By Paul Serran
When Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested and indicted as a alleged sex trafficker and perjurer, the DOJ SDNY prosecutors in the case made a shocking revelation: Maxwell’s indicated to them that she was married – but would not divulge the identity of her spouse.
“In addition to failing to describe in any way the absence of proposed co-signers of a bond, the defendant also makes no mention whatsoever about the financial circumstances or assets of her spouse whose identity she declined to provide to pretrial services,” assistant US attorney Alison Moe told Judge Alison Nathan.
All eyes immediately turned to Scott Borgerson, CEO of a maritime data and investments company called CargoMetrics, and a former fellow in residence at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Borgerson has denied dating Ms. Maxwell, stating that he never even knew where she was. To no avail. In the process, his life, his business and even his family entered the minefield of the media frenzy surrounding all things Epstein.
This is unfortunate, and possibly unwarranted.
Maybe it’s just guilt by association. Maybe there is something more to it. After all, he has been allegedly much more involved than he admits, since he was reportedly tied to the LLC firm that bought the house where Maxwell was arrested.
While Ghislaine Maxwell was fighting allegations of sex-trafficking, there was a new man in her life, who surfaced in her effort to rebrand herself “from jet-setting cosmopolitan to oceanic conservationist“.
In 2010, Borgerson founded CargoMetrics, a “maritime innovation company” that uses data systems to study shipping patterns, from which the company determines what goods are being sent where and in what quantities and then bases investment decisions on the results.
Maxwell, in 2012, founded the TerraMar Project, “an opaque organization that had no offices and gave no grants to other organizations”.
The great accomplishment of the TerraMar Project was to help Maxwell maintain some measure of social capital for herself, by posing as (or really becoming) someone in the Ocean preservation scene.
According to British tabloids, it was in 2014, in Reykjavik, that Ghislaine Maxwell made the acquaintance of Scott Borgerson. By associating herself with CEO and Arctic researcher Borgerson, she added to her credibility.
He was thought of as an expert “on the , having written numerous published articles on the subject.
But she was also very interested in him, stating over and over again how “hot” and “brilliant” he was, and describing him as a “Navy SEAL,” though he was actually a former Coast Guard officer.
In 2016, Maxwell reportedly began sharing the 6,000-square-foot, five-bedroom home in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, with Borgerson.
She had just sold her townhouse on the Upper East Side of NY for about $15 million in 2016 – the same year she settled in civil court with two of Epstein’s sexual exploitation victims.
After obtaining a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy in 2003, Scott Borgerson graduated from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 2006 with a PhD in International Relations. He also has a bachelor’s in government from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
CargoMetrics, a start-up investment firm, is not a typical money manager or hedge fund. Originally set up to supply information on cargo shipping to commodities traders, now it links satellite signals, historical shipping data, and proprietary analytics for its own trading in commodities, currencies and equity index futures.
In theory, it’s a very sound idea: in this era of globalization, 50,000 ships carry 90 percent of the $18.5 trillion in annual world trade.
CargoMetrics’ backers include Blackstone Alternative Asset Management (BAAM), the world’s largest hedge fund allocator, and seven wealthy tech and business leaders.
Borgerson has kept the firm in stealth mode for years. From 2011 to 2014, CargoMetrics was hidden in a back alley, above a restaurant. Now that he’s running an investment firm, Borgerson declines to name his investors unless they are willing to be identified.
“My vision is to map historically and in real-time what’s really going on in economic supply and demand across the planet,” He calls his firm “a new breed of quantitative investment manager”.
He secretly and painstakingly built “a firm heavy in Ph.D.s that can manage a massive database of historical shipping records, conduct trillions of calculations on hundreds of computer servers, and systematically execute trades in 28 different commodities and currencies“.
Borgerson “declines to provide any specifics about CargoMetrics’ portfolio”.
CargoMetrics pay satellite companies for access to the signals captured from cargo ships 500 miles above the water. They use historical data to identify cargo and apply analysis of financial market correlations to identify buying and selling opportunities.
By 2009, he had been turned down by 17 Venture Capitalists, was maxed out on his credit card, was married and had a newborn son,” says his mentor, Randy Beardsworth.
