Coronavirus could keep Ghislaine Maxwell locked up for longer as her bail attempt may suffer from Covid-related delays in the US prison system
- FBI and police finally caught up with Ghislaine Maxwell on Thursday morning
- Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted of child sex trafficking
- She is currently being held in the Merrimack County Jail in New Hampshire
Ghislaine Maxwell’s attempt to win bail could be held up by coronavirus-related delays in the US prison system.
The alleged madam of Jeffrey Epstein might be stuck in jail in New Hampshire for weeks before she is moved to New York to be formally arraigned on child sex trafficking charges.
Her bail application could also be compromised by a ten-page detention memo saying she was an ‘extreme’ flight risk and there was ‘compelling proof of guilt’.
Prosecutors said the 58-year-old hid from the FBI by changing email addresses and phone numbers which she registered to ‘G Max’. Maxwell is believed to be at Merrimack County Jail, which has released 13 inmates early after a guard tested positive for coronavirus.
But the Bureau of Prisons is backlogged with sentenced inmates awaiting transfer due to the virus so a transfer to New York may take some time.
Ghislaine Maxwell (right), the alleged madam of Jeffery Epstein (left), might be stuck in jail in New Hampshire for weeks before she is moved to New York to be formally arraigned because of delays in the US prison system caused by the coronavirus
During a brief appearance at a federal court in New Hampshire on Thursday, Maxwell waived her right to challenge her transfer to New York. It was thought her legal team would try to get her before a judge in New York yesterday, ahead of the Independence Day weekend.
But no hearing was listed and it appears Maxwell will spend a long weekend behind bars because Monday is a federal holiday and courts will be closed.
She faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted and has an ‘extraordinary incentive to flee’ and the means to do so, the prosecutors allege.
Their detention memo said that between 2016 and today the FBI found 15 bank accounts in Maxwell’s name with balances ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to more than $20million (£16million).
Maxwell allegedly holds additional bank accounts in foreign countries with balances of more than $1million.
She moved large amounts of money last year including $300,000 from one account to another in July, the same month Epstein was indicted on sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell has passports for three countries – Britain, the US and France – and has taken at least 15 international flights over the past three years including to Japan and Qatar.
After Epstein was arrested Maxwell ‘stopped appearing in public entirely’, the memo states. It claims: ‘Instead (she was) hiding out in locations in New England.
Ghislaine Maxwell is spending her first few nights in custody in the Merrimack County Jail in New Hampshire, pictured above
‘Moreover, it appears that she made intentional efforts to avoid detection, including moving locations at least twice, switching her primary phone number (which she registered under the name “G Max”) and email address, and ordering packages for delivery with a different person listed on the shipping label’.
The detention memo also states that Maxwell sold a townhouse in New York for £12million in 2016 through a company that she owned.
Yesterday victims of Epstein, who killed himself in prison, renewed their attacks on Maxwell, who has always denied any wrongdoing. She is accused of enticing underage girls so that she and the paedophile financier could abuse them.
Jennifer Araoz, who claims Epstein raped her when she was 14, told ABC News: ‘Epstein and his network of enablers stole from me. They robbed me of my youth, my identity, my innocence and my self worth.’
Her lawyer Daniel Kaiser said: ‘Ghislaine Maxwell is a monster and she’s now in custody. And that’s a very good thing.
‘Maxwell was the ringmaster, she was the architect of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex ring. She hid it. She maintained it.’