Kathy Russell’s lawyer and her part company; Billy, we hardly knew ye!

William Fanciullo is a top flight Albany attorney, according to sources in the Albany legal community. The money was there to pay him - from whom we can only guess, but it hardly matters - Fanciullo no longer represents Kathy Russell.

Even though no official paperwork has been filed, several sources in the Albany legal community have confirmed that William FanciulloLaw Office of William Fanciullo – is no longer representing Kathy Russell, the low-level former bookkeeper for NXIVM who may be being set up to take the fall for many of the financial crimes of Keith Raniere, Nancy Salzman, Clare Bronfman and Karen Unterreiner.

Suspicions first arose when Fanciullo’s name did not appear on the “Stipulation” whereby the prosecution and all the defense attorneys agreed on the rules for the handling of the “collateral” that was provided to Raniere and Allison Mack by all the branded DOS slaves.


Based on his website profile, Fanciullo seemed like he was well-qualified to serve as Russell’s attorney. “His 36-year background includes prosecution and defense of white collar crime, tax evasion, criminal immigration-related violations, public corruption, money laundering, public corruption, obstruction of justice, false statements, drug cases, criminal conspiracies and many other matters”.


Kathy Russell – the hapless low-level bookkeeper who has been set up to take the fall for Keith Raniere’s financial crimes – is charged with several felonies – while some of her superiors – who set up the plans and ordered her to sign documents – have not been charged.


Kathy Russell used this photo for her Facebook. Kathy is an aspiring ballerina – and her alleged criminal activities were done to assist her in her Raniere-led quest to become a world-famous ballerina at age 60.

Prior to setting up his own law practice, Fanciullo served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of New York. In addition to his usual caseload duties, he also served as the “Asset Forfeiture Specialist” for that office – which may be the primary reason why he was hired to be part of the phalanx of attorneys who are now representing the six NXIVM-related criminal defendants.

At this point, it is not known who will represent hapless Kathy going forward. Rumor is that the NXIVM leadership may let her be represented by a public defender – which is tantamount to pleading guilty in the federal legal system.

Questions have also arisen about Kathy’s bail. Originally, it appeared that Kathy was going to simply remain in prison until she went to trial because, despite having worked for Executive Success Programs for almost 20 years, she could not come up with the $25,000 bail that the court set for her release (Apparently the court did not give her the option of posting a bail bond – in which case she would have only had to pay a $3,750 fee to get released) .

But, after Kathy had spent a couple nights in jail, Karen Abney – Kathy’s successor as NXIVM’s bookkeeper – showed up to bail her out. And according to the paperwork filed in Kathy’s case –


Karen Abney posted $25,000 in cash to get Kathy out of the clink.

Numerous sources have indicated that there is little likelihood that Karen Abney had $25,000 of her own money to post as Kathy’s bail (Like all ESP devotees, she never earned much above the minimum wage while working for the cult.) This may lead the Feds to have a little discussion with Karen about the real source of the $25,000. Should that happen, she’ll hopefully be smart enough to tell them the truth – and thereby avoid a 5-year sentence for lying to a federal officer.

The question surrounding the origin of the $25,000 that Karen Abney used to post Kathy’s bail is similar to the question of who is paying for all the lawyers who are representing the six NXIVM-related defendants in this ever-broadening case. And we’ll be exploring that question in more detail – and some of the related legal implications – in a future post.

The forgotten woman – Karen Unterreiner – the queen of triple sets of books. Behind that innocent and charming face lies the mastermind of many of Keith Raniere-Clare Bronfman’s financial crimes.

Another question that has been raised is why NXIVM had Kathy Russell’s successor be the one to post her bail. Given that Karen Abney likely engaged in the same type of criminal activities that Kathy is accused of doing, she seems like an odd choice to step up to the plate on behalf of Kathy.

Some have suggested that they see the invisible hand of Karen Unterreiner behind all this. As is well-known throughout the NXIVM community, this long-time partner of Keith Raniere was the real “brains” behind most of NXIVM’s financial crimes – and likely was the one issuing directives to Kathy and Karen in their role as NXIVM’s bookkeeper. But, so far, the Feds haven’t come for her.

Tick-tock, Tick-tock, Tick-tock…

About the author

K.R. Claviger


Click here to post a comment

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us! (Email & username are optional)

  • Learning to tell the truth at these peoples age must be difficult. As ethical as they are the truth confounds them. You might get away with murder in the US, but embezzle from the government or lie to the IRS and your going to do time.