In 2010, Boston-based Ascent Venture Partners gave the start-up the capital it needed to hire data scientists and build an analytics platform, that it could sell to commodity-trading houses and other commercial users.
New investments followed, and by 2011 Borgerson had already begun to contemplate converting CargoMetrics from an information provider into a money manager; a “transformative moment”.
“The military trains you to be a strategic thinker,” a friend and associate explains. “Scott had been tactical until then, making small pivots, and like a general who sees the theater of war, he moved into strategic mode.”
He always had a fierce determination to best the “Wall Street bunch” at their own game.
“There’s a lot that motivates me, including — if I’m honest — I have a big chip on my shoulder to beat the prep school, Ivy League, MBA crowd,” he says. “They’re bred to make money, but they’re not smarter than everyone else; they just have more patina and connections.”
Impressed by Borgerson’s “intellectual honesty, vigor and more than four years of historical data,” Charles Freifeld brought the idea to “a billionaire third-party investor”, who took his advice and became one of CargoMetrics’ largest backers.
“I would not have suggested the investment if CargoMetrics had not done the hard part first,” adds Freifeld, declining to name the investor.
2012 gave the CargoMetrics team its first taste of real Wall Street trading. Attending an Arctic conference in Alaska, Borgerson met the CIO of a large investment firm, whom he declines to name.
The “mystery CIO” suggested CargoMetrics provide the analytical models for a separate portfolio the money manager would trade. So, Live trading using CargoMetrics’ models began for earnest in December 2012.
Borgerson operates in stealth mode since CargoMetrics’ early days, but he is open to boast his team: astrophysicists, mathematicians, former hedge fund quants, electrical engineers, a trade lawyer and software developers.
He was proud that they were “all self-made people; none were born with a silver spoon.” And yet, he was allegedly to fall for an older, infamous woman that represented this very same caste of multi-generational wealth he so detested.
To raise money, hire employees with different skill sets, dealing with legal and regulatory hurdles — would he do it again?
“I’ve sailed ships through tropical storms, captured cocaine smugglers and testified before Congress,” he says, “but this was the hardest.”
We can only hope, for his sake, that an even harder chapter of his life is not beginning.
Maxwell’s old friends were surprised to read in reports of court proceedings earlier this summer that she had gotten married. It remains possible either that she was not telling the truth or that her spouse is someone other than Mr. Borgerson.
It’s strange that no records of a marriage have been found, but the ceremony could have taken place abroad, or maybe the paperwork was delayed by the pandemic.
But there’s this fact: “a person facing the prospect of a criminal indictment may have reasons other than love for to get married.”
“Spousal privilege can prevent prosecutors from compelling a husband to testify against his wife”. Also, “it makes moving money around much easier.”
If Maxwell pleads guilty to any crimes or gets convicted of sex trafficking, she will have to deal with numerous civil suits from victims.
“Not only does it mean the civil cases likely ramp up, but new ones likely emerge, because there’s blood in the water,” attorney Mr. Chabrowe told the NYT. “Epstein is gone, so they’re going for her.”
Borgerson left his wife, Rebecca, for Ghislaine, in 2014, a source close to the family said – and she moved to his seaside mansion, under the radar.
“How could you throw all that away, those wonderful children and wife, for a woman who is 14 years older and allegedly has a role in this whole Epstein business?” the source asked the Daily Mail.
“Rebecca and Scott seemed like a really nice couple. But as time went on, he was very preoccupied and would be on his cell phone a lot, presumably on business calls. He was away a lot for work.”
The marriage ended in 2014. Divorce records contain Rebecca’s accusations of his being physically violent, abusive, ‘extremely controlling’ and having an alcohol problem. Borgerson once allegedly threatened to her: “Don’t make me beat you in front of the children“
Not coincidentally, Borgerson reportedly met Maxwell when they both spoke at the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik in 2014, on the subject of ocean preservation, about which they share a passion.
“Everyone who knows Rebecca knows that Scott and Ghislaine are together. He is in love with money and power and that is why he is drawn to her,” a source close to the family has disclosed last year.
“He seems like a really nice guy when you meet him and talk to him. He’s very bright, very brilliant but he has a serious narcissistic personality disorder.”
