By Yaron Steinbuch
(NEW YORK POST) — Jeffrey Epstein’s former mentor claimed Ghislaine Maxwell will fully cooperate with the feds after being busted on charges that she groomed underage women to have sex with the infamous pedophile, according to a report.
Steven Hoffenberg, 75, who spent 18 years behind bars for a Ponzi scheme that he has claimed Epstein was part of, told the UK’s Sun that Maxwell will “totally cooperate,” adding that Prince Andrew “may be very concerned.”
“There’s a lot of people very worried, a lot of powerful people been named [in the scandal], and she knows everything,” Hoffenberg told the outlet about Maxwell.
Investigators who busted Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged procuress, confirmed Thursday that they still want to talk to the prince — as lawyers predict his socialite pal could turn against him.
The charges against the 58-year-old British socialite include alleged sex crimes in her London townhouse — where Andrew has separately been accused by an Epstein “sex slave” of sleeping with her when she was 17.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement last year that “any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.”
Andrew said that “at no stage during the limited time I spent with [Epstein] did I see, witness or suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction,” the Sun reported.
Hoffenberg told the outlet that he’s working with Epstein’s victims and is in regular contact with Maxwell’s spokesperson.
“She was convinced she wasn’t getting arrested, I speak to her spokesperson all the time,” he said. “She’s definitely someone who I understand quite well, I’m able to articulate how she feels right now, the tragedy she’s involved in now is horrible.”
He added: “If they keep her in prison, she’ll crack in two seconds. She’s not able to take that sort of cruel punishment. Prison is too tough and hard, she’ll have to be in solitary confinement, and she’ll snap.”
Hoffenberg, who briefly funded The Post in 1993, said he spent three and a half years in solitary as retaliation for performing legal work for inmates against prison officials.
“I know the confinement and I know how hard it is for people to adjust. It’s too painful, very psychologically painful, and she’ll never be able to take it,” he told the Sun.
“It’s very painful, the suffering is enormous, I believe she’s already agreed to cooperate, which means her incarceration would be much more comfortable,” he added.