Bad News for Vanguard: Judge designates case as ‘complex’ – as Raniere sits in jail — trial date likely to be postponed!

Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, the sentencing judge for Keith Raniere

Today was a bad day for the man known to his followers as Vanguard. His hope for a speedy trial may have gone out the window – or through the bars of his jail cell.

In the matter of the USA v. Keith Raniere, Allison Mack, Clare Bronfman, Kathy Russell, Lauren Salzman, and Nancy SalzmanJudge Nicholas G. Garaufis has designated the case as “complex” and, therefore, not subject to strict time deadlines required under the Speedy Trial Act.

The statute covering this is 18 U.S.§ 3161(h)(7)(B)(ii).

The pertinent language is: “Whether the case is so unusual or so complex, due to the number of defendants, the nature of the prosecution, or the existence of novel questions of fact or law, that it is unreasonable to expect adequate preparation for pretrial proceedings or for the trial itself within the time limits established by this section.”

Read Judge Garaufis’ complete order 

In part, Judge Garaufis wrote:

…At a status conference on September 13, 2018, the Government moved to designate this case as complex… All Defendants oppose the Government’s motion…  For the following reasons, the court GRANTS the Government’s motion and designates this case as complex…

“The Speedy Trial Act requires that a defendant be tried within seventy days of the unsealing of the indictment or his initial appearance before a judicial officer, whichever occurs later.” …   This seventy-day period is flexible…  Courts may…  exclude certain periods of time from the calculation of the speedy trial period…   Relevant here is the statute’s exclusion for matters in which the ‘”ends of justice’ served by delay ‘outweigh the best interests of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.'”

…In determining whether Section 3161(h)(7) exclusion is appropriate, courts must consider whether the case is so complex that, absent a continuance, it would be unreasonable to expect adequate preparation for trial or pretrial proceedings…In making that determination, courts consider “the number of defendants, the nature of the prosecution, or the existence of novel questions of fact or law…”

The court agrees with the Government that these factors weigh in favor of a complex case designation. First, the superseding indictment charges six defendants with a variety of crimes…Cases with similar numbers of defendants have been designated as complex by courts…Second, this case also involves voluminous and complex discovery…

The Government has estimated that it currently possesses about 10 to 12 terabytes’ of electronic data that may constitute Rule 16 discovery material…As the Government points out… the Second Circuit has compared the capacity of one terabyte of data to that of 12 library floors’ worth of books…

Reviewing and producing these materials has been especially complex and time-consuming due to potential privilege issues. Just within the last two weeks, Raniere and Bronfman have provided the Government with extensive lists of attorneys with whom they may have engaged in privileged communications…As of the most recent status conference, the Government was still waiting for a list of attorneys from Nancy Salzman, which has slowed down its review of her data even further…Additionally, a significant portion of the discovery is in Spanish and requires translation…

Finally, as Raniere’s counsel has suggested, this case involves novel questions of fact or law…(“The Government indicted a very bold case.”)…The crimes alleged in the indictment relate to over a dozen separate schemes and include a racketeering conspiracy that spanned over fifteen years…

Taking all of the factors for Section 3161(h)(7) exclusion together, and based on the representations of both the Government and Defendants, the court concludes that this case is properly designated as complex.


The Government’s motion for a complex case designation is GRANTED. No attorney who has appeared, or will enter an appearance on behalf of, any party in this case may commit to participating in any other trial between January 1, 2019, and June 30, 2019, without first requesting (in writing) and receiving specific permission from this court.

…This period of time is subject to further extension by the court, depending on the completion of Rule 16 discovery.

The January 7, 2019, trial date remains in place pending further discussion at the October 4, 2018, status conference.

After Magistrate Judge [Vera] Scanlon establishes a discovery schedule for the parties, they are DIRECTED to confer regarding pre-trial scheduling and to propose a schedule for all pre-trial matters (built around a January 7, 2019, trial date or a proposed alternate date) before the October 4, 2018, status conference.

Dated: Brooklyn, New York
September 18, 2018
‘United States District Judge


Let’s review some of what we learned from this ruling:

The prosecution moved to designate this case as complex. All the defendants opposed the motion.  The judge sided with the prosecution — because of the number of defendants, the large amount of discovery, the fact that there are complicated attorney-client privilege issues involved in what the government seized,  and that a lot of the discovery materials are in Spanish and require translation.

It’s ironic that the litigious nature of Bronfman-Raniere came back to bite them.  Raniere and Bronfman provided the Government with an “extensive lists of attorneys with whom they may have engaged in privileged communications” and demanded that the government carefully take this into consideration in reviewing and preparing discovery.  That is delaying the government’s provision of discovery to the defense.

