When Lawyers Cry (because the money is slipping away)

MK10ART's sketch of Clare Bronfman, the leader of Nxivm known also as Legatus.

By Thomas Todd

High Dollar Lawyers and Egos.

Incoming train wreck…..

Imagine the challenges involved trying to convince … what, 10 or more high paid lawyers [we are not counting their junior associate lawyers] for the defense to all get along and play nice.

Now, consider the ethical violations starting to emerge: It’s clear Vanguard and Clare Bronfman have been trying to hold all the defendants together as one coordinated and controlled voice. As always, priority number one – when it comes to NXIVM – is control and intimidation, ordered by Vanguard or his handlers and accomplished with Clare’s money.

At first thought, one might think little has changed. Vanguard and Clare are still controlling and intimidating everyone with Clare’s money; just another day with another walk through the nuclear waste dump that is Clare’s park called NXIVM.

Now consider for a moment the new filings. You have 10+ high paid lawyers with big egos who are going to have to start thinking about the very real possibility of not getting paid, for the first time. And the ethical conflicts. How about the emerging possibility that one or more of the defense attorneys has been caught trying to coerce and pressure witnesses?

At this point, is it time to consider, or at least imagine the possibility, of any of the attorneys joining Vanguard AKA Federal Prisoner 57005-177 – at the MDC?

Want to see a train wreck, or worse?

Watch these high dollar, big ego lawyers as the money starts to slip away and they need to start worrying about whether legal fee invoices will be paid. Should the ten or more defense lawyers file to withdraw now, before incurring more bills that will never be funded, or try to hang on to hope for the very unlikely scenario where the judge decides there’s absolutely no conflicts?

Does anyone think these lawyers are going to continue to represent the parties for free, pro-bono? When the lawyers quit, public defenders will probably start pushing defendants to accept plea bargains.

Mere opinion: If I were a defendant in this mess, I’d be begging for a plea bargain sooner rather than later. The Government has been known to make examples of defendants who try to play tough by sending those defendants away for many years beyond what could have been negotiated with a plea agreement, if one were available.

NXIVM defendants are lying to themselves if they think their Vanguard, or they, are going to walk away from this.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • I recently spent a great deal of time writing about this, I suspect as happens with me at times is I forget to post, so I apologize if this is a repeat.

    My main point if I recall correctly was similar to Frank’s.

    Even though certain attorneys may try to bail, will the judge allow it? I’ve seen cases where this was attempted (Jodi Arias), although it was personal issues not financial. The judge can require counsel to remain as public defenders, the amount of money allotted here is not going to cause the judge to feel much empathy if this happens. IMO

    The Trustee is another problem, someone must have the right to oversee this account for the courts. We don’t even know who the trustee will be in the future!

    Potential witnesses being threatened and that is exactly what is being done here is definitely illegal, as someone recently pointed out. WHERE DO THEY FIND THESE GUYS?

    Each attorney is obligated to give their client the best defense in their ability. But under the circumstances, who do they consider their main client?

  • Can’t the judge refuse the attorneys request to withdraw from the case? This case is so complicated it would take new attorneys a long time to catch up pushing the trial date even further into the future. That’s not even taking into account the new indictments about to come down. They should grab all the money they can now and jump this sinking ship.

  • The reality you present is starting to get scary for the defendants. I’m glad I didn’t get involved and I’m not facing the consequences either.

  • How will those lawyers pay for their BMWs and the private school tuition for their children?
    Not to mention pay for a mid-winter vacation in Baja California?

    This is a major crisis!

  • Hasn’t Agnifilo already made much of how he would represent the Soft Lad, Pro Bono if necessary? Love to see him put his money where his mouth is!

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