Jul 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

"Extreme flight risk": Prosecutor urges judge to deny bail to Ghislaine Maxwell

Prosecutor
Audrey Strauss at a press conference today. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss urged a judge in a detention memo Thursday to deny bail to Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, calling her an "extreme flight risk" who has no reason not to attempt to flee the country.

The big picture: Maxwell was arrested and indicted on six counts Thursday for allegedly conspiring with Epstein, who died in an apparent suicide in prison last year, to traffic and sexually abuse minors.

Highlights from the memo:

  • "As a result of her disturbing and callous conduct, Maxwell now faces the very real prospect of serving many years in prison. The strength of the Government’s evidence and the substantial prison term the defendant would face upon conviction all create a strong incentive for the defendant to flee. That risk is only amplified by the defendant’s extensive international ties, her citizenship in two foreign countries, her wealth, and her lack of meaningful ties to the United States."
  • "Based on the Government’s investigation to date, the Government has identified more than 15 different bank accounts held by or associated with the defendant from 2016 to the present, and during that same period, the total balances of those accounts have ranged from a total of hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $20 million."
  • "The defendant’s international connections and significant financial means would present a clear risk of flight under normal circumstances, but in this case, the risk of flight is exacerbated by the transient nature of defendant’s current lifestyle.
  • "In particular, the defendant has effectively been in hiding for approximately a year, since an indictment against Epstein was unsealed in July 2019. Thereafter, the defendant – who had previously made many public appearances – stopped appearing in public entirely, instead hiding out in locations in New England."

Read the full memo via DocumentCloud.

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