NXIVM defendants all confirm – they want to keep their Bronfman-paid attorneys; ‘prosecution vexed that they won’t plead guilty’

Lauren Salzman and Clare Bronfman.

On November 30th, the government filed a letter alleging a potential conflict of interest because the attorneys representing Keith Raniere, Allison Mack, Lauren Salzman, Nancy Salzman, and Kathy Russell are all being paid by Clare Bronfman through a trust.

They asked for a hearing pursuant to United States v. Curcio [a hearing where the judge examines potential conflicts of interest with attorneys and advises the defendants of these conflicts if he finds any. In some instances, the defendant may waive the conflict in writing. In more extreme cases, the judge may determine that the conflict is not waivable and not permit the defendant to use the “conflicted” attorney.]

All the attorneys representing Clare’s co-defendants have filed responses on their behalf stating they want to keep their Bronfman -paid lawyers.

See the letters for

Lauren Salzman

Allison Mack

Kathy Russell

Nancy Salzman

Keith Raniere

Nancy Salzman’s attorneys write, “No limitation upon the exercise of counsel’s judgment, discretion, or strategies, nor upon the choice of our client’s counsel- have ever been imposed by the trust or exerted upon counsel in any manner by anyone. Counsel has from the commencement of our representation exercised completely independent judgment and operated entirely free of any trust related constraints. We have assurances that state of affairs will continue throughout the pendency of the case. We have no divided loyalty in this matter as counsel, and the trust has imposed no interference of any kind on counsel’s duty of zealous advocacy and full allegiance to our client.”

Lauren’s lawyer Hector Diaz argued in a similar vein stating that the Bronfman trust provides for “…no interference with the lawyer’s independent professional judgment or with the client-lawyer relationship.”

Diaz writes that Lauren “is keenly aware of all risks and benefits associated with this payment arrangement. To the extent that the Court determines a potential conflict exists, Lauren will waive this potential conflict.”

Diaz chastised the government for waiting six months to raise the issue.

“Despite knowing about the Trust and the unique nature of the Trust for months, the Government now alleges for the first time that all counsel for each of the defendants (with the exception of Clare Bronfman’s counsel) has a potential conflict of interest.

“We disagree that any potential conflict of interest exists under these circumstances, and we object to the government’s characterization that the nature of the payment arrangement for legal fees is being used to influence witnesses and divide loyalties…  These assertions are misplaced and raise serious questions as to the government’s appreciation of the underlying intricacies of this case. Any funds that Clare Bronfman has purportedly contributed to the Trust are now Trust assets, and as such, only the trustee has control over those assets.

“Indeed, the trustee plays no role in our defense strategy nor with regard to the advice we provide to our client.”

Lauren’s attorneys agreed to the hearing subject to certain conditions that will protect the privacy of the client to avoid a “fishing expedition.”

In law, a fishing expedition is an unfocused and manipulative attempt to uncover damaging evidence to be used against an adversary.

Raniere’s attorneys – Marc Agnifilo, Terry Geragos and Paul DerOhannesian – argue that the government is doing this because they are vexed that none of the defendants have pleaded guilty.

They wrote, “The government files this Curcio motion now, six months after being told about the trust, because of this vexation over the fact that none of the defendants have pleaded guilty and wish to blame this on divided loyalties. The government, however, conveniently ignores the most obvious reason for defendants not pleading guilty. That is, of course, because the defendants are not guilty.”



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Frank Parlato

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5 years ago

Slipping the adj. ‘vexatious’ into a claim about the prosecution’s state of mind? Cute. Coming from people whose addiction to vexatious litigation is unlikely to cease before overdose – that’s really something.

AUSA’S Penza and Hajjar are not Jness-y enough to be troubled by vexatiousness, as they didn’t throw their lives away on a lick and a promise, choosing instead to gain an education that would give them real power to do good. Unlike those subject to their powers of prosecution, they are not enraged or envious enough to put all their energies into harassing those they cannot cruelly exploit, in some cases to death.

5 years ago
Reply to  onewomanarmy

I meant Vb.’vexed’.

5 years ago

Vexed by Aggie’s snarky statement that prosecutors only brought this conflict of interest matter to the attention of the court because they are supposedly, “vexed that no defendants have plead guilty yet!”

That’s so off, it’s akin to deceiving defendants that signing this “waiver of conflict of interest” is inconsequential when it’s, in fact, a death sentence as to raising the issue on appeal.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t Agnofilo’s idea in order to pre-cover his own conflicted ass from the litigious Legatus. Or, hey y’all, maybe it was Allison’s idea?!

Scott Johnson (@ScottTexJohnson)
Reply to  Heidi

Agnofilo [sic] didn’t say it was the ONLY reason, he merely didn’t list other reasons. Taking statements out of context and/or changing the meaning is not helpful.

5 years ago

So kind of you to find compassion and reason in defence of raniere as you consistently have. I hope nxivm have or can find a way to reward you for your unfailing service.

5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Maybe Schlock wants Aggie to represent him against Amway next time they sue him for stealing their inventory by rerouting orders.

Scott Johnson (@ScottTexJohnson)
Reply to  Anonymous

Quite the opposite. Exaggerating is not helpful, as there are plenty of accurate issues to address.

5 years ago

Yes, we all want to go down on the Titanic together, the same way we all went down on the Vanguard together.

5 years ago

Who is the trustee of the legal fund?

5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Ms. T. Hird-Party.

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: frankreport76@gmail.com


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