Moira Penza opposes Clare Bronfman's request to contact up to 1000 NXIVM members.

More analysis on conflict of interest with Clare-paid attorneys

Below is the link to the complete letter from Moira Penza and Tonya Hajjar regarding the potential conflict of interest regarding attorneys for NXIVM – all being paid by Clare Bronfman.

https://frankreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-11-30-Document-210-Letter-From-Moira-Kim-Penza-and-Tonya-Hajjar-Concerning-Potential-Conflict-Of-Interest-11.30.2018.pdf

My comments [in brackets and bold]

U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of New York

November 30, 2018

The Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis

Re: United States v. Keith Raniere, et al.
Criminal Docket No. 18-204 (S-1) (NGG) (VMS)

Dear Judge Garaufis:

The government respectfully submits this letter to notify the Court regarding a potential conflict involving counsel for each of the defendants in the above-captioned case, except for counsel for Clare Bronfman.

This potential conflict arises from the fact that the legal fees of each of the defendants in this case, except for defendant Clare Bronfman, have been, and will be continue to be, paid from an irrevocable trust to which Clare Bronfman is the primary contributor.

[Clare is evidently paying for her own team of five attorneys from her own funds and not from the trust she established for Keith Raniere and the other NXIVM defendants. It is called an irrevocable trust but, as we shall see, it may not be irrevocable in reality. Clare may be able to revoke it by simply removing the trustee. She apparently has the authority to choose the trustee.]

The government advises the Court of this information pursuant to its
obligation under Second Circuit law so the Court may conduct the appropriate inquiry pursuant to United States v. Curcio…

[Curcio is a significant case. The same lawyer, Jacob Zeldes, represented two defendants, brothers Francis Curcio and Gus Curcio. The government contended that Zeldes’ representation of both Curcios in the present case would present a conflict of interest because the indictment attributed a different role to Francis than to Gus, and the Curcios may have different defenses available to them. Second, the government contended that neither Curcio should be represented by Zeldes because Zeldes’ continuing representation of both brothers on other criminal matters presented Zeldes with a conflict of interest. A hearing was held before the trial judge. Both brothers were advised of potential conflicts. Both said they would waive any conflict and keep Zeldes.  The court, however, granted the government’s motion and ruled that Zeldes could not represent either defendant. It was appealed. On appeal, the court determined that “…notwithstanding the considerable dangers…defendants may, if they act with their eyes open, elect to be represented jointly by a single attorney.”]

… On July 23, 2018, a federal grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of New York returned a sealed superseding indictment, charging the defendants Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, Kathy Russell, Lauren Salzman, and Nancy Salzman with participating in a long-running racketeering conspiracy, among other crimes. … As alleged in the superseding indictment, Raniere and an “inner circle” of individuals, including the defendants, comprised an organized criminal enterprise that engaged in various criminal activities with the aim of promoting Raniere and recruiting others into NXIVM and DOS for financial and personal benefits…

[The government then lists the attorneys representing the defendants and when they made notice of appearance.]

Keith Raniere
Marc A. Agnifilo, Teny Rose Geragos, Jacob Kaplan, Paul DerOhannesian, and Danielle Renee Smith

Allison Mack
Sean Stephen Buckley and William F. McGovern

Clare Bronfman
Susan R. Necheles, Kathleen Elizabeth Cassidy, Gedalia Moshe Stern, Alexandra A.E. Shapiro, and Fabien Manohar Thayamballi

Lauren Salzman
Hector Diaz and Andrea Tazioli

Nancy Salzman 
David Stern and Robert Soloway

Kathy Russell
Justine A. Harris and Amanda Ravich

NXIVM
Michael Sullivan

III. The Trust
The government has been advised that the legal fees of the defendants in this case, as well as certain witnesses, including Nxivm the corporation, have been paid by an irrevocable trust (the “Trust”), to which defendant Clare Bronfman is the primary contributor.

The government has been in contact with James Q. Walker, Esq. and Andrew Podolin, Esq. of Richards Kibbe & Orbe, LLP, who indicated that they serve as counsel to the trustee administering the Trust.

Mr. Walker informed the government that the trustee approved the reimbursement of legal fees expended by counsel for the defendants and other witnesses as long as they were, in the view of the trustee, reasonable and within certain guidelines. Mr. Walker further stated that the grantor of the Trust, whom, based on conversations with counsel, the government understands to be the defendant Clare Bronfman, retains the ability to remove the trustee for cause. Mr. Walker declined to provide the Trust documents to the government.

