Aerial view of the home of Ghislaine Maxwell in Bradford, New Hampshire.
Ghislaine Maxwell, the accused procurer for dead convicted sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested Thursday at a New Hampshire home purchased in an all-cash transaction for $1 million last December by a “legal entity.”
That entity, a limited liability corporation, was created after the homeowner’s real estate agent balked at selling to an anonymous buyer, the agent told CNBC.
“I assumed it was a famous actress” who bought the secluded property, the seller’s agent said in a phone interview.
The agent spoke within hours of learning from another real estate agent that British socialite Maxwell was busted by the FBI at the 156-acre property in Bradford, New Hampshire, at around 8:30 a.m. ET.
A large boulder on the property is carved with the words “Tuckedaway.”
“Never met her, never saw her,” said the agent, who requested anonymity because she did not want her name associated with Maxwell and the Epstein case.
Ghislaine Maxwell attends VIP Evening of Conversation for Women’s Brain Health Initiative, Moderated by Tina Brown at Spring Studios on October 18, 2016 in New York City.
Sylvain Gaboury | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images
Authorities said Thursday that Maxwell was caught at a 156-acre property in that town, where land records list just one lot of that size, on East Washington Road.
“The defendant appears to have been hiding on a 156-acre property acquired in an all-cash purchase in December 2019 (through a carefully anonymized LLC) in Bradford, New Hampshire, an area to which she has no other known connections,” said a court filing by Manhattan federal prosecutors. An LLC is a limited liability corporation.
Other records show the buyer was Granite Reality LLC, whose listed manager is a Boston lawyer named Jeffrey Roberts.
Roberts did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The web site of his firm, Nutter McClennen & Fish, says that Roberts “chairs Nutter’s Private Client Department and serves as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.”
“His broad-based practice consists of estate planning for high net worth individuals,” among other areas, according to the web site. Nutter, whose spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment, is located at the same Boston address as the mailing address of the LLC that bought the property.
William Sweeney, the assistant director of the FBI in charge of the New York Field Office, said of Maxwell, “She slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims continue to live with the trauma inflicted on them years earlier.”
Maxwell’s criminal defense lawyer, Lawrence Vogelman, declined to comment when CNBC when asked if she was the actual buyer of the property.
The property was featured by WMUR-9 in May 2019 in an article titled “Mansion Monday: Peace, quiet and breathtaking views in Bradford,” which says: “this custom-built timber frame home in Bradford is one where you can truly get away from it all.”
The main residence has “four bedrooms, three full bathrooms and one half-bath,” according to WMUR, which called the home “an amazing retreat for the nature lover who also wants total privacy.”
“From every room, there are views of the Mt. Sunapee foothills to the west,” the article said.
Maxwell, 58, appeared in New Hampshire federal court hours after her arrest to begin facing charges of conspiring with the now-dead Epstein in the mid-1990s to sexually abuse underage girls, as well as on two counts of perjury.
The daughter of crooked media mogul Robert Maxwell is accused of helping Epstein recruit and groom girls as young as 14 to satisfy his sexual obsessions, and of participating in the alleged abuse at times herself.
The charges were filed in Manhattan federal court by the same prosecutors’ office that had Epstein arrested last July on child sex trafficking charges related to alleged conduct from 2002 through 2005.
At Thursday’s hearing in New Hampshire, a magistrate judge granted Maxwell her request to be sent to Manhattan, in the custody of U.S. marshals, for a detention hearing that will decide whether she can be released on bail.
Epstein, a wealthy investor who was a former friend of Prince Andrew and of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton hanged himself in a Manhattan federal jail last August after being denied bail.
Until last December, the property where Maxwell was arrested was owned by a lawyer.
The lawyer’s real estate agent said the property features an “absolutely gorgeous home. It had a main house and a guest house.”
The words “Tucked Away” sit at the end of a driveway to the property where Ghislaine Maxwell may have been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Bradford, New Hampshire, U.S., July 2, 2020.
Brian Snyder | Reuters
When it went on sale, the agent was contacted by representatives of a would-be buyer, who wanted to purchase the residence and land without disclosing their identity.
“At first they didn’t want to tell me their names,” the agent said of the buyer’s representatives, who wanted to use a “totally fictitious name” for the purchaser on sales records.
When the agent objected to selling to an anonymous person, a legal entity was created by the buyer, the agent said.
“We checked out that it was a legal entity,” said the agent, adding that it is not uncommon for purchases to be either trusts or limited liability corporations created for that purpose.
The agent also noted that the buyer “wanted a quick closing.”
At the closing of the sale, the buyer did not appear, but had a representative handle the transaction, according to the agent, who assumed that representative was a lawyer.
Prosecutors on Thursday formally asked that Maxwell be kept locked up without bail.
Maxwell is an “extreme flight risk,” who faces the prospect of serving “many years in prison,” prosecutors said in a motion filed in advance of her appearance in New Hampshire federal court.
They also noted that she has extensive international connections, citizenship in two foreign countries, three passports and large sums of money, prosecutors wrote in court filing.
The New Hampshire hearing did not address the bail question. That will be decided by a federal judge in Manhattan, where a hearing for Maxwell has yet to be set.