Lesko for the prosecution

Prosecutor Mark J. Lesko
The prosecution team in the Nxivm case has added a new attorney. His name is Mark J. Lesko, an assistant US Attorney with the Eastern District of NY.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Assistant United States Attorney Mark J. Lesko 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 be sent to:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Lesko
United States Attorney’s Office (Criminal Division)
271 Cadman Plaza East
Brooklyn, New York 11201
Tel: (718) 254-6048
Fax: (718) 254-6300
Email: Mark.Lesko@usdoj.gov
Lesko evidently was in court Monday, along with Assistant US Attorneys Moira Penza, Kevin Trowell, and Tanya Hajjar.
When he heard the name Mark J. Lesko, we were a little surprised.  Is this THE Mark Lesko?

The Mark Lesko we know [from our online research] is almost 52, (born February 4, 1967), a native of Washington D.C., a graduate of Yale University and a quarterback on the Yale varsity football team.

Mark J. Lesko

Lesko practiced law in Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., mainly as a corporate litigator with large law firms in Pittsburgh, PA and Washington, D.C.

In Pittsburgh, Lesko helped establish the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Advisory Committee, an organization formed to assist economically depressed communities affected by the closure of steel mills.

He then served as Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1999-2002 in the District of Columbia and 2002-2009 in the Eastern District of New York.  In DC, Lesko served as a prosecutor in the homicide/major crimes section in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia.

In Long Island, Lesko served as Deputy Chief of the Long Island Criminal Division, where he ran the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Long Island leading all federal investigations and prosecutions in Brookhaven, population 486,000.

Some of his successful cases as Lead Prosecutor include:

  1. Muttontown Slavery Case − a Muttontown couple were found guilty of abusing two Indonesian women and holding them as slaves in their home.
  2. The Lawrence Aviation Environmental Pollution Case – The leadership of Lawrence Aviation was convicted for dumping 12 tons of hazardous waste into the ground of Port Jefferson Station, New York.
  3. The Symbol Technologies Fraud Case − Virtually all of the company’s senior management were found to be involved.
  4. A racketeering case involving the murder of an innocent man by gang members.                                                                                                                                                                                        Lesko also managed the federal prosecutions leading to conviction in:
  5. The “Asphalt Cartel” Case − Involving the owners of major asphalt companies in Suffolk County for conspiracy to rig bids.
  6. The prosecution of officials of the William Floyd School District for tax evasion.
  7. The conviction of a sitting New York State Judge.
Image result for Muttontown Slavery Case
Convicted slavers in the Muttontown Slavery Case – prosecuted by Mark J. Lesko.


After leaving the US Attorney’s office, Lesko went into politics. He was elected Brookhaven Town Supervisor in a special election, was elected in a regular election and then reelected – running three times and winning in four years.  Brookhaven is on Long Island, part of Suffolk County.

As Supervisor, Lesko, a Democrat, was known as a fiscal conservative. He froze property taxes for three years in a row and cut spending in the General Fund by 26%. He supported a property tax cap, a spending cap, and a debt management cap for Brookhaven. Voters approved all three measures in referendums in 2010.  Wall Street Rating agencies affirmed Brookhaven’s high bond ratings eight times when Lesko served in office.

Lesko also focused on redeveloping blighted areas of the suburbs and redirecting development away from virgin land through a program he developed called “Blight to Light”.

In 2011, Lesko spearheaded an initiative to commercialize research at Long Island’s major research institutions. The effort was modeled after successful commercialization efforts around the country, such as Connect.org in San Diego and other high-tech economies in Silicon Valley and Boston.

Subsequently, a not for profit called Accelerate Long Island was launched with research institutions and private companies serving on the board of directors.  Accelerate’s partners included Long Island’s major research institutions such as Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Hofstra University, the North Shore-LIJ Feinstein Institute, Stony Brook University, and the business community.

In 2012, Lesko resigned as Town Supervisor to serve on the Board of Directors of Accelerate and become its first Executive Director. His job: to transform Long Island’s economy by cultivating an ecosystem that connects researchers with entrepreneurs and investors and creating high-technology jobs. He worked at Accelerate from  to 

Vice President of Economic Development, Executive Dean of the Center for Entrepreneurship; Executive Dean of the Wilbur F. Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies and oversaw the Scott Skodnek Business Development Center and School of Continuing Education.

Now, we were surprised to see his name as a prosecutor in the NXIVM case.  Is it the same Mark J. Lesko?

