Another Order From Judge Garaufis = Another Bad Day For NXIVM
Right from the outset, it seems that Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis has understood just what Keith Raniere is all about.
One of the first things he did is order that Raniere be detained because he found that the prosecution had submitted credible testimony that there were no conditions that would reasonably assure Raniere’s appearance at trial or the safety of the community.
And it’s been pretty much downhill for Raniere from there.
Judge Garaufis has also had a very keen understanding of the woman that financed most of the illegal actions that were undertaken by Raniere and other members of the NXIVM cult: Clare Bronfman.
And yesterday, Judge Garaufis launched another torpedo that will help to sink both Raniere and Bronfman.
In another “sua sponte” Order that he issued yesterday, the judge has directed the defense attorneys to provide him with the names of everyone who has contributed to the Defense Trust Fund that Bronfman set up shortly before she was indicted.
Here’s the Order:
ORDER: Defendants are DIRECTED to submit to the court the names of any and all contributors to the Trust by no later than 12:00 P.M. on December 20, 2018. (See generally Gov’t Nov. 30, 2018 Letter (Dkt. ) at 2-3 (stating that an irrevocable trust, to which Defendant Clare Bronfman is the primary contributor, is paying the legal fees of the other Defendants and certain witnesses).) Having these names will help the court conduct the anticipated Curcio hearings properly. Defendants may submit these names ex parte and under seal. If Defendants are unable to ascertain and submit these names, they are to provide an explanation; the court will then take such further steps as are necessary to identify them. Ordered by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on 12/18/2018.
As usual, let’s try to parse through this Order – and figure out what it means.
To begin with, let’s start with the fact that the prosecution did not even ask the judge to issue such an order (I personally think they should have long ago asked for a full accounting of the trust – and a forensic accounting of the finances of Clare and her sister, Sara Bronfman-Igtet).
Next, let’s consider how much time the judge gave the defense attorneys to comply with his Order: i.e., until 12:00 Noon on Thursday, December 20th.
And lastly, let’s look at his two-pronged warning to the defense attorneys: (1) if they can’t supply all the names by his deadline, he wants an explanation as to why they couldn’t do so; and (2) if he doesn’t get the names from them, he’ll “…take such further steps as are necessary to identify…” all the donors.
So, the Cliff Notes version of Judge Garaufis’ Order is as follows: Give me the names of everyone who ever put a penny into this trust fund by Noon on Thursday or I’ll drag the Trustee in here and get those names from him.
Orders like this are meant to send a signal to attorneys that the judge is going to get what he’s asking for one way or another.
So, if you’re Marc Agnifilo – or one of the other members of the defendants’ “Scheme Team” – you now know that the judge is going to find out the names of every person and/or other entity that has put any money into the Defense Trust Fund.
And you’ve got to be thinking that after he gets those names, the judge is next going to ask for a list of every entity that has ever received any payments from the trust – and probably an accounting of exactly how much each of them received from the trust.
Viva Executive Success!