[This demonstrates the Trust may not be irrevocable insofar as Clare can remove the trustee. The present trustee approves the payment of legal fees for the defendants and “other witnesses” as long as they are, in the view of the {removable} trustee, “reasonable” and within certain guidelines. But the imprecision of the language raises a host of questions, such as:
– What are those guidelines?
– What sort of “cause” can Clare cite in order to dismiss – and replace – the trustee?
– Is the Trust structured against the defendants taking plea deals or cooperating with the government?
– Do all the defendants get the same amount of representation: i.e, the same amount of billable hours from their attorneys?
– Do all the defendants get to meet with their attorneys as often as they want?
– Do all the defendants get to spend as much as they want on investigators, expert witnesses, etc.?
– What sort of “cause” can Clare cite in order to dismiss – and replace – the trustee?]

…  The government has learned that the legal fees of multiple witnesses and potential witnesses are also being paid by Bronfman or the Trust, and that there have been efforts to pay the legal fees of other witnesses.

[There appears to be a policy in place that the Trust will pay for witness’ legal fees provided they tow the NXIVM line. If not, they are on their own.]

For example, in the past several months, the government met with a witness (Witness #1), who had previously been served with a grand jury subpoena. Witness #1 stated, among other things, that after she had been served with the subpoena, an attorney for one of the defendants provided her with the contact information of an attorney who practices in this District.

[That this witness met with the government in the last several months concerning a grand jury subpoena suggest that the grand jury is in place for a superseding indictment. The grand jury indicted Clare and company back in July. It is now December. The “past several months” would not seem likely to be as far back as July.]

In a subsequent meeting with the attorney, the attorney explained to Witness #1 that his fees were being paid for by Clare Bronfman. The attorney told Witness #1 that he recommended that she invoke the Fifth Amendment in response to the government’s questions in the grand jury.

The attorney further stated that Witness #1 could decide not to invoke the Fifth Amendment and answer the government’s questions, but that the attorney would not feel comfortable continuing to represent Witness #1.

Witness #1 then asked the attorney if she could pay his fees instead; the attorney explained that his fees were “expensive” and that he could refer her to another attorney.

[There are so many things wrong with this that it is deeply troubling.

Witness #1 was served with a grand jury subpoena. An attorney for one of the defendants provided her with the name of an attorney. She meets with that attorney who tells her his fees are being paid by Clare Bronfman.  He then advises her, in effect, not to tell what she knows to the grand jury but, instead, plead the Fifth Amendment.  By pleading the Fifth, she would essentially avoid providing testimony that might hurt Clare and Raniere. But by doing so, she probably enlarges her chances of being indicted herself because she is, in effect, admitting that she may have committed illegal acts.

Perhaps an honest lawyer would have contacted the government and sought immunity for his client in return for her truthful testimony. This lawyer, however, advised his potential client to jeopardize herself for Clare and Raniere’s welfare.]  

In the government’s discussion of this potential conflict, they quote from various cases. For efficiency, I have skipped the actual cases. You can refer to them in the original letter.

… The Sixth Amendment affords a criminal defendant the right to effective
assistance of counsel … That right, however, is not absolute and does not
guarantee the defendant counsel of his own choosing … While there is a “presumption in favor of the [defendant’s] chosen counsel, such presumption will be overcome by a showing of an actual conflict or a potentially serious conflict.” …

To determine if the defendant’s counsel is burdened by a conflict of interest, a district court “must investigate the facts and details of the attorney’s interests to determine whether the attorney in fact suffers from an actual conflict, a potential conflict, or no genuine conflict at all.”

… An actual conflict exists “when the attorney’s and the defendant’s interests diverge with respect to a material factual or legal issue or to a course of action, or when the attorney’s representation of the defendant is impaired by loyalty owed to a prior client.”…

A potential conflict arises if “the interests of the defendant could place the attorney under inconsistent duties in the future.”…

[The government is citing various cases to set up its request for a hearing by the court – called a Curcio hearing.]

… If an attorney suffers from an actual or potential conflict of such a serious
nature that no rational defendant would knowingly and intelligently desire that attorney’s representation, the court must disqualify that attorney…

Such per se conflicts of interest are not only unwaivable, but are of such a serious nature that if allowed to persist through trial and conviction, on appeal they result in automatic reversal without requiring a showing of prejudice…

[If the prosecution wins – or wins some – say, for example, Kathy Russell and Allison Mack are convicted at trial while Raniere and Bronfman are acquitted – and later it is discovered that the attorneys were conflicted – or worked in unison to set up Russell and Mack to take the fall – the conviction can be overturned.]

