Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers sue her family for $850,000 in unpaid legal fees and accuse her relatives of hiding her multi-million dollar fortune

  • Legal firm Haddon, Morgan & Foreman (HMF) represented Maxwell at her trial
  • However, they claim that they were refused the full amount for their services
  • By the time her trial ended with her being found guilty of sex trafficking, the Colorado-based firm was owed $950,000 by the Maxwell family
  • They said her brother Kevin Maxwell paid them some of this, but was evasive
  • Firm also says Maxwell’s estranged husband Scott Borgerson helped to hide her assets, concealing her true wealth from the firm. He is also being sued by HMF 

Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial lawyers are suing for $850,000 in unpaid legal fees, and have accused some of her relatives of hiding her multi-million dollar fortune.

Maxwell’s former attorneys at legal firm Haddon, Morgan & Foreman (HMF) have alleged that members of Maxwell’s family racked up bills and conspired to hide her true wealth from them as they worked – unsuccessfully – to defend her.

Lawyers at the firm filed a civil suit against the disgraced British sex trafficker – who at the end of 2021 was convicted on five out of six counts – as well as her brother Kevin and her estranged husband Scott Borgerson, according to the court papers.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted after the FBI brought charges against her of enticement of minors and sex trafficking of underage girls, related to her association with the late pedophile Jeffery Epstein. She was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.

She is currently serving her sentence at a low-security prison in Tallahassee, Florida.

To add to her woes, lawyers the small Colorado-based firm HMF – who say they represented Maxwell in lawsuits brought by victims of her former boyfriend Epstein dating back to 2017 – are now suing her family for $850,000.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial lawyers are suing her family for $850,000 in unpaid legal fees, and accuse them of hiding her multi-million dollar fortune. Pictured: Maxwell is seen with convicted pedophile Jeffery Epstein, who died in in 2019

HMF says it was told Kevin Maxwell would be handling the payment for their legal services to his younger sister. 

However, in their August 22 filing, the lawyers say they soon ‘developed concerns about Ms Maxwell’s willingness and ability to meet her financial obligations.’

‘Based on developments during the first few weeks of the engagement, HMF developed concerns regarding the representation, including HMF’s role in the case and Ms. Maxwell’s willingness and ability to meet her financial obligations,’ the court filing – which was found by Australian podcaster Jen Tarran – says.

The lawyers claim they requested a $250,000 retainer before the trial began, soon after she was arrested in 2020 by the FBI. Half of this amount was paid quickly, HMF says, and the firm emailed Kevin Maxwell for updates about the outstanding amount.

He ignored the emails, HMF says in its court filing to a court in Denver, and in 2021 he fell further behind on payments to the law firm. The lawyers say Kevin Maxwell instead made ‘a handful of sporadic payments’.

With Ghislaine Maxwell’s November 2021 trial drawing closer, HMF says it asked for a larger $1million retainer, which was also not paid, and on November 5 the lawyers threatened to end their representation of her.

Lawyers at the firm filed a civil suit against the disgraced British sex trafficker – who at the end of 2021 was convicted on five out of six counts – as well as her brother Kevin and her estranged husband Scott Borgerson, according to The Telegraph. Pictured: Maxwell listens to her sentencing from Judge Alison Nathan in a courtroom sketch in New York City, June 28, 2022

Kevin Maxwell responded by reiterating ‘the commitment we as a family have made to honor the fees due and requested by you both in good faith and as a binding commitment’, the filing claims. He said he ‘sincerely hoped’ the law firm would not reduce its staffing during the ‘critical period’ of his sister’s case.

The filing adds: ‘HMF, relying on Mr. Maxwell’s commitment, continued to devote all necessary resources to Ms. Maxwell’s defense’. However, on two more occasions, the firm raised concerns with Kevin Maxwell, and he again said he would pay.

‘In reality, Mr. Maxwell had no present intention of doing so,’ HMF writes.

The law firm says that it was repeatedly told by Kevin Maxwell that his sister’s ex-husband Scott Borgerson was in control of her assets, and that it was his fault the payments for their services were being delayed.

