Maxwell is currently in custody in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn (pictured)
Maxwell’s application also argues she is at risk of catching coronavirus if she continues to be held behind bars in her ‘hell hole’ Brooklyn jail.
It states her health will be put at ‘serious risk’ – pointing to 68,000 cases of COVID-19 infections among the US prison population in the last month.
The filing also claims she will not be able to receive a fair trial and properly prepare her defense because of restrictions on attorney visits and phone calls amid the pandemic.
The bail conditions put forward by Maxwell’s team say the bond would be co-signed by ‘six financially responsible people… [with] strong ties to Ms. Maxwell’ and will be secured against the property in the UK.
It is not yet clear who all of the six individuals are other than ‘siblings, relatives and friends’ of which two are her sisters and who continue to ‘stand by her’ and ‘do not believe the allegations against her’.
The filing says she would not leave New York, would hand over all travel documents and would be subject to home confinement at a New York property, where she would wear a GPS tracker and only be visited by immediate family, close friends and counsel.