FBI found Ghislaine Maxwell’s hideout by tracking her phone, documents reveal

<p>Audrey Strauss, acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks at a news conference announcing charges against Ghislaine Maxwell </p> (REUTERS)

Audrey Strauss, acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks at a news conference announcing charges against Ghislaine Maxwell


FBI agents tracked Ghislaine Maxwell to her New Hampshire hideaway using cellphone data, according to newly reported court documents.

Ms Maxwell, a British socialite, and associate of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, has been charged with multiple counts of sex exploitation and abuse of minor girls.

The 58-year-old was arrested on 2 July in New Hampshire, where prosecutors said she had been hiding out, and her trial has been scheduled for July 2021. Ms Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

According to newly unsealed court filings reported by The Daily Beast, agents were said to have been able to track Ms Maxwell from a mobile account she opened under the name “G Max”.

The outlet reported that documents revealed she used the phone to communicate with phones belonging to rumored husband Scott Borgerson, her sister Isabel, and one of her lawyers.

The new details come in an affidavit in support of an application for a search warrant filed by an FBI agent a day before Ms Maxwell’s arrest on 1 July 2020, the report said.

“The FBI does not know Maxwell’s current location and accordingly requires the information sought in this application in order to locate and arrest Maxwell,” the affidavit reportedly states.

The agency was then permitted to “use an investigative device or devices capable of broadcasting signals that will be received by” Ms Maxwell’s phone “or receiving signals from nearby cellular devices,” including Ms Maxwell’s device.

The affidavit stipulated that the device would not intercept her phone calls, texts, and other electronic communications and data, according to the outlet.

“Such a device may function in some respects like a cellular tower, except that it will not be connected to the cellular network and cannot be used by a cell phone to communicate with others,” the affidavit reportedly states.

The document also indicated that Ms Maxwell shared a joint bank account with Mr Borgerson and that an Amazon account registered to her sent him “multiple packages” across the last year.

Ms Maxwell has been detained at the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn since her arrest in July. In December, a federal judge denied her proposed $28.5m bail package after ruling she was a flight risk.

“The Court concludes that none of the new information that the Defendant presented in support of her application has a material bearing on the Court’s determination that she poses a flight risk,” the judge wrote.

Epstein killed himself in a New York jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on charges relating to the trafficking and sexual abuse of minors.

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