Raniere’s lawyers plan to try again for bail for jailed sex cult leader

Keith Raniere AKA Vanguard

Keith Raniere’s lawyers have said they intend to refashion and then resubmit their bail package to get Vanguard out of jail and into a private mansion prison guarded by private security.

A new filing with more transparency may be filed prior to Raniere’s next court appearance in late July.

His legal fees are paid through an irrevocable trust, that was funded by Clare Bronfman. As with all such trusts, once the money was placed into it, the funds can only be used for the trust’s intended purpose – i.e., Raniere’s legal defense –  and Bronfman may not rescind the trust or ask for any part of her money back even if she is indicted and needs money, or decides to turn against Raniere.  Thus, it’s quite possible that she could end up funding the legal defense team of the man who will ultimately throw her under the bus.

Two of Raniere’s five lawyers, Marc Agnifilo and Paul DerOhannesian.

I estimate that for the top rate Raniere lawyers to have agreed to represent him on this high profile case, Bronfman was required to place at least $10 million in trust for his defense – which will barely be enough, based on my calculations.

Her coming indictment may make it impossible for her to make additional funding gifts to the trust, so there may be a scramble now to get another infusion before she is indicted and her assets – or some portion of them – are possibly seized.

Clare has no say in Raniere’s defense. It was Clare’s money, but not anymore. In a sense, she pre-paid his attorneys. They don’t get the money before they earn it, however.  They work first and bill the trust — and  then the trustee reviews, authorizes and releases payment.

Lead attorney Marc Agnifilo is coming off a string of victories. One source familiar with his successes said he bills at $2,500 per hour. One of Raniere’s other attorneys, Paul DerOhanesian, wrote the book – literally – on sex assault trials.

DerOhannesian wrote  Sexual Assault Trials, available via Lexis Nexis. In its 4th edition, it is available in hard cover or as an e-book. The cost is $254 for the two volume set.

Since his lawyers say they are going to try again before Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on his bail, they might want to shore up a rather stupid blunder in the original bail package.

In it, his attorneys wrote, “in the Fall of 2017, when Raniere became aware of a potential investigation, he employed the former United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Michael Sullivan, for legal representation. Inquiries were made to different prosecutorial offices including the New York State Attorney General and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York (NDNY), where Nxivm and Raniere were located.

“Raniere, through his counsel, was interested in sharing his side of the story with the NDNY. Mr. Sullivan, on Raniere’s behalf, contacted the United States Attorney for the NDNY,  Grant Jacquith, on or about March 15, 2018 and understood based on that call, that there was not a criminal investigation being conducted by the NDNY, nor did it appear that the NDNY was aware of a criminal investigation by another District.

“Mr. Sullivan understood the NDNY would attempt to determine if another District had opened a matter related to Raniere and if it had, would make that District aware of Mr. Sullivan’s interest in speaking with them on behalf of Raniere. After a few days, Sullivan again contacted the NDNY, at least once and possibly twice, in an attempt to see if there was an open matter in order to provide the Government information that would dispute and undermine the assertions being made in the media. To this date, Mr.
Sullivan has not received a response from Mr. Jaquith or anyone in his office.

“[Therefore] …. the Government’s repeated statements that Raniere fled to Mexico due to this investigation are patently false…. Having an attorney reach out to the United States Attorney is the antithesis of running, hiding or fleeing investigators.

The blunder is this: The media reported that it was the Eastern [not the Northern] District of New York that was conducting the investigation.  Why didn’t Raniere’s attorney, Sullivan, contact the Eastern District to “provide the Government information that would dispute and undermine the assertions being made in the media”?

The defense would have the judge believe that Raniere’s attorney contacted the wrong federal district US Attorney, ignoring the very media reports that his client sought to rebut, and somehow went away with the impression that Raniere was not under investigation. This is, of course, hard to believe.

In the original bail package, Sullivan did not provide an affidavit as to the veracity of claims made about his hapless efforts to find out if Raniere was under investigation.  Why didn’t Raniere’s lawyers get a sworn affidavit from Sullivan?

Did Raniere lie to his lawyers? It seems impossible Raniere did not know the investigation was in the Eastern District.

The New York Times reported on December 21, 2017 that it was the Eastern District that was investigating Raniere and his sex-cult. This was several months before his attorney contacted the Northern District.

Raniere sat for an interview and a subsequent photo session with the New York Times shortly before his arrest – and about the same time his lawyer Sullivan was making one or possibly two calls to the Northern District.


Further Update On Raniere

According to an MDC source, Raniere is languishing at the Metropolitan Detention Center where, as reported yesterday, he is being housed in the Sex Offenders Unit. He is said to be highly anti-social. When out of his cell, he spends much of his time walking alone in the community area, and does not join his fellow inmates in the television rooms or at any other social settings.

