Raniere’s attorney has potential scheduling conflict — Marc Agnifilo has another criminal trial set for May 6

Marc Agnifilo

Marc Agnifilo has a potential conflict with scheduling:  He has two clients – Keith Raniere and Dilber Kukic  – both facing serious charges and both expected to go on trial in the first half of 2019.  Their cases are unrelated.

Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis told all attorneys in the NXIVM case not to schedule trials between January 1 and June 30 without his permission.

New York State Supreme Court Justice A. Kirke Bartley wants Kukic’s trial to begin May 6.

Agnifilo wrote a letter to Judge Garaufis explaining the potential scheduling conflict, – but explained that, if the Raniere trial starts promptly on March 18 – there might be no problem.

Assistant US Attorney Moira Penza previously told Judge Garaufis she believed the prosecution would need about one month to put on its case. That means the prosecution would likely rest on or around April 18. Evidently, Agnifilo believes the defense – presently with six defendants – would need little more than two weeks to put on their joint defense.

This might be tight scheduling; Agnifilo would have to literally hop from the NXIVM trial to the Kukic trial.  Here is Agnifilo’s letter to Judge Garaufis:

“I represent the defendant Keith Raniere in above-captioned matter. On October 15, 2018, I appeared before the Honorable A. Kirke Bartley, Justice of the New York County Supreme Court, in the matter of People v. Dilber Kukic. et al… Ind. No. 74/2016.

“I explained to Justice Bartley that Your Honor has set a date for opening statements and trial in the Raniere case for March 18, 2019 preceded by jury selection. In light of the Government’s statement that its direct case would last about four weeks and allowing for a possible defense case and holidays in April, Justice Bartley scheduled the Kukic case to proceed to trial on May 6, 2019.

“The District Attorney’s Office estimates that the People’s direct case will last three months. Therefore, the Kukic matter is likely to proceed until well into August 2019.

“I advise Your Honor of this development for two reasons. First, as the Court is aware, it has ordered that no counsel in the Raniere matter shall schedule any matter for trial between January 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019, without permission of this Court. (See Dkt, No. 138, Order on Complex Case Designation at p. 3-4.) Therefore, this letter seeks permission to commence the Kukic trial according to the above schedule. Second, if the Court allows the undersigned to commence the Kukic on May 6, 2019, I would want this Court and all parties to know that the Kukic trial would last throughout the summer and would end likely in August 2019.

“I thank the Court for its attention to this matter.”


The import of this is that the trial may indeed start as scheduled – March 18, 2019. And the clock will be running hard to finish on time.

If the prosecution comes in with another superseding indictment – and it has indicated it may – then the NXIVM case will be pushed back another five or six months – or longer.  That would bring the NXIVM trial date to somewhere around October at the earliest.


Agnifilo’s client, Dilber Kukic, 42, is a contractor charged with manslaughter for his role in an East Village gas explosion in March 2015 that killed two people and destroyed three buildings.  The explosion was blamed on an illegal, cost-cutting gas-delivery system. 

Also accused are a penny-pinching building landlord, her son, her contractor, Kukic, and his unlicensed plumber, who installed a tangle of dangerous and illegal gas connections that they hid behind a locked basement door.

Singled out for particular blame were Kukic, and the landlord’s son, Michael Hyrnenko Jr., 30.  The two were caught on building surveillance video the day of the deadly blast responding to a gas fumes complaint from the ground-floor sushi restaurant, then quickly running to fiddle with their hidden basement gas set-up — literally sprinting through the restaurant without warning a single patron to get out, officials allege.


Dilber Kukic appears in Supreme Court in Manhattan on March 31, 2016.
Dilber Kukic in State Supreme Court March 31, 2016

Moments later, restaurant-goer Nicholas Figueroa, 23, and restaurant worker Moises Lucon, 26, were fatally engulfed in the blast, which also injured two dozen others, including Kukic and Michael Jr.

The case is being prosecuted by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

Kukic reportedly faces up to 15 years if convicted.




Building Collapse Stealing GasBuilding Collapse Stealing GasBuilding Collapse Stealing Gas

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  • The FBI has reportedly been investigating Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office for the last several months following revelations that several high profile investigations were shut down after lawyers for the rich and famous made significant donations, according to the New York Daily News.