… Regardless of … the defendant’s willingness to waive the conflict, “[f]ederal courts have an independent interest in ensuring that criminal trials are conducted within the ethical standards of the profession and that legal proceedings appear fair to all who observe them.”…

Accordingly, “a district court should decline to permit a defendant to be represented by the counsel of his choice if that representation would undermine the integrity of the judicial process.”…

If a conflict is such that a rational defendant could knowingly and intelligently choose to continue to be represented by the conflicted attorney, the Court must obtain directly from the defendant a valid waiver in accordance with the procedures set forth in United States v. Curcio….  In summarizing Curcio procedures, the Second Circuit has instructed the trial court to:

(i) advise the defendant of the dangers arising from the particular conflict; (ii) determine through questions that are likely to be answered in narrative form whether the defendant understands those risks and freely chooses to run them; and
(iii) give the defendant time to digest and contemplate the risks after encouraging him or her to seek advice from independent counsel.

[Based on the case of the Curcio brothers, if the NXIVM defendants are intelligently informed about the conflicts and still choose to decide to go forward, the court can approve their decisions by having the defendants put those decisions in writing and signing a waiver. This will diminish the chance of overturning a conviction on appeal based on ineffective counsel.]

By relying on waivers of potential conflict claims, courts are spared from having to wade into the intricacies of those claims…

Finally, the need for a Curcio hearing exists regardless of whether a case is
disposed of by way of guilty plea or trial…

[A] defendant has a right to conflict-free representation during the plea negotiation stage. …

(“[P]rior to trial an accused is entitled to rely upon his counsel to make an independent examination of the facts, circumstances, pleadings and laws involved and then to offer his informed opinion as to what plea should be entered.”) …

(suggesting that ineffective assistance of counsel may be shown if attorney’s dual representation led to inadequate advice “with respect to the advantages or disadvantages of a plea”).

[This discussion of the need for effective counsel prior to trial suggests the government might be willing to offer plea bargains to some defendants who might be unable to properly assess them because their counsel is conflicted. Like in the case of Witness #1, counsel might not be able to properly advise some defendants to take a plea deal – and testify against Clare Bronfman – because Clare, not the defendant, is paying the legal fees.]

… A conflict may arise when an attorney is paid by a third party, rather than by his or her own client:  Ethical considerations warn against an attorney accepting fees from someone other than her client. …  the acceptance of such “benefactor payments” “may subject an attorney to undesirable outside influence” and raises an ethical question “as to whether the attorney’s loyalties are with the client or the payor.”

[Clare is paying the lawyers. She has a trustee she can fire. Should the judge review the terms of the Trust? How else can he be sure that the Trust is being administered in  a way that is fair and equitable to all the defendants?]

… (“Courts and commentators have recognized the inherent dangers that arise when a criminal defendant is represented by a lawyer hired and paid by a third party.”)…

“A conflict of interest can arise where a third party’s payment of a defendant’s attorney’s fees leads to a theoretical division of loyalties.”)…

“By their very nature, third-party fee arrangements create numerous ethical pitfalls into which even the most wary criminal defense attorney may stumble.”…

(“A lawyer may not represent a client if someone other than the client will wholly or partly compensate the lawyer for the representation, unless the client consents . . . and knows of the circumstances and conditions of the payment.”).

“These ethical pitfalls become especially dangerous when a defendant’s lawyer is hired and paid by ‘the operator of the alleged criminal enterprise.’” …

In such situations, the Supreme Court wrote in Wood, there exists a “risk that the lawyer will prevent his client from obtaining leniency by preventing the client from offering testimony against his former
employer or from taking other actions contrary to the employer’s interest.”

…  when “the third party is the head of a criminal enterprise of which the clients are members . . . an ethical question arises as to whether the attorney’s loyalties are with the client or the payor”…

…. Because a third party is paying for the legal fees for each of the defendants in this case, except for defendant Clare Bronfman, as well as Nxivm and multiple witnesses, defendants’ counsel faces a potential conflict of interest….

[This is a legitimate concern – especially when you are dealing with two consummate liars like Raniere and Bronfman.] 

… The primary concern is that this payment structure has the potential to affect defense counsel’s advice, including (1) whether to seek possible leniency by cooperating with the government, including against Clare Bronfman, and (2) whether to testify in their own defense at trial, where such testimony might implicate Clare Bronfman….

