Ghislaine Maxwell used Jeffrey Epstein cash to buy helicopter, court told

Socialite received tens of millions of dollars from paedophile financier, sex-trafficking trial is told

Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell

12/7/2021 6:05:00 AM

Socialite received tens of millions of dollars from paedophile financier, sex-trafficking trial is told

Socialite received tens of millions of dollars from paedophile financier, sex-trafficking trial is told

Bank statements shown for the first time detailed wire transfers of $18.3 million in 1999, $5 million in 2002 and $7.4 million in 2007, in evidence that offered an extraordinary insight into how the heiress financed her lifestyle.The prosecution hopes that the vast sums of money - still only a fraction of Epstein's estimated $630 million fortune - can show that Ms Maxwell was close to Epstein and his crimes.

The transfers show Epstein, the late financier, cashing out shares and wiring to accounts in the name of both Ms Maxwell and "Air Ghislaine Inc". The latter payment, in June 2007, came from an account linked to Epstein in the US Virgin Islands and was transferred from Ms Maxwell's personal account with JP Morgan to a company called Air Ghislaine Inc. That company purchased a green Sikorsky S-76C helicopter and downpayment on an "executive finish".

Ms Maxwell, 59, who has spent the past 15 months in a federal prison in Brooklyn, offered some $28 million in bond last year in an attempt to secure her release ahead of her sex-trafficking trial. She has also set aside $7 million for her legal defence.

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The revelations help explain some part of Ms Maxwell's vast wealth, which was previously a mystery.The evidence of financial links came after the court heard how Ms Maxwell asked a British teenage girl if she "had fun" after emerging from a "sexualised massage" with Jeffrey Epstein at the socialite's London flat.

A witness, who was permitted to testify under the pseudonym "Kate" to protect her identity, claimed she was asked by Ms Maxwell to help please her then-boyfriend, Epstein, and on one occasion pressured her to wear a schoolgirl outfit that he liked.

Because Kate was over the age of consent in Britain at the time, Judge Alison Nathan instructed the New York jury that any sexual encounters she described were not "illegal acts" and they could not reach their verdict based on Kate's testimony alone.

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Still, prosecutors could use her testimony to corroborate patterns in Epstein's and Ms Maxwell's behaviour that others describe, including that Ms Maxwell's doting on girls was a means of "grooming" them for Epstein's abuse. The 59-year-old has pleaded not guilty.

Kate, who is now in her 40s and working as a musical therapist in California, spoke in a crisp London accent as she recalled how Ms Maxwell introduced her to Epstein when she was 17.Kate testified that she met Ms Maxwell in 1994 in Paris through Kate's older boyfriend and found her to be "very sophisticated, very elegant, very impressive".

She gave Ms Maxwell her phone number, and when they were both back in London a few weeks later, Ms Maxwell called and invited her to tea at her flat. Kate said Ms Maxwell told her about Epstein, saying he was a "philanthropist that liked to help young people" and that he would "love her".

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The next time Kate visited the townhouse she was introduced to the financier, who was "in sweatpants and a hoodie", and Ms Maxwell encouraged her to massage his feet and shoulders.On the second meeting a few weeks later, Kate claimed Ms Maxwell led her upstairs to what she described as a massage room where Epstein got on to a table and disrobed. Ms Maxwell stood in the doorway before closing the door.

After Kate emerged from the room sometime later, Ms Maxwell asked her "how did it go? Did you have fun? Was it good?" Kate recalled.

Read more: The Telegraph »

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