    The queries are centered on how things are handled in the office and who the major players are, the sources said. The FBI interest grew out of revelations that investigations were closed once lawyers representing the bigwig suspects made hefty donations to Vance’s campaign coffers, sources said.

    The team has asked about current and former high-level staff members and their relationships to private law firms and outside agencies, sources said. Investigators are considering whether undue influence was at play. -NY Daily News


  • Yet another coordinated attempt by NXIVM’s “joint defense” group of attorneys to rush to trial — not that it will help Vanguard with anything. But who cares about dumb Vanguard a.k.a. the fall guy? Certainly not his own lawyers, whose payments may be proven to have been directed by the Mexicans. The hope in this latest attempt to game the system by pressing for earlier trial dates is probably to sweep under the rug the possibility any potential Mexican defendants will be charged by trying to distract and overwhelm prosecutors with trial prep to take their attention away from the ongoing NXIVM investigations. Almost a year after this case was started, the Mexican interests are still trying to control the case and game the U.S. legal system. Have to give them credit where credit is due. The Mexicans are a sophisticated, experienced group of manipulators..they still have not been charged and they do appear to be controlling virtually the entire group of defendants and witnesses. And the most ironic part may be that the entire thing is still being funded with trust fund money by a obedient brainwashed daughter of the former President of the World Jewish Congress. That has to be more than a little amusing to them.

    So far, Machiavelli would approve. Yet Machiavelli’s arrogance led him to make crucial mistakes in history. His supposedly sophisticated mindset made of underhanded tactics, half truths and lies led to an arrest warrant issued against him in 1513, the beginning of his downfall. Sometimes, no matter how you much you try to justify your actions with supposedly sophisticated reasoning, at the end of the day the truth seems to win. Especially in la corte de los Estados Unidos. Que no?

  • The defense of Vanguard will be quick and easy. My lawyer says the defense may not even put on a case since the prosecution has to first prove their case. The defense will likely make a motion for a directed
    Verdict of acquittal since no jury would be able to convict based on zero prof beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution has no case. It was consensual and the unprovable and idiotic charges of conspiracy are 10 years old. All this comes done to is Clare paid Pam’s credit card. It’s not like anyone was stiffed.Aerocam Express got paid. You’ll. See when Susan Necheles and Marc Agnifilo start tearing apart the witnesses this is all Over and our Vanguard returns to us. 🛎

  • In light of the Twelve Terabytes of digital data that the FBI must analyze and investigate plus the very real possibility that there will be superseding indictments bringing new charges and new defendants into the mix a start date of March, 2019 is totally unrealistic.
    A late summer or October, 2019 start date is more realistic.
    Let the NXIVM defendants cool their heels waiting for the trial to start.
    Raniere can spend his time reminiscing about all the orgies he’s enjoyed over the years.
    Clare can send a flunky out to Bloomingdale’s to shop for the new wardrobe which Clare so desperately needs.
    Mack can study up on her Shakespeare for the plays she will perform in 15 years when she gets out of the Big House.

    And Clare has plenty of money to pay for legal research and new motions to gum up the gears.

  • The Vanguard is a pussy. Don’t think he will make it to March. Inside sources say.He sobs uncontrollably almost every night. He will have committed suicide by then. And go down like Joan of Arch. To his many brain washed disciples. Your new vanguard awaits your mass fortune and your foolish decisions. I am here to bull shit you. Fuck your wife and daughters. And give you comfort. I am satan.

  • Yeah? Agnifiglio double booked on his pedo rapist cult leader with the defence of a contractor charged with manslaughter, a cost-cutting slaughterer of the poor and vulnerable? Now that’s what you call being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    • The man has to pay his bills. You have to appreciate his work ethic. Strike while the iron is hot, it’s hard to predict where the next client is going to come from when you have a poor record in court.

      • What you call work ethic, I call avarice.
        Excellent zinger, though.
        Guess having a wife in the D.A.’s office didn’t help him on that case, either, since it is going to trial.

  • 3 fun facts to consider:

    1. Cyrus Vance’s daddy worked for Jimmy Carter.

    2. Raniere is facing far more than 15 years, yet the case is expected to go faster? Must be a slam dunk for the DOJ.

    3. Raniere’s pizza farts are far worse than that gas explosion, just ask any of his threesome partners.

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.

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Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com