[The government knows that certain defendants could get leniency – think Kathy Russell. But will she take a plea and testify truthfully against Clare – when her lawyer is being paid by Clare?]

…“One risk is that the lawyer will prevent his client from obtaining leniency by preventing the client from offering testimony against his former employer or from taking other actions contrary to the employer’s interest.”….

(reasoning that if trial counsel advised defendant not to testify even though testifying was in the best interests of the defendant, to avoid inculpating the payor of counsel’s fees, “these facts . . . would entitle appellant to relief [on an ineffective assistance claim] on the ground that trial counsel abdicated his duty of loyalty by permitting a third party who paid his fees to influence his professional judgment in representing [the defendant]”…

[Kathy could potentially get her conviction overturned on appeal if it turned out she took the fall for Clare by, in effect, refusing to testify because her testimony would hurt Clare but might save herself.]

“Another kind of risk is present where, . . . the party paying the fees may have had a long-range interest in establishing a legal precedent and could do so only if the interests of the defendants themselves were sacrificed.”)…

[Think Kathy Russell.]

These concerns are not merely theoretical, as is demonstrated by the efforts to pay the legal fees of Witness #1, who informed the government that the attorney she had been directed to stated that because he was being paid by Clare Bronfman, he would not continue to represent her, and by extension, her legal fees would not be paid, if she did not invoke the Fifth Amendment and decline to answer questions. If similar conditions are being placed on Bronfman’s co-defendants, expressly or otherwise, the advice provided by their counsel might be similarly affected.

In addition, the funds in the Trust are not unlimited and it is not clear how
disbursements from the Trust for the reimbursement of legal fees will be apportioned or prioritized by the trustee.

[Now we get to another important point — if money is ever tight – who gets the largest share of the defense? Who has to skimp? Clare decides. The weight of justice already leans towards who Clare wants to help most. Raniere has 5 attorneys. Clare has five attorneys. Kathy, Lauren, Allison and Nancy each have two lawyers.]

Based on their disclosures to Pretrial Services, most—if not all—
of the defendants do not otherwise have the means to pay for their attorneys.

[Doesn’t this say it all about Executive Success Programs? Despite all of them being in it for years and some spending hundreds of thousands on courses – and some teaching the courses – not a stinking one of them can afford their own attorneys. Even Allison Mack, a once successful actress before she met Raniere. Even Nancy Salzman, the president of NXIVM/Executive Success. None of these stinkers have enough money to hire their own attorneys.  Clare herself didn’t earn her money and would not have enough money either if she stuck around a little longer with  Raniere. Yet these ugly creatures dared recruit people on the promise that they had the secret teachings that would lead to wealth and success.] 

Notably, counsel for the trustee advised the government that Clare Bronfman had the ability to remove the trustee “for cause,” but did not provide additional detail on what would constitute cause.

Therefore, a Curcio inquiry is appropriate to determine, as to each defendant except Clare Bronfman,

(i) whether the payment of his or her legal fees by Clare Bronfman
presents a conflict;

(ii) the nature and extent of that conflict; and

(iii) whether each defendant is willing and able to make a knowing and voluntary waiver of the conflict.

The defendants should also be reminded that, if they cannot afford counsel, they need not rely on a codefendant to pay their legal fees because counsel will be provided to them by the Court.

[Assigned counsel or public defender in the federal system is the kiss of death. These attorneys earn 25 percent or less of what successful lawyers earn and are mostly plea bargain specialists. In fact, the term for their services is “meet ’em and plead ’em.” It is a gruesome injustice – and no one who cannot afford an attorney can expect justice in the federal courts. However, in this case, a public defender might be better than using Bronfman-paid attorneys. Let’s take hapless fall girl Kathy Russell. While her attorneys might be getting her ready for trial and charging lots of money to the Bronfman-funded Trust for motions etc. – a public defender would be advising Kathy to cut a deal with the prosecution in return for testifying against Clare.

Considering Kathy is a 60-year old woman with (I believe) no criminal record and hardly a risk to society – and a low level NXIVM member – who took orders from Raniere and Bronfman –  she would seem to have an excellent chance at avoiding jail.]

CONCLUSION
For the foregoing reasons, the government respectfully requests that the Court notify the defendants of the potential conflicts described above and conduct an appropriate inquiry pursuant to Curcio. The Court should further advise each defendant regarding his or her right to conflict-free representation and determine if he or she waives those rights.