Lesko’s Linked-in page  still lists him as being with the university and makes no mention of a return to the US Attorney’s office.  His Wikipedia page still lists him as the Executive Director of Accelerate, which his Linked-in page states he left in 2016.

Sure, perhaps there are two Mark J. Lesko’s but it seems more likely that the former AUSA, former Brookhaven Supervisor, former ED of Accelerate, and VP of Economic Development at Hofstra U, is back at the US Attorney’s office – and on the team working to prosecute Keith Raniere, Allison Mack, Clare Bronfman, Nancy and Lauren Salzman and Kathy Russell.

That does not augur well for the defendants.

Viva Executive Success!






About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • A new superseding indictment appears to be on its way with new sex trafficking and enforced servitude charges.
    Will it include the teen aged girls from Chihuahua?

    • That would mean Rosa Laura Junco indicted.
      Her (allegedly) keeping them in her basement to be farmed out for work they probably weren’t paid anything for, was illegal for them to be doing without a work visa, and Raniere to be “touching” them is for me by far the most shocking thing I have learned so far.
      Being a mother, I can’t fathom a mother doing such a thing to anyone’s child, let alone her children being in the same situation with the others.
      Even though her father had previously cut her off, I doubt he would leave her without a defence.
      I just hope her (ex ?) husband is keeping her away from those children.

  • I agree with Frank that Lesko’s arrival onto the prosecution team is a signal to the defense. However, it’s not the ‘positive’ signal that Frank and Co. are hoping for.

    Methinks it’s a signal from everybody’s boss, Richard Donoghue, that Moira Penza is getting in over her head.

    I’m guessing that Richard Donoghue is tired of having ZERO defendants cut plea deals.

    I’m guessing that Richard Donoghue is getting sick & tired of having Moira Penza FUCKING UP this case by FAILING to secure even a SINGLE cooperating witness after nearly a year.

    I’m guessing that Richard Donoghue is frustrated by listening to Moira Penza constantly announce to the court that she’s ‘negotiating’ with defendants (i.e. Allison Mack and Nancy Salzman) only to have those negotiations BEAR NO FRUIT after many months.

    Guess what?

    This is a case that’s RIFE with defendants who can ‘cooperate’ and help drive that final nail into Keith’s and Clare’s coffin.

    I mean, there’s so many defendants in this case that they’re practically creating a traffic jam as they enter the courtroom.

    Yet with SO MANY defendants in this case, Moira Penza has not been skilled enough to convince even ONE OF THEM to cooperate for the government. That says a lot about her skills as an attorney — or rather her lack of such skills — since half of an attorney’s job is to negotiate with the other side.

    It’s clear that Penza is not offering Nancy or Lauren the proper ‘incentives’ to turn against Keith, which is why they’re standing by their Vanguard.

    It’s also clear the Allison Mack played Penza FOR A NAIVE FOOL and never had any intention of cooperating. Allison and her attorney are dancing rings around Moira Penza pre-trial.

    Penza is embarrassing the prosecution team with her lack of progress. She clearly isn’t able to come down off her HIGH HORSE to offer Nancy & Lauren the proper ‘incentives’ to testify against their Vanguard.

    I’m guessing that Lesko’s arrival onto the prosecution team is meant to stem the tide of failures by Moira Penza.

    I’m guessing that Richard Donoghue doesn’t wish to embarrass his team by officially removing Penza from this case, so he’s ‘quietly’ just adding more capable attorneys to assist in her failed negotiations.

    *But that’s just my opinion of course, which taken together with a token, might get somebody on a NY subway but not much else. LOL.

    …and no, I am not Dennis Burke. Let’s not go into the Twilight Zone again and rehash that nonsense.

    Bangkok yes, Burke no.

  • Pitting Mark Lesko against Keith Raniere
    Brain versus Brain is no contest. Keith can pulverize him. And he has a lot of reputation to preserve. A little advice Mark. Drop the charges and avoid embarrassment.

    • Pea Onyu,
      There is no “pitting” here. Mr. Lesko is an educated and accomplished lawyer, hired to work with a TEAM of other educated and accomplished lawyers. All, who are commited to prosecuting a crazy man who is accused of doing a lot of immoral and illegal things.
      KR cannot pulverize anyone. He has no power, none, nothing. The devil that he sold his soul to has left him.
      Not sure where he started losing his gifts or why. My guess, it was a curse of some sort cast upon him for pain he caused. Yes indeed he has fallen by the deeds of his own hands.

  • Sure, but is Lesko a judo champ, track record breaker and not to mention, the smartest man in the world?

    This will be more entertaining than anything televised today…

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato


Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com