The FBI is investigating Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who allegedly operated as Jeffrey Epstein’s fixer in procuring underage girls for sexual predation, according to Reuters.
The news outlet, citing law enforcement sources with knowledge of the probe, reports the “principal focus” of the investigation is Maxwell, while “people who facilitated” the deceased pedophiles alleged illegal activities are also subjects of the probe.
Thus far, the alleged Epstein “madam” has not been accused of any criminal wrongdoing. It is unclear when the investigation began, though sources told Reuters it is in its early stages.
Maxwell, the daughter of a British publishing magnate who died under mysterious circumstances, is one of the most prominent figures left from the Epstein orbit after his suicide in jail while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
And she could well be a co-conspirator now in the crosshairs of federal prosecutors, who have made clear the case is far from over.
“If I were drafting an indictment against her, it would be the same conspiracy to traffic in underage minors,” said David S. Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice in Miami. “That’s what it is. That’s what the conspiracy would be.”
Maxwell is an elusive character whose father, publisher Robert Maxwell, died in 1991 after falling off his yacht near the Canary Islands. It turned out that he had illegally looted pension funds from his businesses, according to news accounts at the time.
A Robert Maxwell biographer, Tom Bower, says Ghislaine Maxwell was the youngest of his children and a favorite of her father — hence, the yacht’s name.
“I think in his home, she never really learned the difference between right and wrong,” Bower told National Public Radio recently. “And the other tragedy for her was that she was dominated by him, and she learned from him to worship wealth and money and power and influence and really had very little sentiment for what might be called the little people.”
Eventually, Maxwell landed in Epstein’s world in the wealthy enclave of Palm Beach and bought a home in Manhattan, where Epstein also had an opulent mansion worth as much as $77 million. According to lawsuits filed by Epstein accusers, she became a recruiter of young girls for Epstein, as well as his household manager and social circuit organizer.
In Florida, Epstein pleaded guilty to prostitution-related charges with minors in 2008 and served 13 months in jail, where he was allowed out on work release almost every day. At the time, his lawyers reached a non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department that spared him a potential life prison sentence if convicted on federal charges.
It was after the Miami Herald published stories last year that New York prosecutors took up the case and won an indictment against Epstein for trafficking in minors, carrying a potential 45-year prison sentence.
That was only one more part of a sordid saga spanning decades, with Maxwell a key part of it, court documents show.
Juan Alessi, who managed Epstein’s home in Palm Beach for years, said in a deposition that Maxwell was essentially the lady of the house.
In one of the lawsuits, Virginia Roberts Guiffre laid out in detail what was believed to be Maxwell’s role in Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking ring, which other women have echoed in similar claims. Guiffre, 15 at the time, says she was working at the Mar-a-Lago club owned by future President Donald Trump when she was approached by Maxwell about a way to earn good money: learn massage therapy and get to know Epstein as a man who could give her a bright future.
Giuffre says in a sworn affidavit that she was trained by Maxwell and Epstein to become “everything a man wanted me to be” and that she was flown on Epstein’s private planes to his properties in New Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Paris, and New York. Guiffre also says Maxwell arranged meetings for sex in London and elsewhere with Britain’s Prince Andrew.
Since Epstein’s death, Maxwell’s whereabouts have been the subject of intense speculation. In August, Maxwell’s friend and lawyer, Leah Saffian, reportedly staged a photo of her eating at In-n-Out burger while reading The Book of Honor: The Secret Lives and Deaths of CIA Operatives.
The Daily Mail reported of the photo: “According to the photograph’s metadata, reviewed by DailyMail.com, the photograph is tagged with ‘Meadowgate’. Metadata provides information about the rights of the photograph to users. Saffian is president of Meadowgate Media Investments Inc, according to public records. The In-N-Out burger joint picture was published by the New York Post on Thursday after they obtained it from Saffian, 60.”
Other reports have claimed Maxwell is living in Paris and with technology CEO Scott Borgerson in Massachusetts, however, he told reporters that the claim is false.
Maxwell has said nothing publicly since Epstein’s suicide.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.