El Chapo has only three lawyers, compared to Raniere’s five, will spend a mere $5 million on defense

El Chapo's wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, can't even get a hug in court from her husband.

Joaquin Guzman Loera, 61, AKA El Chapo, only has three attorneys on his legal defense team – and he’s only going to spend an estimated $5 million for his trial.

He obviously never took any ESP courses before he got busted.  He appears in Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday for the first day of his trial,

In the meantime and during his trial, El Chapo is held at the Brooklyn MDC, the same prison that holds the world’s self-proclaimed smartest man, Keith Alan Raniere AKA Vanguard.

Raniere, who is scheduled for trial in March, has five lawyers. His five co-defendants collectively have another 19 lawyers – for a total of 24.  It has been estimated that the NXIVM defense team will earn at least $15 million or three times what El Chapo will spend on his lawyers.

Raniere faces life in prison for allegedly running a criminal cult that featured sex trafficking and racketeering. El Chapo faces life in prison for allegedly running a drug empire worth billions.

This poor Chapo might have been wise to have taken a few Executive Success courses before getting himself arrested.

El Chapo’s lawyers are Manhattan lawyer Jeffery Lichtman, 53, who successfully defended John “Junior” Gotti, son of the late Gambino family godfather John Gotti, on charges he ordered the failed hit on radio host Curtis Sliwa in 1992.  Each of Junior’s three trials ended in hung juries.

El Chapo’s other attorneys are Eduardo Balarezo and William Purpura, who jointly and unsuccessfully defended Guzman’s former partner, turned rival, Alfredo Beltran Leyva, a drug lord known as “The Desert Ant,” on drug trafficking charges. Leyva got convicted last year — and was sentenced to life in prison and ordered to pay $529 million in fines to the U.S.

Leyva blamed El  Chapo for ratting him out to authorities and ordered the murder of Guzman’s son, Edgar.

As for fees, Raniere’s are being paid by Sara and Clare Bronfman – the latter is a co-defendant and the former may well be charged soon. A trust fund was established for Raniere’s legal bills by the fabulously stupid sisters.

El Chapo, on the other hand, had some problems at first in paying his attorneys. His lawyer told the judge he wanted his family in Mexico to foot his legal bills.  Guzman’s wife, sons and extended family live off the hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue they receive from drug proceeds. At first, reportedly, his family objected to paying for his defense, since it was like throwing good money away – because everyone knows he is bound to be convicted.

“Goodbye poppa” was about all they would say. But then they changed their minds after El Chapo’s plea to them in court.  It was the least they could do – to take about 1 percent of their annual income and give it to El Chapo’s attorneys – as they live lavishly on the money he got for them by poisoning millions of American youths.

In a tender gesture, El Chapo, who has not seen his wife in two years (she is apparently going to attend his trial), asked the judge, Brian Cogan, to allow him to briefly hug her when he sees her in court. The judge denied his request.

Last week, El Chapo’s top lieutenant, Vicente Zambada, pleaded guilty to trafficking conspiracy in Chicago and will cooperate with prosecutors.

It is not known if Raniere’s top lieutenant – Nancy Salzman AKA Prefect will get a plea deal and cooperate with prosecutors.

Prosecutors in Guzman’s case have produced more than 300,000 pages of documents in evidence.  There are hundreds of court records and 140,000 wire intercepts.

Prosecutors in Raniere’s case have said they have 12 terabytes of data – the equivalent of 144 library floors – to review and, if/as relevant, to produce in discovery.

If Guzman is convicted [which is likely], prosecutors will try to seize $14 billion of his alleged profits from his sale of drugs.

That makes the potential seizure of $100 million or so of Bronfman money – if Bronfman is convicted – seem relatively minor.

Why the long face? Clare Bronfman faces prison and the seizure of her assets.

See more: https://nypost.com/2018/11/10/meet-el-chapos-multi-million-dollar-legal-team/?utm_source=maropost&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nypevening&utm_content=20181110&tpcc=evening_update&mpweb=755-7429977-719035016


Keith Raniere is one of the top three problem solvers in the world. The top two are not in jail.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Likely El Chapo trial witness pleads guilty in Chicago


    ikely El Chapo trial witness pleads guilty in Chicago
    12:15 am
    Military officers escort alleged drug trafficker Vicente Zambada during his presentation to the media March 19, 2009, in Mexico City.
    AP file photo
    CHICAGO – A former top lieutenant to Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and likely witness at the Mexican drug lord’s New York trial has pleaded guilty to trafficking conspiracy in Chicago, saying in a plea agreement unsealed Friday that he will cooperate with prosecutors in hopes of a reduced sentence and protection from cartel retribution for his family.
    The 19-page plea deal, posted in Chicago federal court, says 43-year-old Vicente Zambada pleaded guilty to charges in a case originally filed in Washington, D.C., in 2002 and then transferred to Chicago this August. Zambada also agreed not to contest the government’s seizure of
    $1.3 billion in ill-gotten assets in a related case brought in Chicago in 2009.
    Jury selection for Guzman’s trial in New York wrapped up this week, with opening statements set for Tuesday.
    Zambada would know details about the inner workings of Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel few others would know.
    Zambada oversaw cartel logistics until his 2009 arrest and had authority to order hits; by his early 20s, Zambada, the son of another Sinaloa kingpin, Ismael Zambada, was already handling illegal shipments of drugs bound for Chicago, Los Angeles and other U.S. cities, filings say.
    In an indication of how valuable his testimony could be and how dangerous taking the witness stand would be for him and his family, prosecutors said in the plea deal that they’ll recommend the U.S. government provide security to him and his family.
    That could include permitting them to stay permanently in the U.S., the agreement says.
    Security has been a concern since his extradition to Chicago in 2010. He wasn’t allowed on a rooftop recreational area at his city jail from fear a sniper could shoot him from an adjacent skyscraper.
    Zambada appeared briefly in a Chicago courtroom Thursday to change his plea to guilty. The hearing wasn’t listed on court schedules, though a Chicago Tribune reporter attended and described Zambada as appearing relaxed as he answered a judge’s questions through an interpreter.
    His agreement doesn’t say explicitly he will testify in New York. But it does say he agrees to cooperate in providing testimony “in any matter” and “in any investigation.” He faces anywhere from 10 years to life in prison, but prosecutors would recommend a sentence at the low range of guidelines if Zambada cooperates as promised.
    The judge set a Feb. 27 sentencing date, though that would likely be delayed as Zambada continues to aid prosecutors.
    The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago declined to comment.
    Zambada pleaded guilty under a similar arrangement in the Chicago case in 2013, in what was the first indication he’d turned on his former Sinaloa cohorts.
    The Chicago indictment, which names Guzman as a co-defendant, says the cartel used speed boats and submarines to transport drugs. The cartel sent 747-cargo planes full of clothes on supposed humanitarian missions to South America, returning with
    13 tons of cocaine.

    • This is happening in Cook County Illinois and yet nothing from Detective Perv aka Shadowperv. Right under his own nose. He must be out in Los Alamitos checking on Allie Wack.

  • Isn’t that a conflict of interest using the same attorneys who represented a rival who ordered your son killed, and whom you may have ratted out?

  • If Nancy pleads guilty, similar to Guzman’s assistant did, the DOJ would be happy to have her testify against Raniere. Guzman’s request to hug his wife in court was a PR stunt, she can probably hug him during visitations. Guzman probably has several more lawyers working in the background, as $5 million is a lot of billable hours, even for overpriced lawyers.

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
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com


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