Respectfully submitted,
RICHARD P. DONOGHUE
United States Attorney
By: /s/ Tanya Hajjar
Moira Kim Penza
Tanya Hajjar
Assistant U.S. Attorneys…

About the author

Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato is the founder of the FrankReport, publisher and editor-in-chief of Artvoice, The Niagara Falls Reporter, Front Page and the South Buffalo News.

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  • If there’s no more Clarebear money for the whole bunch and they are left with Public Defenders, Raniere included, it’s a complete game changer. Everyone will take whatever plea will give them the least amount of time and my money says Raniere will represent himself. This should remain highly entertaining and interesting for quite some time.

  • Despite Clare paying most of the trust, as a co defendant does she have the right to know what is being spent on who? Prior to her arrest, 5 attorneys were hired for Raniere. Do any of the defendants have the right to add another attorney if they feel the need?

    Is Clare allowed to oversee this irrevocable trust? I thought the whole purpose of said trust was that she would have nothing to do with it.
    Being allowed to change trustees at any time for any reason Clare chooses leads me to think they have a private set of rules. I see judges asking clients how their legal fees are being paid all the time, so why would the judge not have the right to know exactly what it entails. No Judge wants to see a case overturned and generally make sure any ruling beforehand to prevent this possibility is addressed.

    Way to many holes in this. Sorry Dennis I suspect your not going to like the Judges response.

  • Damon Brink is/was a long-time NXIVM coach. Perhaps not inner-circle, but a Clifton Park regular at least.

    This was Tweeted today by Christian P Brink.

    https://twitter.com/christianpbrink/status/1070361853304455168?s=19

    Getting heavily into NXIVM.. now that they have gotten rid of some of the bad apples..

    Sounds like Allison is expected to take the fall for DOS. Obviously they tell recruits that Vanguard will be vindicated.
    Maybe even that this is his uber-intelligent plan to get rid of the “bad apples.”

    Anyone who cooperates with the Feds is also a “bad apple.” We don’t know who that will be yet, but probably insiders do. Nancy Salzman? Lauren Salzman? Kathy Russell? Karen Untereiner?

    • Yes, I’m sure that’s exactly what his tweet means.

      It would help if you read some of his other tweets, and also if you looked at his bio.

      {Christian Brink

      @christianpbrink

      Shitposter, cofounder of

      @audmapp

      , socialist, Christian, husband and father. Renaissance reply guy.

      Brooklyn, NY

      Joined October 2008

      998 Following

      396 Followers

      Tweets

      Tweets & replies

      Media

      Likes

      Christian Brink’s Tweets

      Christian Brink

      @christianpbrink

      ·

      2h

      Getting heavily into nxivm.. now that they’ve gotten rid of some of the bad apples..}

      • Flowers. what was the point of this? The link was provided by Is NXIVM Still Recruiting? Is there some secret message contained in the text you posted?

        • Redundant, I guess you can’t understand that Brink was just being SARCASTIC. He was making a JOKE….get it? Nxivm is NOT still recruiting.
          This is why Brink calls himself a shitposter…..

          • Looking at several of his other tweets, I believe it was a joke as well. However, NXIVM is still recruiting according to some other reports, but it is largely underground. In the real world, MLM scams often say they “got rid of a few bad apples,” whereas what really happens is they get rid of a handful when attention is brought their way in order to save the rest of the scammers.

  • Wow, what a frightful dilemma for lower level Nx defendant/witnesses. Talk about being “between the devil and the deep blue sea.”

    Is there no 3rd option in this case such as pro bono representation? ACLU or Legal Aide Foundation?

    I’m certain Keith Et Al structured the pyramid for the shit to run downhill from the get-go and sheild HIMSELF, foremost, from culpability by making scapegoats of ALL his sheeple. C’mon, he even had Clare needlessly robbing Pam Caffritz’s grave for him while on the lam.

    Public defenders may be notoriously bad, relatively underpaid as they are, but at least they aren’t deliberately trying to have others “take the fall” to keep themselves (or higher paying clients) out of prison! If they all do wind up having to use Public Defenders, including KAR and Clare, that would settle that.

    Question: didn’t Allison Mack have her folks post bail and retain independent counsel for her? Thought I read that.

    Also, what’s the story on conflicts of interest with the Mexi-Nexians who were so worried about Allison “singing like a Canary?” (Or like a canary tree?).

    • “ACLU or Legal Aide Foundation? ”

      ACLU?????????????? LOLOLOL. They would be more apt to file a friend of the court brief in defense of Raniere. They are a communist front organization. They are to busy anyways looking for manger scenes and war memorial crosses to litigate against.

