A Denver law firm this week sued Ghislaine Maxwell, her brother and her husband in an effort to recover more than $878,000 the firm says it’s owed for its work defending Maxwell in the Jeffrey Epstein criminal conspiracy case in New York.
Haddon, Morgan and Foreman, P.C., filed the lawsuit Monday in Denver District Court, naming Maxwell, her brother, Kevin Maxwell, and Scott Borgerson, identified as her husband in the complaint, as respondents in the case.
On June 29, 2020, Ghislaine Maxwell was indicted on charges in New York alleging her involvement to facilitate the sexual abuse of underage girls by financier Jeffrey Epstein. She retained Haddon, Morgan and Foreman — which previously had represented her in civil matters related to Epstein — to defend her in the criminal matter.
The high-profile Denver firm previously defended Kobe Bryant in his Colorado sexual assault case and represented the parents of JonBenét Ramsey.
A jury in December 2021 convicted Maxwell of sex trafficking, transporting a minor to participate in illegal sex acts and two conspiracy charges. In June, Maxwell, the jet-setting socialite who once consorted with royals, presidents and billionaires, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the infamous case.
Epstein killed himself in 2019 while in custody and awaiting trial.
Maxwell, who remained in custody throughout her criminal case, told Haddon, Morgan and Foreman that her brother, Kevin, “would coordinate the financial aspects of her defense, including paying HMF’s attorneys’ fees and also costs advanced by the firm,” according to the 18-page complaint.
Early in the case, Haddon, Morgan and Foreman became concerned about its role and with “Ms. Maxwell’s willingness and ability to meet her financial obligations,” according to the lawsuit.
On Aug. 11, 2020, Haddon, Morgan and Foreman, through a shareholder, notified Kevin Maxwell that the firm “could no longer represent” his sister.
Two days later, Kevin Maxwell and Haddon, Morgan and Foreman reached an agreement in which “he would personally guarantee and agree to maintain a $100,000 balance in the firm’s client trust account at all times,” according to the lawsuit.
By November 2020, “Ms. Maxwell’s retainer had been exhausted,” according to the complaint. By Jan. 4, 2021, she owed the firm $141,160.
“To keep HMF from withdrawing, Mr. Maxwell made a handful of sporadic payments,” the complaint said. “Despite his promises, however, he never brought Ms. Maxwell’s account current, let alone refreshed the evergreen retainer.”
Maxwell’s criminal trial was set for Dec. 2, 2021.
“In light of Mr. Maxwell’s past failure to honor his commitments, HMF required a trial retainer of $1 million to cover anticipated fees and costs,” the lawsuit said.
On Nov. 5, 2021, a Haddon, Morgan and Foreman shareholder advised Kevin Maxwell that without immediate payment, “the firm could not continue working on the case.”
On Dec. 12, 2021, “the shareholder followed up with Mr. Maxwell, asking for an update on the status of the loan and trial retainer.”
Maxwell told Haddon, Morgan and Foreman that Borgerson “controlled Ms. Maxwell’s money and was responsible for delaying payments to the firm.”
In December 2019, Borgerson had formed an entity in New Hampshire called Granite Realty LLC, and he was its sole member, according to the complaint.
Public records reflect that, in May 2022, Borgerson sold a property, a Boston condominium, for $2.15 million, according to the complaint.
Following Maxwell’s conviction, Borgerson listed an estate in Bradford, Mass., for $7.295 million, “claiming that Ms. Maxwell had no ownership interest in the property.”
On Jan. 3, 2022, Ghislaine Maxwell owed Haddon, Morgan and Foreman $956,671 in fees and advanced costs, according to the lawsuit. Ten days later, Kevin Maxwell paid the law firm $143,500. Kevin Maxwell made no further payments, the complaint said.
As of June 27, 2022, Maxwell’s unpaid balance was $878,302, not including interest, according to the lawsuit.
“Mr. Maxwell breached the agreement by failing to pay for services and advanced costs on behalf of Ms. Maxwell,” the lawsuit alleges.
Kevin Maxwell made “false representations” to the firm about “timing of payment, supposed loans, financing agreements and liquidity that were later proven to be untrue,” the complaint said. Borgerson “wrongfully encumbered Ms. Maxwell’s assets, joint material assets, and/or assets committed to fund her defense, impairing her ability to perform her obligations under the Fee Agreement.”
Haddon, Morgan and Foreman seeks to recover the due amount, contractual interest and costs of collection.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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