Report of Court Hearing today – ‘the number of attorneys for the Defense is ridiculous’

The courtroom in which sentences will be meted out
Today’s status conference lasted about 30 minutes. No oral arguments were made on any matters.
The next Status Conference is scheduled for February 28th.
Before then, the judge plans to conduct the Curcio hearings.


by John Hardy

The hearing today, Feb 6, 2019, was pretty much a waste. What should have taken 4-5 minutes was needlessly extended by defense counsel to about 35 minutes. No substantive issues were argued or decided. The Judge is keeping to the trial schedule.

These are my observations on each person:

Judge Nicholas Garaufis – very smart, near photographic memory, high IQ. This judge will interface with and ask the Defense attorneys questions, so the attorneys cannot wing it or bullshit the bench.

He is about efficiency and is compassionate towards people. Keeps everything short, sweet, and to the point. Does not engage in unnecessary fluff or feel the need to flex his muscles and yell at attorneys or Defendants.

Keith Raniere – looked ridiculous. His hair is very frizzy and puffy, almost like Bozo the Clown. Think of a bad 70s grey-white Afro on a white guy. Tan jumpsuit. Keith is chubby, not starving. Looked bloated, pasty face. He had puffy cheeks and puffy lower jawline. Almost like a chimpanzee.

Nancy Salzman – tired, harried, broken. Nancy arrived late to court. Just as the U.S. Attorney’s Office was pointing out the fact that she had not appeared, guess who steps through the door? Speak of the Devil (and right on cue). Looked all out of sorts, wrinkled, shriveled, droopy flesh. She looks bad health-wise.

Lauren Salzman – looked tired, a bit lost. Like she was about to break down and cry at any moment.

Allison Mack – appeared strangely chipper, happy. Considering the fact that she has to fly 10+ hours round trip from California for a needless 5-minute hearing. I think she is faking her confidence and over-compensating. She’s acting like everything is okay when most assuredly it is not.

Kathy Russell – looked the best out of the entire group. She re-colored her hair, so her white roots were not showing this time.

Clare Bronfman – looked very thin and pastier than usual. Did not make eye contact with anyone in the courtroom. Quick glances all over the place. She does not want to be there and appears overwhelmed.

Moira Penza – confident, sharp. Her voice belies her strength. This lady has guts and a backbone. Lion in sheep’s clothing. The Defense should not underestimate her.

Marc Angifilo – confident, good mood, joking with the judge. I think Marc is happy because he is going to get paid MILLIONS on this case. His clients don’t have a chance in hell, and he knows it. But, he will get at least $5-$7 Million for this case. He will make an okay effort, but not heroic to defend his clients. This guy is in it for the dough. I would not want him as my attorney. He is not serious, is not taking the case seriously. Not fiery, does not believe in his clients. Is just there to collect a paycheck. Doesn’t have the gravitas of a Lincoln or Atticus Finch or Perry Mason or Matt Murdoch (real and fictional attorneys). You can see when an attorney is serious about what they do – about protecting the Defendant’s rights and battling the system. Agnifilo is not. More like the Court Jester, ready to collect his pay and bolt.


The number of attorneys for the Defense is ridiculous. It looked like a convention. Jovial atmosphere between the attorneys. Lack of resolve or seriousness. They are not taking the case seriously. I think they just want to collect a paycheck, give short speeches, and bolt.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Krusty the Clown aka Keith.

    Krusty could describe his hair or his drawers. Yucko!

    No doubt he has layers of dirt n feces crusted to his ass and fat folds from not showering.

  • I have no compassion for any of the NXIVM defendants.
    The one thing that bothers me is Claire.
    I wouldn’t put it past her to use her millions to hire someone, cause we know she ain’t all that smart, to sonehow rig the ankle monitor while she escapes to France, a non extradition country.
    I got a bad feelin about Claire, very bad.

  • I could hear the carnival music playing in the background as I read this post.

    The heard of defense attorney’s is the carousal of horses, and with each pass, their bank account goes bling Bling, Bling, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, just like a slot machine in Las Vegas. They are racking up what is left in the trust fund. They are winning and having the most JOY. None of them had to step foot in the doors of Executive Success Programs or take an NXIVM course to learn how to extract money from Clare Bronfman’s Open Check Book.

    Keith Raniere has always been a Smelly Clown. He looks more the part now than ever. So many people couldn’t see this clown shoes through the endless cloud of bullshit he left and by his inner circle of devotees. How can the Judge or a jury take such a clown as a serious businessman who was doing good in the world and meant no harm?

    When the trial and appeals are over, Open Check Book Clare Bronfman will have lost close to a Billion dollars (if not more) of her grandfather’s and fathers trust they gifted her. OCB Clare Bronfman will most likely spend years behind bars for her evil criminal deeds she committed for her Master Keith Raniere. OCB Clare might still be on her Master diet or she might not be able to eat due to waking up the what she has done over the years. Maybe she needs to request Therapy.

    Of course, Nancy Salzman was late; she is late for everything. Of course, she looks like shit; it’s her karma she treated everyone like a piece of shit. Nancy Salzman for decades stood by her man and committed crimes against the state of NY, the Federal Government, the IRS and crimes against humanity.

    Why would Lauren look anything but confused? Lauren Salzman was a blind sheep of Keith Raniere and did whatever he wanted her to do. If she tried to think for herself, she was punished by Keith or her Mom, Nancy Salzman. Now she wants to talk with people in NXIVM. Hope the Judge grants her the right to talk to anyone other than those on the 2017 coach list. There are some ex-nx’s you could start to heal your breach with Lauren Salzman, if they would take your call. Bahahahahahahaha. Some might even help you get some deprogramming.

    I don’t think dying your grey roots make a person in a better place. Kathy Russel might look better, but she got herself into the mess she is in by taking the 5th so many times the Grand Jury knew she was involved in illegal activities. One has to be devoted to being willing to lie or take the 5th to protect themselves and a band of criminals.

    Allison Mack is as phony today as the day she walked into her first NXIVM course. She gets to chill at her parents’ house, Clare Bronfman is paying her current legal fees, she has a residual income coming in. Allison can play flirty with the men around her, huggee/whisper in your ear with her gal pal co-defendants and sad, poor me, face with the Judge.

  • John,

    Thank you for well written and timely update. I think everyone who reads your descriptions of the defendants will be happily amused. You made me laugh with the “bozo the clown”, comment.

    Maybe it was a waste of your time but thank you again all the same.

  • Thank you for the report. It’s ludicrous so much money is being spent in lawyers for the defense. The number of lawyers does not impress the judge sitting on the bench or intimidate the prosecution.

  • The dour defendant faces may be a result of the court date getting closer (even if it is likely to be pushed off) as well as seeing what the Feds have regarding the evidence against them. The lawyers are probably happy that they’ve cleaned up financially and are about to bolt prior to the high pressure trial phase, or there has been a fresh infusion of cash. Good ‘ole Cankles Mack is doing her best to win an Oscar, but all she’s going to get is a dry, cold, shriveled up hot dog version on a stale bun in prison.

  • I wonder how closely Sara and her sister keep in touch. I can only imagine volumes that the sisters could share between them. They’ve shared SO much already.

  • Great insights, very interesting, thanks! Keith sounds disgusting. Interesting to know how Angifilo behaves. Alison sounds like she’s headed to the slaughterhouse. Stupid enough to be confident, and standing up for her Vantard. She’s not gonna know what hit her.

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.

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