In its filing, HMF claims Borgerson set up two limited liability companies and used Maxwell’s fortune to buy two condos in Boston, as well as other properties  in Massachusetts and New Hampshire – to shelter Ghislaine’s wealth.

Prosecutors in Maxwell’s trial said she had the ability to ‘hide her true wealth,’ pointing to the fact that just after her 2016 marriage to Borgerson, Maxwell had transferred most of her $20.2million worth of assets over to a trust he controlled.

By the time the trial ended in December 2021, Maxwell had racked up $950,000 worth of overdue legal fees to HMF. Kevin Maxwell paid $143,500 to the firm in mid-January this year, but the lawyers say the rest is still yet to be paid.

‘On January 14, 2022, Mr. Maxwell falsely assured the firm that he would bring it current no later than February 28, 2022,’ the filing says.

‘In reality, Mr. Maxwell would never again make a payment to HMF toward Ms. Maxwell’s balance—which still exceeded $850,000.’ Later, the filing adds: ‘HMF has been damaged as a result of Mr Maxwell’s fraud in an amount to be proved at trial.’

Lawyers at HMF are also suing Borgerson for ‘wrongfully encumbering Ms Maxwell’s assets, joint marital assets, and/or assets committed to fund her defense, impairing her ability to perform her obligations.’ They say he and Maxwell ‘shared the motive of protecting those assets from creditors including HMF.

‘HMF is therefore entitled to a judgment for one and one-half the value of the assets transferred or one-and-one half the amount necessary to satisfy its claim against Ms. Maxwell, whichever is less,’ the filing says.

Kevin Maxwell arrives at the federal courthouse where Ghislaine Maxwell was on trial for sex trafficking, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, in New York. In their August 22 filing, the lawyers say they soon ‘developed concerns about Ms Maxwell’s willingness and ability to meet her financial obligations.’

In July, Maxwell was sentenced to serve time in a low security Danbury, Connecticut prison for sex trafficking young girls. She has since been moved to Tallahassee.

She was convicted on federal sex trafficking charges last December, following a trial that lasted nearly a month. 

Finally, after five days of deliberations, the jury found her guilty on five of the six charges against her – including one for luring underage girls to engage in sex acts with Epstein. 

Then on June 28, Judge Alison Nathan handed down the 240-month sentence followed by five years supervised release after calling Maxwell’s crimes ‘heinous and predatory.’

She also imposed a fine of $750,000, noting Maxwell had received a $10million bequest from Epstein after his death.

‘Ms. Maxwell worked with Epstein to select young victims who were vulnerable and played a pivotal role in facilitating sexual abuse,’ Judge Nathan said at the time, making it clear the case called for a ‘very significant sentence’ that sent an ‘unmistakable message’ that such crimes would be punished. 

MailOnline has been unable to contact Kevin Maxwell at this time but he is likely defend any legal action. 

Ghislaine Maxwell guilty on five of six charges – including the most serious

Four women testified against Ghislaine Maxwell: ‘Jane’, Carolyn, Kate, and Annie Farmer – the only one to use her real, full name.

All four alleged that Maxwell played a vital role in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking scheme. Some of the counts related to one of the women, and others brought in all four. 

COUNT ONE – Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts

GUILTY, maximum sentence of five years.

Maxwell was accused of coercing girls to travel from Florida to New York, between 1994 and 1997, to engage in sex acts with Epstein.

COUNT TWO – Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sex acts

NOT GUILTY, maximum sentence of five years.

This was only connected to ‘Jane’, and detailed her being encouraged to travel to have sex with Epstein.

COUNT THREE – Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity

GUILTY, maximum sentence of five years.

This charge says that between 2001 and 2004, Maxwell recruited, enticed and transported other girls to engage in at least one commercial sex act with Epstein.

COUNT FOUR – Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity

GUILTY, maximum sentence of 10 years. 

This count applied only to ‘Jane’.

