One of the first things you learn in the law school class that covers trial tactics is how best to present your case.
That advice can be boiled down to three sentences:
• When the facts favor your side of the argument, pound the facts.
• When the law favors your side of the argument, pound the law.
• When neither the facts nor the law supports your side of the argument, pound the table.
Marc Agnifilo, Keith Raniere’s lead attorney, is now pounding the table.
And he’s doing so very hard…
Back on January 9, 2019, Agnifilo filed a Motion To Suppress the evidence the prosecution had obtained via three search warrants that had been served upon:
• The Apple IDs associated with Raniere, Allison Mack and Lauren Salzman;
• Raniere’s Yahoo! email account;
• Mack’s iCloud account;
• Lauren Salzman’s iCloud account;
• Clare Bronfman’s Gmail account;
• The email accounts of two of Raniere’s long-time partners – one of whom was probably Pam Cafritz and the other of whom is unknown; and
• Nancy Salzman’s former home at 3 Oregon Trail in Halfmoon, NY.
Although the document was originally filed “under seal”, a partially redacted version of it has now been made available to the general public – which allows us to see a good deal of what has been going on behind the scenes.
As it turns out, Agnifilo has alleged that the affidavits which were used to obtain the search warrants were flawed because they contained “material misstatements and omissions”.
Agnifilo has also requested a hearing to present his arguments as to why the affidavits were flawed – and why, therefore, the prosecution should not be allowed to utilize any of the evidence it obtained via those search warrants in the upcoming trial in the case of U.S. v. Raniere Et Al.
In detailing why he believes the search warrants were flawed, Agnifilo makes the following assertions:
• RE: The December 7, 2017 Search Warrant:
– It failed to mention that journalists from The Times Union and Vanity Fair “hacked into the Nxivm servers to obtain client lists and non-public, proprietary information” (Agnifilo fails to note that this allegation has never been proven – and offers no proof to support it);
– It failed to mention that John Tighe implicated Joe O’Hara and Toni Natalie when he pled guilty to criminal computer trespass (Agnifilo fails to note that similar charges against O’Hara and Natalie had already been dismissed well before this search warrant was issued);
– It failed to mention that Times Union reporter James Odato left the employ of the Times Union after NXIVM initiated a civil lawsuit against the newspaper (Agnifilo fails to note that the lawsuit in question was dismissed because Clare Bronfman was found to have perjured herself in the underlying “Complaint”);
– It failed to mention that Frank Parlato, Odato, O’Hara and others “have been involved in misappropriating and printing stolen, confidential, personal information hacked and misappropriated from NXIVM’s private computer files” (Agnifilo fails to note that none of these allegations has ever been proven – and offers no proof to support them);
– It failed to mention that Frank Parlato, Odato, O’Hara, the Times-Union and other publications are “in possession of stolen, confidential NXIVM information” (Agnifilo fails to note that this allegation has never been proven – and offers no proof to support it);
– It failed to mention that Sarah Edmondson stole and misappropriated Nxivm corporate documents upon leaving Nxivm (Agnifilo fails to note that this allegation has never been proven – and offers no proof to support it);
– It falsely stated that Raniere had fled to Mexico to evade federal law enforcement officials (Agnifilo fails to note that this is exactly what Raniere did – and that it’s a major reason why Raniere has been denied bail three times in this case);
– It falsely stated that Raniere was “reported to be living in Monterrey, Mexico, where Nxivm maintains a center, with a member of his harem, who is a branded DOS slave” (Agnifilo claims that Mariana Fernandez was not a member of DOS and had not been branded);
– It falsely stated that Jane Doe 3 and Jane Doe 4 joined DOS to “move up the Nxivm ranks” (Except for noting that both of these Jane Does were already high-ranking members of NXIVM, Agnifilo offers no proof to the contrary that they joined DOS for that purpose); and
– It referenced a memorandum entitled “Criminal Activity involving KR 11-12” that had been put together by Frank Parlato and Catherine Oxenberg (Agnifilo does not explain the relevance of this memorandum – and he does not refute the accuracy of its contents).
• RE: The January 18, 2018 Search Warrant:
– This search warrant had all the same flaws as the December 7, 2017 warrant;
– It references the Frank Report – which Agnifilo claims is written by Frank Parlato “who claims to have law enforcement sources, including Richard Donoghue, the United States Attorney of the EDNY, himself” (Frank, of course, has never made any such claims – and has, in fact, gone on the record numerous times to claim the exact opposite);
– It fails to point out that Parlato “had been indicted for stealing $1 million from Bronfman” (Agnifilo buries in a footnote the fact that the charge against Parlato involving the Bronfman funds has already been withdrawn by the prosecution); and
– It failed to point out that Nancy Salzman had never released any of the “collateral” that had been provided by Sarah Edmondson (Agnifilo does not address the fact that the collection – and retention – of that collateral constituted criminal acts).
• RE: The October 2018 Search Warrant:
– It included a misleading representation of the NXIVM/ESP member who was confined to a room for more than 18-months (Agnifilo then goes on to omit numerous critical facts in describing this scenario);
– It included snippets of Raniere’s emails that were taken out of context (Agnifilo does not provide any details about these snippets); and
– It implies that it was Raniere and his cohorts who prevented the NXIVM/ESP member from getting her identification papers back (Agnifilo claims it was the young woman’s family who made that decision).
It’s becoming increasingly clear why Agnifilo has been filing so many documents “under seal” in this case.
By doing so, he’s been able to make numerous false and misleading statements against lots of people without them even being aware of what he’s said about them.
But as more and more of his filings get unsealed – and, hopefully, they will all be unsealed at some point in time – his baseless allegations and personal attacks are getting exposed to the general public and, more importantly, to the people he’s been maligning.
Given the fact that Raniere is guilty of everything he’s been charged with – and a whole lot more – we can expect a lot more table pounding by Marc Agnifilo…
Bang on, Mr. Agnifilo… Bang on!