The fact that Bronfman-Raniere used so many lawyers to destroy their enemies is now working against them getting a speedy trial.

In addition, Nancy Salzman has not [as of last week] provided her list of attorneys to the government which slowed down its review of her data.

Also of interest is that a lot of discovery is in Spanish – which means Mexico. Once this is translated, there may be some interesting findings.  For years, NXIVM members told me there was extensive cash smuggling from Mexico to the USA.

In addition, Raniere is seemingly hoisted by his own counsels’ petard.  They claimed, “The Government indicted a very bold case,” and this fits neatly into “the existence of novel questions of fact or law,” in Section 3161(h)(7) as justification for complex case designation.

Perhaps of greatest interest is the judge ordered all of the 20-plus attorneys representing the defendants not to schedule any other trial between January 1, 2019, and June 30, 2019, without Judge Garaufis’ permission and that “This period of time is subject to further extension by the court.”

While the January 7, 2019, trial date remains in place, pending further discussion at the October 4, 2018, status conference, I believe it is now almost a foregone conclusion the trial will not commence in January.

The judge indicates the trial date may be pushed back by several months when he tells nearly two dozen practicing criminal lawyers that they can’t commit to any other trial for the entire first half of 2019.

Judge Garaufis’ decision to designate this as a “complex case” means, in my opinion, two things:
(1) there won’t be a trial in January (I think October 2019 is a reasonable date).
(2) Judge Garaufis is not buying any of the defendants’ bullshit.
Looks like Vanguard’s blood pressure may spike again!
It will be interesting to see if the defense attorneys appeal the complex case ruling. I’ve never heard of such a ruling being overturned, but that’s never stopped Vanguard before.
Meantime, it looks like Vanguard will be sitting – but not too pretty – inside a jail cell in the Metropolitan Detention Center for months to come. He has been there since April 2018 – and is quite likely to remain there until at least April 2019.
The only consolation to this for him is that should he get anything less than life in prison, the time he has spent there will go against his sentence as “time served”.
Keith Raniere told followers he was the smartest man in the world.



About the author

Frank Parlato


Click here to post a comment

  • Frank, please tell us if Keeffe is working with the EDNY.

    I’m sick of you holding out on us and not telling us stuff like that.

    Nobody’s asking for her whereabouts so please stop acting as if even speaking her name out loud is going to reveal her location to evil forces.

    Just tell us if that slut/bitch/cunt is working for the EDNY, or if that selfish twat is only looking out for herself?

    (just to be clear, when I said slut/bitch/cunt/twat I was referring to Kristin Keeffe only, not Flowers)

    • Seriously, your derogatory language directed at Kristin Keeffe but “not Flowers” is every bit as offensive, pathetic and misogynistic as KR’s behavior towards women in general. Shame on you. I don’t come here to see women insulted as much as they were physically and emotionally violated as they were by KR and NXIVM, I come here to see the story. I come here hoping to see justice done, not watch women demeaned by pathetic cowards.

  • What no one is taking into consideration here is that Keith Raniere is wasting away in a rotting stinking deliberately cruel prison while his speedy trial is being denied. The judge should at least release him to his own place. First they came for Keith Raniere and took his due process rights away and none protested. Then they came for Clare Bronfman and none protested. One say they will come for you and there will be no one left to protest. What the EDNY is doing is eroding all our civil liberties.

    • I see what you’re doing there. And to compare the plight of NXIVM heads currently imprisoned to victims of the Holocaust is perhaps the most revolting comment I’ve ever read on this blog. And we both know that’s saying a LOT!

      As someone concerned with creating a more ethical world, I’m sure you have heard of Khalief Browder. Were you saying something when he was in Rikers endlessly awaiting trial? Did NXIVM have an initiative to collectively protest mass incarceration of black/brown men (aka a very real and current genocide) ?

      Could you not find a snappy enough acronym or is it that NXIVM couldn’t give 2 shits about them or ANYONE that couldn’t afford their “tech.”

      I get that you’re sad your boyfriend and friends are in jail. But I respectfully ask you refrain from using them (currently represented by TEAMS of well-paid attorneys) as examples of the abuses of our legal system.

      Perhaps Vanguard would send a more convincing message if he ditched the 8 atty’s uncovering ways to humiliate, threaten and attack witnesses and opted for a public defender. In addition to building empathy it would open his eyes to the flaws and inconsistencies in “due process”.

      “But how can he spread his light under such oppressive conditions??!!”

      I dunno. Mumia (and countless others) have found a way.

    • My darling daughter Pea, please come home.

      Papa awaits you in Bavaria.

      I’ve even spoken to the producers of Battlestar Galactica and they are willing to give you your old job back when a new spinoff series begins next year.

