His name is Keith Raniere. But he has instructed his followers to call him Vanguard - the leader of the new thought. .

A few thoughts on Franco trial

NXIVM started the lawsuit against Rick Ross, Stephanie Franco and her parents, 14 ½ years ago. It began in the United States District Court (USDC) for the Northern District of New York (which is based in Albany, NY) and switched to USDC in Newark NJ.

It was called NXIVM Corp. v. Ross – Civil Action No. 03-0976

Over the course of the lawsuit, NXIVM has retained a total of 10 law firms, and subsequently, relieved eight of them.

The only two law firms still standing are Tompkins, McGuire, Wachenfeld and Barry LLP and the Crockett Law Firm.

On October 18, 2017, the New York Times published a front-page article on the practices of NXIVM and Raniere.  It included reports of female members providing incriminating information and/or nude photographs as “collateral” – and female members being branded with Raniere’s initials: KR.

These revelations led to scrutiny of NXIVM and Raniere, including an episode of 20/20 that was entirely devoted to the organization.

The New York Times further reported in December that NXIVM leaders were being criminally investigated by the United States Attorneys’ Office for the Eastern District of New York. The Albany Times-Union also reported that the criminal investigation  includes examination of its “business dealings, including its practice of recruiting members from abroad.”

These disclosures have significantly impacted Raniere/NXIVM’s ability to perjure themselves in court and may prevent RaniereClare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman from appearing at the Franco trial as witnesses because law enforcement officials will likely attend to see if any disclosures are made regarding criminal activity.

For nearly 15 years, NXIVM has harassed Franco with vexatious litigation, costing her and her family personally and financially. NXIVM dragged out the resolution of the case with their constant change of counsel, flip-flopping of damages theory, and “guerrilla litigation” tactics .

Franco incurred significant time and expense preparing for trial. More importantly, Franco’s parents Mr. and Ms. Sutton, died during the case – as named defendants.

The case is unprecedented in the length of time it has been active at the trial court level and the amount of resources it has required the Courts to expend.

Now, maybe as soon as February 6th, this case will come to a close – and justice or karma will have its way.


About the author

Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato is the founder of the FrankReport, publisher and editor-in-chief of Artvoice, The Niagara Falls Reporter, Front Page and the South Buffalo News.


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  • I think this is the end of NXIVM’s streak of useless litigation and using the court system to punish those against it. I still have no idea how KR has managed to use the system in the way that he did. Must have paid off a lot of people to allow him to do litigation in the way that he did. I hope authorities are looking into that. BTW Frank, you’re a fucking hero. And no one will be able to convince me otherwise for taking on these clowns.

  • According to some insider reports that I’ve heard, this case has generated more than $6 million in billable hours for all the attorneys involved. Of that amount, at least $1.5 million was supposedly done on a pro bono basis by Rick Ross’ attorneys – but, even if that’s true, it means that the other parties have shelled out more than $4.5 million on a case that is totally pointless because the material in question was already published by the U.S. Patent & Trademarks Office. Another Executive Success!

  • Who is going to show up for NXIVM to testify? They all lied about the safe keeping of the notes and everything was made public by the World Intellectual Property Organization anyway. Isn’ this all a mute point?
    With all the NXIVM big wigs on the run and Nurse Nancy’s cancer, can she really afford the karma of lying at this point in her life?
    Crockett will want theBronfmans blood money so he will push for the case to continue now no matter what the cost is to anyone.
    Franco team should demand Clare and Raniere testify. Clare runs the day to day operations and Raniere owns the intellectual property.




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