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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Via AP news wire

Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers sue for over $878K in fees

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Ghislaine Maxwell has been sued by her own lawyers for $878,000 over unpaid legal fees.

Denver-based law firm Haddon, Morgan & Foreman helped defend the socialite convicted for helping the financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls.

In a lawsuit filed on Monday, the firm alleged Maxwell put her brother Kevin Maxwell in charge of paying her legal fees after she was arrested in 2020.

In August 2020, the firm notified Mr Maxwell and said it “could no longer represent” his sister.

Mr Maxwell then agreed to personally ensure that there would always be $100,000 in the firm’s trust while the case was underway.

By November that year, the retainer funds ran out and the British socialite owed $141,160 by January 2021.

Mr Maxwell is alleged to have paid only a fraction of what the firm had charged leading up to and during her trial.

The firm said that it would need a $1m retainer payment before the start of the proceedings in Manhattan federal court in December, reported The Denver Post.

Mr Maxwell made occasional payments but failed to restore the retainer to $100,000 and never paid the money that was owed, the suit alleged.

The socialite’s brother urged the firm to keep working on appeal issues after his sister was convicted despite unpaid bills and had blamed Maxwell’s ex-husband Scott Borgerson for getting in the way of making payments.

The suit claims that though Mr Borgerson sold millions worth of property, the firm only received $143,500 from Kevin Maxwell in January — and is still owed $878,302.

“Mr Maxwell breached the agreement by failing to pay for services and advanced costs on behalf of Ms Maxwell,” the lawsuit said.

Two lawyers at the law firm, Laura Menninger and Jeffrey Pagliuca, were part of Maxwell’s legal team during her trial in New York.

In June, a Manhattan district court sentenced Maxwell to 20 years in prison and fined her $750,000 for helping Epstein abuse teenage girls.

The jury found her guilty of recruiting and grooming four girls between 1994 and 2004 for sexual encounters with her former boyfriend Epstein, who took his own life behind bars in 2019 while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial.

Epstein died by suicide at a lower Manhattan jail in August 2019 where he was lodged while awaiting trial.

The firm said it had earlier been concerned over “Ms Maxwell’s willingness and ability to meet her financial obligations,” the suit said.

Additional reporting by agencies

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