COUNT FIVE – Conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors

GUILTY, maximum sentence of five years.

COUNT SIX – Sex trafficking of minors

GUILTY, maximum sentence of 40 years.

Sex trafficking applies to anyone who ‘knowingly in or affecting interstate commerce, recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains, by any means a person … knowing that … the person has not attained the age of eighteen years and will be caused to engage in a commercial sex act,’ according to the jury instructions.  

This charge solely relates to Carolyn between 2001 and 2004.

Using only her first name, Carolyn testified that she was 14 years old when she began to go to Epstein’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, two or three times per week in the early 2000s.

There, she engaged in sexualized massages with Epstein that Maxwell helped facilitate, Carolyn said.

Each time she visited, $300 in cash was left for her on the bathroom sink, she said. She estimated that she went over 100 times in all.

Ghislaine Maxwell: How the British socialite’s trial unfolded and led to her being sentenced to 20 years in prison

After Jeffery Epstein hanged himself while awaiting trial in 2019, attention turned to his long-time associate and ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell who was arrested a year later and found guilty in December following her sensational trial.

Four women gave evidence against Maxwell during her weeks-long trial: a victim known as ‘Jane’, Annie Farmer, Kate and another woman called Carolyn.

Over three weeks, the jury heard how Maxwell ‘served up’ underage girls for Epstein and relished her role as the ‘Lady of the House’ at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.

Between 1994 and 2004, lawyers argued Maxwell was Epstein’s ‘right hand’ and paid $200 for sexualized massages or even took part in the abuse.

The victims, some as young as 14, were given a similar amount of money if they brought friends to Epstein, the jury was told.

During the trial, prosecutors called 24 witnesses to give jurors a picture of life inside Epstein’s homes – a subject of public fascination and speculation ever since his 2006 arrest in Florida in a child sex case. 

A housekeeper testified he was expected to be ‘blind, deaf and dumb’ about the private lives of Epstein, a financier who cultivated friendships with influential politicians and business tycoons.

Pilots took the witness stand and dropped the names of luminaries – Britain’s Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump – who flew on Epstein’s private jets.

Jurors also saw physical evidence like a folding massage table once used by Epstein and a ‘black book’ that listed contact information for some of the victims under the heading ‘massages’.

There were bank records showing he had transferred $30.7 million to Maxwell.

Additionally, prosecutors produced a 58-page household manual covering every single aspect of running the house in Palm Beach that they indicated Maxwell had written. There were dozens of checklists for each area of the house, instructions on when to replace the toothpaste and what brands of creams to buy.

One instruction to all household staff that was seized on by the prosecution read: ‘You see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing’.

Maxwell said in court prior to her sentencing that Epstein ‘fooled all of those in his orbit’

Sarah Ransome, a former model from South Africa, shared photos of herself in a hospital bed after she tried to kill herself – one from 2008 and another in 2018 when Epstein was under investigation

But the core of the prosecution was the testimony of four women who said they were victimized by Maxwell and Epstein at young ages.

Three testified using first names or pseudonyms to protect their privacy: Jane, a television actress; Kate, a former model from Great Britain; and Carolyn, now a mom recovering from drug addiction.

The fourth was Farmer, who chose to use her real name after being vocal about her allegations in recent years.

The most gut wrenching, though, was Carolyn who testified that she was one of several underprivileged teens who lived near Epstein’s Florida home in the early 2000s and took up an offer to give massages in exchange for $100 bills.

Maxwell made all the arrangements, Carolyn told the jury, even though she knew the girl was only 14 at the time.

Jane said in 1994, when she was only 14, she was instructed to follow Epstein into a pool house at the Palm Beach estate, where he masturbated on her.

Jane, meanwhile, told the jury: ‘I was frozen in fear’, adding that the assault was the first time she had ever seen a penis. She also directly accused Maxwell of participating in her abuse.

Maxwell’s lawyer asked Jane why it had taken so long to come forward.

She responded: ‘I was scared. I was embarrassed, ashamed. I didn’t want anybody to know any of this about me’.

