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.
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!