      Please don’t birth Jim Del Negro’s wicked avatar baby. Abort it!!

  • Well, we all knew this was coming. Now, the prosecutors are under less pressure to be hasty with the next round(s) of superseding indictments, like they were with this last set. I think there will be a whole lot more charges coming.

    Oh the irony of these guys landing this big billable case, and then not being able to do any other trials for half of next year.

    Will they try to appeal it to rack up even more billables ?

    Has Clare actually given Kathy Russell’s lawyers enough cash to fund the situation for that long ?

    If Nancy and Lauren cut deals, they will save a small fortune on their legal expenses. I am not so sure Clare is funding them like she is the others.

    Thanks for the good news, Frank.

  • This case meets the very definition of a complex case.
    Criminal activities in Mexico, the US, Canada, Ireland and Britain.
    Six defendants with more with more waiting in the wings.
    Hundreds of potential victims.
    Hundreds of potential witnesses.
    Twelve terabytes of digital data.
    Actual and potential crimes include:
    Sex Trafficking
    Involuntary Servitude
    Wire Fraud
    Identity Theft
    Immigration Fraud
    Money Laundering
    Tax Fraud
    Child Sex Trafficking
    and even Murder


    And Kristen Kreuk is still making TV shows in Canada.

  • I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV.

    Regarding any potential privilege issues, if emails, text or other forms of communication were shared outside of the attorney and said client of any case, does the person lose privilege.

    I say this since NXIVM has its own inside “legal team” that poured over several documents, exchange emails and text who were not a party within certain lawsuits.

    To date, other than his current legal issues, Keith Raniere was not party to most of the legal suits NXIVM had. It was either Nancy Salzman or Clare and Sara Bronfman on NXIVM said legal actions. Raniere was part of the Ross case but should only have privilege with his attorney, other than that his his stupid Microsoft/AT&T case, Raniere has not been “party” to legal actions.

    If any emails were shared with people like Kristin Keeffe, who is not an attorney but played one for NXIVM, privilege goes out the window doesn’t it?

    • I’m still hoping Kristin Keeffe is working with the prosecution. It would be smart considering she could get a good deal for her own actions while she was with them.

    • Yes. Anytime a privileged communication is forwarded to an outside third party (without copying the attorney), privilege is gone.

  • Considering the massive anount of information the prosecution has in their hands, one can only guess what sort of crimes and severity they will bring out to light in the months comming ahead, Keith Raniere is finished, he will die in jail and probably before trial.

    If Imperfect wants to flip and spare hersef and her family the same fait, she must act just now. This is it! time has come! It’s now or never!

    ESP is ruined! Vangard is dead!

    The group of lawyers at the service of these criminals must be happy. The Bronfman fortune will just end up in their hands.

  • Knowing Keith allegedly tried to hatch a plot to get a number of people tortured and killed in a Mexican prison, he will likely be a danger to any of his perceived enemies that led up to his incarceration if he is released at anytime. Nothing will prevent him from working to find all of them and ordering his minions to take action against them. It’s safest to prove that he literally did “have people killed for [his] beliefs” or some other charge that shackles him with life in prison for the safety of others.

    • You’re right about that. I’m willing to bet there will be a bunch of additional and/or upgraded charges, once they get the Spanish stuff translated and organized.

      They thought themselves above the law for a very long time, so it’s a safe bet that some of them stopped being discrete, especially in comm’s they thought nobody else would ever see.

      • And speaking of Mexico there was a plan for NXIVM, in concert with Emiliano Salinas, to take over Mexico.
        It is a Federal crime, in violation of the Neutrality Act, for a person in the US to plot the overthrow of any foreign nation with which the US is at [peace.

        Inside the NXIVM Sex Cult’s Secret Plot to Take Over Mexico

        He (Raniere) had already apparently sent out members of his harem to Mexico to seduce various members of law enforcement and public officials so that he could compromise them

        • Mexico and Libya — the idea was to have Basit Igtet run Libya and Emi + others run Mexico, with Keith as the Overlord of both. Basit Igtet is especially talented in fomenting dissent and protests that can overthrow a government. Looking at these plans now, it’s so strange that anyone actually believed this could happen. But when unlimited money is mixed with insanity, every raving of Keith’s seemed not only attainable but inevitable.

          • i wonder if cindy vainer has something to do between EMI and BASIT situation…. hammy mexicooooo papers!!! this will be fun

          • Idk. It’s going to be interesting, Frank has done more than stop Vanguard’s enterprises in America and Canada, but he has also come between the Bronfman-Raniere plans to take over the globe one third world country at a time.

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.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

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 premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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