The bureau is investigating Maxwell and several people who were linked to the disgraced financier, law enforcement sources told the Reuters news agency on Friday.
They said a principal focus of the investigation is Maxwell and “people who facilitated” Epstein’s alleged crimes. The report said that the investigation remains at an early stage.
Maxwell hasn’t been accused of any criminal wrongdoing, and her lawyers didn’t respond for comment.
Over the years, Epstein was accused of sexually assaulting numerous minor girls. Some of his accusers claimed Maxwell groomed some of the victims.
Virginia Giuffre, one of the alleged victims, stated in a civil lawsuit that Maxwell recruited her into Epstein’s scheme. She alleged that Epstein sexually exploited her when she was a minor.
Maxwell, 57, has denied such claims and filed a defamation lawsuit against Giuffre in 2015, Reuters noted.
When he was arrested by authorities in July on new sex trafficking charges, Epstein entered a not guilty plea, but he was jailed without bond in Manhattan.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in August that he would continue investigating anyone who worked with Epstein after he died.
“Any co-conspirators should not rest easy,” he said at the time.
The whereabouts of Maxwell are reportedly currently not known. She’s the daughter of British publisher and fraudster Robert Maxwell, and after his death in 1991, she moved to New York and emerged as Epstein’s girlfriend for a number of years.
Since Epstein’s death in August, there has been intense speculation that he didn’t kill himself by hanging, which is his official cause and manner of death as reported by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office. The controversy has spawned a viral meme.
Dr. Michael Baden, who was the city’s chief medical examiner in the 1970s, said that the autopsy “points towards homicide rather than suicide.”
In an interview last weekend with AM 970’s “The Cats Roundtable,” Baden stated, “Mark, the brother, his concern is that he wants to know if it’s suicide, or if it’s homicide.”
“Because, if it’s homicide, then his life may also be in danger,” Baden added. “The homicide would be because his brother knew too much and whoever did it to his brother might then think that he knows too much even though his life was entirely different than his brother’s.”
Mark Epstein called him on the day his brother died, the doctor said, and the “family is still waiting for more information” months after his death.