His aversion to MDC food offerings also seems to be quite acute. But, if he’s released to his own private mansion jail, he can order food he prefers (He’ll also be able to get all sorts of other things he likes in that setting).

Strangely, Raniere, who sought to heal many attractive women’s sexual dysfunctions through the various technologies  he created, is not using those technologies to help his fellow inmates in the Sex Offender Unit.  Here he is surrounded by a group of imprisoned sex offenders — and he seems to be making no effort to use his technologies to help them with their dysfunctions. What a selfish little guy he’s turning out to be!




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Frank Parlato


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  • He’s coming acrossed as very desperate. I do believe he is afraid the officials have collateral on him. If he were to get out I have 0 doubt he would do anything to escape and he knows this is his only shot at freedom. Doesn’t seem so unified now.
    Where’s Sara B.E , does she split costs down the middle with sister Clare? Does Basit have any say in throwing money away?

  • Raniere assumed he would only be prosecuted in the ND NY.

    Raniere failed to take into account the fact that his co-conspirator Mack,who had an apartment in
    Brooklyn, committed acts in furtherance of the conspiracy in Brooklyn allowing the US DOJ to bring the prosecution in the ED NY where the prosecutors are more familiar with organized crime like NXIVM.

    So much for the smartest man in the world.

  • All the defense has to do is to start to question them on all the facts. Some of these woman were in the US illegally or had arranged marriages.

    How many brought cash across the border?

    How many were hires under false Visa violations?

    Some will end up getting themselves into deeper shit by trying to save Rainere.

    Do they really love their Vanguard and NXIVM enough to risk perjury charges, immigration violations, laundering money and a vast array of other charges?

  • VanDouche thinks he’s clever but people other than the brainwashed, emotionally vulnerable, or those who lack self-esteem can see through his transparent bullshit. Especially people as intelligent as a judge who has gone through several years of higher education and public service to get to earn his position. Apparently, VanDouche hasn’t learned his lesson from his experience with previous judges, like the judge who called him “jilted” due to his abuse of Toni Natalie via the legal system, and the female judge who effectively called him a liar in the Microsoft/AT&T patent case. This is what happens when a megalomaniac who lives in isolation and surrounds himself with sycophants has to deal with the real world.

  • As for the money issue, I believe Keith will try to use Pamela Cafritz’ $8 million dollar account as the basis for his bail…..by trying to claim that it’s ‘his’ legit money and he has a stake in not losing it.

    I believe he’s currently trying to have a 3rd party executor appointed that is loyal to him…..and will therefore ensure that he gets use of those funds for bail, after probate is finished and estate taxes are paid.

    The problem is:

    1) Keith was illegally controlling (and spending from) these funds for over a year after her death, so the funds should be viewed as dirty by the judge. The IRS will likely view his ‘control’ over this $8 million bank account as evidence of either unreported income or identity theft.

    2) Even though Cafritz’ family was rich, I’m guessing that most of those funds came from NXIVM related activities or from ‘gifts’ from NXIVM related personnel. Cafritz was reported (by Frank Parlato) to own bank accounts related to SOP’s monthly/yearly dues, so I find it hard to believe that her estate isn’t tainted with NXIVM related funds.

    3) After the NY Times story broke, Keith tried to renounce his role as executor of her estate and those same funds……which should taint those funds in the eyes of the judge because he’s clearly playing the same financial games with the court as he does with the IRS and everybody else. He’s always trying to ‘game’ things and stay off the grid, keeping his name off of everything.

    4) Even if Keith appoints somebody else as executor and gets that person to give Keith those funds for bail money, it’ll be way too obvious that he’s using NXIVM influenced personnel (and money) to fund his bail package using his authority over them as Vanguard. It’ll still be NXIVM tainted money no matter how many shell games they play by having new people gifting money to Keith.

    5) Since Keith has no other source of funds outside of Clare Bear, NXIVM or Cafritz…….I just don’t see how he can ever post the necessary funds to the satisfaction of the judge.

    I’d like to hear Frank’s opinion on Cafritz’ estate…..including how the money got into her accounts (SOP or inheritance?) and how Keith might try to use that money for his bail.

    • Raniere already declared he has nothing except for half of a $60,000 house. If he claims $8 million now, he will commit perjury.

  • So what happens with all these other lawyers supported by Bronfman for the other defendants? Will the money and defense dry up when they go to trial? Or will a huge slush fund be directed a huge trust before the Federal government moves to seize assets?

  • With regard to bail…

    The judge did say he wanted more transparency BUT he also said there were several other reasons why he rejected bail besides ‘transparency’……so his lawyers are clearly taking the judge’s words “out of context” (LOL), since the judge listed several issues besides transparency for denying bail.

    Firstly, the judge didn’t like that Keith had no personal stake in the funds/assets used to bail him out…..a situation which won’t change just because he gets a new ‘transparent’ person to ‘gift’ him millions of dollars in the next couple weeks.

