Evidence from Jeffrey Epstein's safe 'went missing' after FBI raid, court hears in Ghislaine Maxwell trial

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  • Ghislaine Maxwell
    Ghislaine Maxwell
    Socialite
  • Jeffrey Epstein
    American financier
Ghislaine Maxwell confers with her brother, Kevin, during her trial - Reuters
Ghislaine Maxwell confers with her brother, Kevin, during her trial - Reuters

An FBI special agent testified to a New York court in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex trafficking trial on Monday that evidence “went missing” from Jeffrey Epstein’s New York townhouse while authorities were waiting on a warrant.

Special Agent Kelly Maguire recalled how CDs and other items were recovered by the FBI from a locked safe during an initial search of the Manhattan home on July 6 and July 7, 2019, after Epstein’s arrest on sex assault charges.

The FBI agent said officers broke open the safe with a saw, finding the CDs, jewellery, computer hard drives, "loose diamonds", passports and “large amounts of US currency.”

They took photographs of the items, but left them at the residence as they did not have the warrant to remove them. When they returned four days later, on July 11, they were no longer there.

Agent Maguire, a member of an FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, said she then called Richard Kahn, Epstein’s lawyer who now serves as the executor of the later financier’s estate, to ask what happened to the items.

“Twenty to thirty minutes after the conversation, Richard Kahn came to the residence and brought them items back in two suitcases,” Agent Maguire said.

FBI Special Agent Kelly Maguire testifies as a picture of a massage table belonging to Jeffrey Epstein is shown during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell - Reuters
FBI Special Agent Kelly Maguire testifies as a picture of a massage table belonging to Jeffrey Epstein is shown during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell - Reuters

She could not confirm the content on the returned CDs was the same as the ones that were taken, but confirmed all the items were accounted for.

Boxes of CDs and hard drives were discovered in several rooms in Epstein’s eight-storey Upper East Side apartment in Manhattan, including in a so-called massage room. Some, Agent McGuire testified, had “evidence tape” sealing them. She told the court the tape had not been put there by police.

On the fifth floor, FBI agents also found a shelf full of large black binders. The binders held CDs, carefully categorised in plastic slipcovers and thumbnails with photos on them.

Another FBI agent who took to the stand on the sixth day of Ms Maxwell sex-trafficking trial confirmed one CD contained a photograph of the British socialite and Epstein.

Federal prosecutors previously alluded to the contents of the safe in July, 2019, when they sought to have a judge deny Epstein's bail application later that month.

Epstein's French neoclassical townhouse at 9 East 71st Street is on one of the most fashionable blocks on the Upper East Side. - Dan Callister
Epstein's French neoclassical townhouse at 9 East 71st Street is on one of the most fashionable blocks on the Upper East Side. - Dan Callister

According to reports at the time, a trove of lewd photographs of children was found in the safe at the property.

Court papers said that alongside photos were compact discs with handwritten labels including: “‘Young [Name] + [Name],’ ‘Misc nudes 1,’ and ‘Girl pics nude.”

There was also a passport from a foreign country with a picture of Epstein under another name.

The mansion had 40 rooms and Ms Maguire testified on Monday that it took about 12 hours for her team to fully search.

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