    • They could always represent themselves. Wouldn’t it be amazing to watch Keith attempt to do that? Lol.

      Sure pro bono is an option, but are there any lawyers who are willing to take on such a case for free?

      • It would be comical to see Keith represent himself. Since he claims to be a quick study, I’m sure he could muster up some heady legalese that would most likely make the prosecutors snort and double over in laughter. Per Flowers, it may be possible for some attorney to take on the case pro bono — maybe for the purpose of notoriety? But, then again I would doubt it. At the end of the day, each defendant should pay their own legal fees. If they can’t afford, a public defense attorney is next best option.

    • I dont recall knowing the other defendants were added to trust until these recent posts. I remember no one having money in the beginning.

      In defense of Public Defenders they are rarely in this line of work for the money, I’d be way more likely to trust a decent PD than an Aggie. There are good attorneys that will take pro bono cases like this, we need to get the word out, Go Fund me is a possibility, although there are those in so much more need.
      Accounts can be set up at banks where private donations can be made. No names necessary , a good way for espians to help out their fellow man/woman.
      My hope is the Judge puts in a 3rd party to oversee trust. And remove any power from Clare.
      Most new attorneys like to do a public service before starting their real career path. I’m running out of ideas but it must be worth an article in local New York News.

      • Having someone other than Clare manage the trust is a good idea, Heather, and the least that can be done to protect these witnesses / potential defendants. Defendants they most certainly shall be if they play along and plead the 5th — prolly jailbirds too.

        Something needs to be done about “Aggie” bullying every one per Vanguard’s instruction and Clare’s obeyance and payance, JMO. I do recall Agnofilo said he’d represent Keith for free, if necessary

        I’d hoped Allison Mack’s folks would or had spared her and hired independent counsel for her. I think you’re right — it was a different attorney than Keith’s but now we know anyway paid from the same cauldron. Same dif. Big trouble brewing for all current and future defendants if they don’t leap out, now!

        Take the leap, not the fall ladies, or as you damn well know all your bad asses are cooked!

        CONSPIRACY = ALL DEFENDANTS GUILTY of ALL CRIMES whether they knew about it or not. If “your” counsel didn’t advise you.

          • Thanks for sharing, Mr. Johnson. Please read for comprehension. According to your Justia link here, one does not have to be aware of the DETAILS of any “crime” committed in furtherance of the conspiracy or even know that the act is illegal to be part of a conspiracy. Further, SILENCE can be considered an “overt act” contributing to the furtherance of the conspiracy.

            The point is simply that these witnesses need to be prepared to assert a defense starting with an attorney acting in their own, sole interests. They are not likely to avoid being charged simply by pleading the 5th, remaining silent, which could be interpreted by prosecutors and a jury that they are more complicit in their knowledge of the intent of whatever criminal acts occurred with or without their knowledge.
            Waiving the conflict of interest the court is warning them of is not in their interests, IMO and I hope they are being properly advised or educating themselves on the dangers of doing so.

  • We are to believe that these so called “high powered” lawyers are not aware of this? They should all be dismissed from the case and each defendant appointed a public defender if they do not have the ability to pay. With of course the exception of Allie Mack. She should accept Thomas Sekera’s (shadow) generous offer of helping her with her defense. BTW his hearing is scheduled for this Friday.

  • Please Frank stay focused with articles like this and get away from the salacious phony journalism of shadow-fraud and his wacky hareem.

  • Thanks for posting the letter, Frank. I’m really curious as to how the trustees are going to explain themselves (assuming they will have to).

  • [There appears to be a policy in place that the trust will pay for witness’ legal fees provided they tow the NXIVM line. If not, they are on their own.]

    Witness #1 was served with a grand jury subpoena. An attorney for one of the defendants provided her with the name of an attorney. She meets with the attorney who tells her his fees are being paid by Clare Bronfman. He advised her in effect not to tell what she knows to the grand jury but plead the Fifth. By pleading the 5th, she would essentially avoid providing testimony that might hurt Clare and Raniere. But by pleading the 5th, she probably enlarges her chances of being indicted herself.

    Perhaps an honest lawyer would have contacted the government and sought immunity for his client in return for truthful testimony. This lawyer advised his potential client to jeopardize herself for Clare and Raniere’s welfare.]

    It sounds to me that Cruella Bronfman, her trust and some of the defense attorneys are GUILTY OF WITNESS TAMPERING.

    Testify the way I want and your legal bills are paid.

    Testify the way you want and you’re on your own.

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