    The judge clearly wants to see Keith use assets that either he or his close family members have built up over a long period of time…..and therefore Keith would have a huge emotional stake in not losing those personal assets by fleeing (e.g. if Allison flees then her parents lose their longtime family home, and they’re not rich enough to just snap their fingers and buy another home like Clare Bear can).

    Secondly, the judge is gonna wanna see assets/funds that weren’t derived from any sources related to NXIVM or its personnel (e.g. Allison’s home and her parent’s home were bought with their own money, not by NXIVM controlled shell companies, Nancy or Clare Bear).

    Therefore if Keith simply receives new ‘gifts’ of millions of dollars from a ‘transparent’ source (e.g. money which Keith or his close family had no personal stake in building up)……that ain’t gonna change the judge’s mind.

    Thirdly… The idea of ‘armed’ guards was clearly mocked by the judge, so there’s no way for the defense to overcome that 3rd issue regardless of anything else.

    Their guns might as well be water pistols loaded with Strawberry Kool Aid……since the guards are not allowed to use deadly force against an unarmed man simply running away or his many unarmed slaves trying to block them while he gets into a waiting car.

    In fact, the guns actually make escape easier for Keith…..since no matter how little they weigh, they still add extra weight to the guards who must run after Keith and catch him before he enters a waiting car.

    Fourthly, the judge was concerned that if Keith was bailed out…….he’d be free to more easily intimidate witnesses or to order his many worldwide slaves to obstruct justice or sabotage the government’s case against him. These women have sworn lifelong loyalty to him and would do anything for him. This isn’t an issue that’s normally true for most defendants, but Keith is different.

    Having two guards sitting outside his mansion can’t prevent Keith from getting burner-phones smuggled inside……since they’re not gonna strip search every female visitor on the front lawn, LOL. They’re not gonna check their bags for hidden compartments or their asses for phones hidden inside their butt cheeks. LOL. Keith will have access to burner phones if he’s released.

    So I don’t see the ‘transparency’ issue as being a path out of jail. Just my opinion of course. 🙂

  • Cool report Frank. Glad he’s finally able to walk around and mingle with other sex perverts.

  • Hi Frank !

    i have to say your website is just amazing ! i binged myself every night for a month now, even it s sometimes fastidious for me with my broken English ! I think i have read all yours articles (!!!) and i m almost more addict to your blog than my usual football website during the World Cup !!,
    As you have said in an interview it s an american story but i m very surprise how big is it in the elite in Mexico… I saw a picture of a french girl ( the last one in your DOS SLAVE without name ) are you realy sure she s in ??? She is from Marseille, i won t tell her name but i m not sure at all about that ( we were in the same school but not the same year).
    If not may be you can rid off the photo because in France it could be shamefull for her.

    Otherwise i admire your job !

  • I think Shkreli or Tessiere kinda kill the whole string of wins.

    I also don’t consider destroying a raped maid a great success, either, even though Dominique Strauss-Kahn does.

  • Watch Raniere’s lawyers give the judge and prosecutors the information they need to break the veil of the trust and see the funds when they are taking whatever else of Clare’s they can get their hands on.

  • I don’t think this guy is going to do too well in his present environment and it is probably wise for him to stay away from other inmates.

  • “[Therefore] …. the Government’s repeated statements that Raniere fled to Mexico due to this investigation are patently false…. Having an attorney reach out to the United States Attorney is the antithesis of running, hiding or fleeing investigators.”

    How is this logically the only case? VanDouche could have just been testing the waters to see if there was an actual investigation being done to know if he should tighten up his whereabouts more securely or flee to somewhere else where extradition was more difficult or he couldn’t be caught.

    It seems like some legal authorities believed that the NDNY was compromised – and it’s not difficult to believe this seeing how long VanDouche and NXIVM et al got away with what they had for so long – and the EDNY may have been looking into this, so even if an attorney from the NDNY reached out to the EDNY, the latter would keep it under wraps because of such an ongoing investigation.

    • He assumed he would be safe in Mexico by having influential high ranking Mexican Nexivm members about, but little did he know that a few individuals in Mexico with a little MORE influence would have different ideas about what should happen to him for messing with their Daughters.

      • Right on. Plus, if VanCulo is not hiding from US authorities, then why did he get rid of his cell phone and switch to encrypted email?


        • Good point former Nexian. Said he was trying to ditch the media. Did he actually think there were journalist’s hacking his phone and computer ? What a load of b.s. The Judge has not fallen for it yet. Nice work Judge !!!!!

          • How is inviting the NYT down for an exoneration interview ditching the media? (eyebrow raised)

    • I think having a lawyer allegedly contact a US attorney while you are hiding in Mexico doesn’t exactly prove you aren’t hiding in Mexico.

      Still cracks me up the judge nailing him on pretending he was there for his baby mama and baby.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato


Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com