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Ghislaine Maxwell ignored FBI orders on day of arrest, had cellphone wrapped in tin foil: feds

Ghislaine Maxwell attends the ETM Children's Benefit Gala in New York on May 6, 2014. (Rob Kim/Getty Images/TNS)

Ghislaine Maxwell used former members of the British military as security guards and wrapped a cellphone in tin foil to avoid law enforcement detection, prosecutors wrote Monday, calling her “skilled at living in hiding.”

Manhattan federal prosecutors shared the new details about Maxwell’s arrest July 2 at a New Hampshire estate in opposition to her request for $5 million bond. The British socialite, who is currently held at a federal jail on the Brooklyn waterfront, says she can be trusted to show up to court on charges of enticing underage girls into Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex abuse scheme and lying under oath.

FBI agents had to force their way into Maxwell’s $1 million hideaway on the day of her arrest when she refused to open the door and fled to another room in the house, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe wrote.

“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,” Moe wrote.

Agents questioned a security guard on the property, who said Maxwell’s brother hired a company staffed with former British military to protect her in rotations, according to the filing. Maxwell gave the guard a credit card with the same name as an “anonymized” LLC she used to purchase the timber frame home in Bradford, New Hampshire, authorities say.

“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,” Moe wrote.

Some of Maxwell’s alleged victims are expected to speak in opposition to her bail request at a hearing on Tuesday.

The British socialite claimed last week that she had been wrongly substituted for Epstein in the public eye after the disgraced financier committed suicide while awaiting trial for sex trafficking. The feds say Maxwell appears to have access to “vast wealth” in foreign bank accounts and is worth more than $20 million.

Nevertheless, Maxwell claimed after her arrest that she had less than $1 million in bank accounts, according to prosecutors.

Maxwell’s argument that she was not a flight risk because she remained in the U.S. after Epstein’s arrest and suicide was unpersuasive, prosecutors wrote.

“For years before her arrest in this case, the defendant likely believed she had gotten away with her crimes. That illusion has now been shattered, and she has a host of new reasons to use her considerable resources to flee,” Moe wrote.


© 2020 New York Daily News

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