Maxwell was accused of trafficking and recruiting young girls for Epstein to sexually exploit

Kate also said she was recruited by Maxwell in London in 1994 when she was 17 and described in vivid detail how she invited her round for tea and then asked her back to give Epstein a massage.

In chilling testimony Kate described how Maxwell closed the door behind her as a naked Epstein lay on a massage table in front of her. After one such encounter Maxwell told her: ‘Did you have fun? Was it good?’

Farmer described how she was lured to Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico at the age of 16 with the promise there would be dozens of other bright students that he wanted to help.

Instead it was just her and Maxwell proceeded to massage her breasts before Epstein got into bed with her.

Summing up her experience, Farmer said: ‘I think this was all a pattern of them working on confusing my boundaries and making me question myself about what was right and what was not right with the ultimate goal of sexually abusing me’.

Jurors deliberated for five full days before finding Maxwell guilty of five of six counts.

In court Maxwell often hugged her lawyers appeared in good health despite claims from her lawyers she had been losing weight and losing hair due to the grim conditions in prison pre-trial.

She declined to testify, telling the court: ‘You honor, the government has not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt so there is no reason to testify’.

Maxwell’s fall from grace is all the more astonishing given her background as a wealthy socialite and the daughter of Robert Maxwell, the late newspaper tycoon who fell off his yacht in the Canary Islands in 1991 in mysterious circumstances.

Her lawyers tried to argue that Robert Maxwell’s abusive behavior around his children made Maxwell ‘vulnerable’ when she met Epstein around the time of her father’s death.

She appears to have replaced one controlling, manipulative father with a nearly identical man – Epstein – who she dated before becoming the boss of his sex trafficking organization.

Maxwell had grown up a British socialite, the daughter of publishing baron Robert Maxwell. Her lawyers have claimed that his sudden death in 1991 made her susceptible to becoming exploited by Epstein

The true number of Epstein’s victims may never be known but the fund set up to pay compensation to them paid out $121million to 150 women around the world.

Most of the victim impact statements were released ahead of sentencing and they were blistering in their condemnation of Maxwell.

They included Virginia Roberts, who earlier this year settled a lawsuit with Prince Andrew for a reported $12m over claims that she was forced to have sex with him three times when she was 17.

According to Roberts, Maxwell recruited her when she was 16 at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

In her victim impact statement reads that Maxwell and Epstein did ‘unthinkable things’ to her.

The statement says: ‘Without question, Jeffrey Epstein was a terrible pedophile.

‘But I never would have met Jeffrey Epstein if not for you. For me, and for so many others, you opened the door to hell. And then, Ghislaine, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, you used your femininity to betray us, and you led us all through it.

‘Ghislaine, you deserve to spend the rest of your life in a jail cell. You deserve to be trapped in a cage forever, just like you trapped your victims.’

Farmer’s victim impact statement reads: ‘I remember sitting at my desk in a Houston hospital physically shaking after seeing the photo of Maxwell with Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew because it became clear to me how their scheme had continued’. 

Sarah Ransome, a former model from South Africa who grew up in Scotland, said that Maxwell and Epstein turned her into ‘nothing more than a sex toy with a heartbeat’.

While trying to escape from Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean she tried to jump off a cliff but was found by Maxwell before she could.

Ransome wrote: ‘Maxwell was his right hand woman. She was the Five Star General of several recruiters and many others who provided the means and cover for Epstein’s predation.

‘Epstein and Maxwell were masters at finding young, vulnerable girls and young women to exploit. Like Hotel California, you could blindly check into the Epstein-Maxwell dungeon of sexual hell but you could never leave. Jeffrey and Ghislaine made sure of that’.

The sentencing was delayed after Maxwell’s lawyers raised questions over comments by one of her jurors, Scotty David.

He said that he did not disclose his past history of sexual abuse when filing out his jury questionnaire.

David was recalled to the court by judge Nathan for a hearing where she interrogated him and later ruled his nondisclosure had been an unintentional error. 

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