Oh C’mon Down, All Ye Unfaithful!
By K.R. Claviger
You know that old saying “The best gifts come in small packages”?
Well, as it turns out, that same sentiment may apply to filings in the case of U.S. v. Raniere Et Al.
As accustomed as we’ve become to the very lengthy filings of the attorneys who are defending Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, and Kathy Russell – extensive in length, short on substance – it turns out that it’s the pithy little filings that can carry the most weight.
Take, for example, this little gem:
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – X
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
– against –
KEITH RANIERE, et al.,
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – X
NOTICE OF APPEARANCE
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Trowel from this point forward will be added as counsel in the above-captioned matter.
All future correspondence to the United States in the above-captioned matter should also be sent to:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Trowel United States Attorney’s Office (Criminal Division) 271 Cadman Plaza East Brooklyn, NY 11201 Tel: (718) 254-6469 Email: Kevin.Trowel@usdoj.gov
Not much there, right?
It makes sense, doesn’t it, that the prosecution team would add another attorney – especially since there are more than 20 attorneys representing the current defendants (That figure does not include the other NXIVM-related attorneys who are out there intimidating potential witnesses and obstructing justice)?
So, no big deal…unless…
Unless this particular addition was brought in for a specific reason.
So, who is this Kevin Trowel – and why was he brought in to serve on the prosecution team in this case?
Understandably, the Department of Justice does not provide detailed organizational charts of its staff. After all, most of these are noble public servants out there prosecuting some really bad people.
But what we do know from its website is that the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) has three Divisions: Appeals, Civil, and Criminal.
And, digging a little deeper on that same website, we also find out that the Criminal Division has nine sections:
– Business and Securities Fraud
– National Security and Cybercrime
– Public Integrity
– Organized Crime and Gangs*
– International Narcotics and Money Laundering
– Civil Rights
– General Crimes
– Long Island Criminal Division
– Forfeiture Practice**
* Moira Kim Penza and Tanya Hajjar are from the Organized Crimes and Gangs Section – and ** Karin K. Orenstein is from the Forfeiture Practice Section. All three of these women are part of the prosecution team in the case of the U.S. v. Raniere Et Al.
So, what about Kevin Trowel? What area of criminal prosecution does he specialize in?
Well, thanks to Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the two guys who invented Google back in 1996, we quickly learn that Mr. Trowel appears to be part of the EDNY’s Public Integrity Section.
So, why do you suppose Mr. Trowel has been added to the case of the U.S. v. Raniere Et Al?
Well, maybe it’s because there’s a been real drop-off in public integrity crimes in New York State – and he has a lot of time on his hands. Umm…No, on second thought, that can’t be the reason why.
Or maybe it’s because President Trump has issued an Executive Order that prohibits the DOJ from prosecuting any public officials for the next couple of years. That’s plausible – but unlikely.
Or maybe it’s because the DOJ has finally decided to take a look at the various “public officials” who aided and abetted the NXIVM criminal enterprise for the past twenty years – and the various intermediaries who helped broker those deals.
So, hypothetically speaking, what public officials and intermediaries might get a chance to meet Mr. Trowel sometime in the next few months? Well, here are a few candidates:
As Monty Hall would say, “C’mon down…”
[Let me point out that all of these officials named below are respected in their fields. It is just that somehow, one way or another, they have each helped the NXIVM crime syndicate accomplish its destructive ends. That may be accidental or intentional or somewhere in between. But the fact is that a Public Integrity DOJ lawyer is on the case now says a lot. The tip of the iceberg.]
– P. David Soares – Albany County District Attorney
– David Rossi – Assistant Albany County District Attorney
– Vadim Thomas – Special Agent In Charge, Albany, NY FBI Office
– Andrew Vales – Former Special Agent In Charge, Albany, NY FBI Office
– Grant C. Jaquith – U.S. Attorney, Northern District of New York
– Richard Hartunian – Former U.S. Attorney, Northern District of New York
– Peter A. Lynch – Albany County Supreme Court Judge
– Holly A. Trexler – Albany City Court Judge (Former Albany County Special District Attorney)
– Karen A. Heggen – Saratoga County District Attorney
– James Murphy – Saratoga County Judge (Former Saratoga County District Attorney)
– Kevin T. Gagan – Counsel, New York State Police
– Rodger Kirsopp – Senior Investigator, New York State Police
– Steve Coffey – O’Connell & Aronowitz
– Mike McDermott – O’Connell & Aronowitz
– Pamela A. Nichols – O’Connell & Aronowitz
Also not to be forgotten:
William Savino – Woods Oviatt
And perhaps the most significant:
Anthony Bruce – Former Assistant US Attorney, Western District of New York
Things are obviously moving now in this case – and a superseding indictment or two may be under this year’s Christmas tree.
But, as that old saying goes, “It ain’t over till the skinny DOS lady sings”.
Here’s the official description of the Public Integrity Section from the EDNY’s website:
The Public Integrity Section investigates and prosecutes public officials at all levels of government, whether elected or appointed, who would further their own interests in violation of the public trust. It regularly partners with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to bring cases aimed at protecting taxpayers’ funds by identifying fraud and abuse in public contracting. The Section’s recent cases have involved a broad spectrum of misconduct by public officials and misuse of public funds, including the indictment of a New York Assemblyperson for theft of public funds from a not-for-profit and obstruction of justice, the conviction of a New York State Senator for obstruction of justice and making false statements, the conviction of a former Assistant District Attorney for conducting illegal wiretaps, the conviction of a federal prison guard for sexually assaulting an individual in custody and the conviction of two school officials in a multi-million dollar federal program fraud. The Section applies the full array of investigative techniques to its ongoing investigations.