Borgerson eventually told his wife Rebecca he was going to London on business and he would send videos. “Rebecca watched a video of him and although he said he was going to be in London, he was actually in Miami with Ghislaine,” the source said.
“Rebecca was sitting there with her two young children watching this video of Scott and Ghislaine hugging and kissing. Rebecca was devastated. Things quickly fell apart after that.”
Borgerson reportedly attacked Rebecca on June 15, 2014 and was charged with assault and domestic battery, according to court papers, who also show she obtained a restraining order against her estranged husband, which was later thrown out.
His behavior allegedly took a toll on his daughter and son, but some of the allegations are too detrimental to present here at this juncture. It does not seem fair.
Unlike so many of the people in the Maxwell orbit, Scott Borgerson still believably deserves the presumption of innocence, since he has not been accused of anything.
It could well be just a case of guilt by association. It could be something else.
Joint statement from Rebecca and Scott Borgerson: “Together over the past several years, our family has worked hard to achieve healing and redemption. Our relationship today is strong, loving and focused on the health and happiness of our young children.”
“We are deeply dismayed that a private and painful chapter in our past is being aired publicly and without context.”
After Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest and subsequent death in prison, it has been reported that Maxwell had been living with Borgerson at his $3 million secluded oceanfront mansion in Manchester-by-the-Sea since 2016.
She was afraid to leave the home, as the media heightened the focus on Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators.
“Before all the publicity around Epstein, it was a safe place for her to be. Scott is there on the weekends, he has a housekeeper. No security people but plenty of cameras.”
The Manchester community was not aware of Ghislaine’s connection to Epstein until the news of his arrest in early July hit, and her picture starting appearing in the papers all the time. The enormous interest led reporters to Borgerson, who reprimanded them “for peddling gossip”.
In December 2019, prosecutors say, Maxwell used an anonymous L.L.C. called Granite Realty to buy the ‘Tuckedaway’ mansion in Bedford, N.H., where she was eventually arrested, in a $1.07 million all-cash deal.
It was not gossip, as prosecutors have shown this LLC to be connected directly to Scott Borgerson.
The house is about an hour away from the home she shared with Mr. Borgerson, and within driving distance from the NYSD prosecutors.
Since Epstein was found dead in jail, last August, Maxwell is reported to have moved 36 times, out of fear for her safety.
Credible Death threats arrived by social media, email, phone, text, and postal service.
It began in earnest with Epstein’s arrest, multiplied with his death, and accelerated in the months that followed. They soon became a routine part of her life.
She hired a professional security firm, with operatives that are veterans of intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
“Where in the world was Ghislaine Maxwell? Everyone, it seemed, had a theory, each wilder than the last. She was said to be hiding deep beneath the sea in a submarine, which she was licensed to pilot. Or she was lying low in Israel, under the protection of the Mossad, the powerful intelligence agency with whom her late father supposedly tangled. Or she was in the FBI witness protection program, or ensconced in luxury in a villa in the South of France, or sunning herself naked on the coast of Spain, or holed up in a high-security doomsday bunker belonging to rich and powerful friends whose lives might implode should Maxwell ever reveal what she knows—all the dirty secrets of the dirty world that she and Epstein shared.”
(Vanity Fair – Jul 3, 2020)
In late 2019, Maxwell shut down her ocean charity, the TerraMar Project.
Meanwhile, Scott Borgerson was distancing himself from the case. “I’m traveling abroad for business. Ghislaine Maxwell is not at my home and I don’t know where she is.”
[This has been reportedly demonstrated to be a lie since he is connected to the LLC that bought “in an all-cash deal” the house where she hid.]
What he didn’t indicate was whether or not Maxwell had been at his home previously.
When it surfaced that Ghislaine Maxwell had been with someone who is a money manager – like Epstein pretended to be – many eyebrows were raised.
Now that it surfaces she has a secret husband, and now that it surfaces that Borgerson is connected to the LLC that bought her house, we remember how the Spousal Privilege works – and how it can be applied to the moving of funds outside the reach of Justice.
It is a very disturbing scenario.
While Borgerson’s business totally seems to be a bona fide company with a real investing strategy, it is also a business run from the shadows, with secret investors, secret clients, and a secret portfolio.
So you never know. It may not just be guilt by association, after all.
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