  • Karen has some brains. Karen took Keith’s take home IQ Test for him. Karen ain’t dumb. Karen ain’t going to jail. Karen is the best friend of the Feds.

  • Where are the leaders now. Kathy has been dumped for some reason, is this how the great vanguard rewards his loyal minions. Pia you apparently weren’t in the inner circle

  • The Federal Public Defenders Office is very good. They have top-notch attorneys that really believe in the rights of the accused and our Constitution.

    Hopefully Kathy has seen the light and decided to testify. Hence, the Bronfman Crime Syndicate will no longer pay for her defense.

    • Pea Onyou:

      Last night you attacked my questions about Clare and Allison’s financial relationship by telling me (in your words) that I did not own Clare and Allison’s “vaginas.”

      Well Pea, apparently Allison thought she owned other women’s vaginas and that is why brave and heroic Allison now faces sex trafficking charges as well as a host of other felony charges.

      Now Pea, tell us whether the BMW Clare bought for Allison was a gift or a payment for services rendered.
      The Feds would like to know.

      • Good work dad. I wondered how you were going to fit Allison’s vagina in this thread about Kathy Russell. No wonder our neighbors told their kids to steer clear of our trailer.

  • Karen Abney & Kathy Russell go way back to pre-NXIVM days. They worked for the same company in Alaska.

    Kathy moved to Albany shortly after taking an intensive in Anchorage. Karen went back and forth from Anchorage to Alnay to help with accounting issues NXIVM was having/creating.

    Karen finally moved from Anchorage to Albany leaving her husband to finish out his job until her could retire.

    There were many who came and went within NXIVM’s accounting office.

    Lots of cash went in and out of the accounting office and the safe was under Kathy Russell’s desk.

    Kathy was also involved in a case to lie to Washington State Department of Revenue.

    NXIVM lied to WA DOR saying they leased their course work to the school in Washington State which anyone who ever turned in an application for a course knows 100% of course was charged in Albany and everyone was an independent contractor, not a lessee of NXIVM course work.

  • Kathy stay strong. We will get you a good attorney who will not recommend you sell your soul to get out of prison. It is better to suffer the unethical burden than be unethical ourself. Fear not Clare will take care of you and get you an attorney who will stay the course and not recommend your betrayal. Trust Kathy dear. Your Vanguard never leaves or forsakes you. He is taking on your burdens right now. And you will come out of this as a true Prima Donna. And we shall all feel joy as you do your lively pirouettes on the stage before Vanguard. Please believe and have faith in our Vanguard. Your attorney gave you bad advice.

    • Kathy stay strong. nxivm WILL BETRAY YOU. But justice will note how you’ve been treated and will not allow these bad people to make you their mark. Teach your ‘lively pirouettes’ to others, when this situation is resolved. The Truth will set you free.They can’t hurt you anymore than they have.

    • Kathy Rusell:
      Save yourself.
      That is the first imperative

      Keith Raniere does not give a rat’s @ss about you.
      Raniere only cares about saving himself.

      Clare Bronfman would not spit on you even if you were on fire.
      She only cares about saving what is left of her money.

      Allison Mack sees in you the future that awaits her.
      Allison Mack’s fear is that the adoration that she craves will end up as scorn and ridicule.

      Save yourself.

      The NXIVM elite had you doing the dirty detail work while they played with the likes of Richard Branson and the Dalai Lama


      Be the hero and tell the truth to bring down the NXIVM monster.

    • I hope this is sarcasm. But, if it’s not – I’m not surprised that the lie continues. It’s very unethical to lie to yourself in order to accept Keith’s premise on anything, much less what is ethical behavior or not.

    • Here we go with another NXIVM name spelled backwards. Trolls, trolls everywhere. You forgot to add in all the super mysterious international money symbols though – did you forget you were supposed to be writing in code.

    • Isn’t the most ethical thing to do is tell the truth regardless of the consequences. Keith is a narcissistic user, he would joyfully throw anyone of his minions under the bus for a shot at freedom, he’s no vanguard he’s a crook.

      • If telling the truth would only harm and create no benefit, then the truth teller is only doing it for purely selfish reasons, which isn’t really ethical at all. 😉

        • For posterity sake, the above comment must be from the period when the troll was copying my user name, and is not from me.

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