Judge Garaufis schedules last minute status conference – for Raniere and Bronfman only – will Geragos show or duck the hearing?

Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis

US District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis has ordered a status conference – with little more than 24-hours’ notice – which all attorneys for Keith Raniere and Clare Bronfman must attend unless they receive permission from the judge not to be there (So far, he has granted such permission for Alexandra A.E. Shapiro, one of Clare’s horde of attorneys).

Here is the order:

“The court will hold a status conference for Defendants Keith Raniere and Clare Bronfman tomorrow at 3:00 P.M. in Courtroom 4D South before the undersigned. All counsel of record for Raniere and Bronfman must either (1) attend the conference or (2) explain why they cannot attend in advance and obtain the court’s permission to be excused. Ordered by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on 3/26/2019. (Haddad, Andrew).”

Why so sudden a hearing? What does this mean?

It almost certainly is prompted by the fact that Clare’s lead attorney, Mark Geragos, is facing possible indictment on federal attempted extortion charges in connection with his “legal” work involving the Nike company with fellow LA lawyer Michael Avenatti, who has already been charged.

Geragos’ future as the lead attorney for Clare Bronfman must be settled immediately since jury selection in the Nxivm trial is scheduled to start in less than two weeks.

Complicating matters is the fact that Geragos is apparently being represented by Benjamin Brafman, the founding partner of Brafman and Associates, which is the same law firm that represents Raniere.

Both Marc Agnifilo and Geragos’ daughter, Teny Geragos, are with Brafman and Associates. Agnifilo is Raniere’s lead attorney.

There is an obvious potential for conflicts-of-interest – and an even greater potential for delaying for trial – if Clare’s lead attorney cannot proceed with the case.

Clare Bronfman has a motion pending before the court to sever her trial from Raniere –  a motion prepared and filed by Geragos.

Why aren’t the other three defendants’ attorneys required to attend this suddenly-called meeting?

It may be because only Raniere is in pre-trial custody and his attorneys have been pressing for a speedy trial and have vigorously objected to each delay in the trial while also pushing for Raniere’s release on bail.

Requiring Raniere’s attorneys to attend, in addition to Bronfman’s attorneys, could signal that the judge is considering delaying the trial.

It may also signal that the other three defendants, Kathy Russell, Lauren Salzman and Allison Mack, have entered plea deals [not yet announced] – or are about to enter plea deals – which would leave only Clare and Keith to stand trial.

Another reason for calling both [and only] Raniere and Bronfman’s attorneys may be because the potential conflicts-of-interest devolve solely around Bronfman’s and Raniere’s attorneys.

Will Geragos show up?

There will likely be heavy media coverage of tomorrow’s hearing – and if Mark Geragos appears, there will undoubtedly be a media frenzy. If he does not intend to appear, however, he will have to get permission from Judge Garaufis to be absent or risk being found in contempt of court.

Will Geragos seek to withdraw from representing Clare?

Or will Clare simply fire him because of his own legal problems?

If either of those things happens, it would seem almost a forgone conclusion that the judge will postpone the trial, at least for Clare. He may even have to sever her trial – or keep Raniere waiting in prison.

For all the rotten things Clare may have done in her life, Geragos getting into legal trouble is certainly not her fault.  The judge forcing her to go hurriedly to trial without her lead attorney would be ample grounds for appeal.

Whether her former lead attorney, Susan Necheles, who was relegated to non- lead status about a month ago, is prepared to resume her role is unknown. She will likely have to weigh in on her position tomorrow as well.

She may not be prepared to step back up to lead status – and Clare may not want her to do so.

Clare may want a new lead attorney. She obviously chose to relegate Necheles to non-lead status for a reason. She did not want Necheles to direct her case at trial.

While postponement of the trial might seem simple, the biggest obstacle to postponement is that Keith Raniere is sitting in jail. Today is his one year anniversary in custody (Happy KARma Day, Keith!). That’s a long time to be in jail and is certainly not what is meant by a speedy trial.

In the past, his attorneys, especially Marc Agnifilo, have objected to all the delays and there have been plenty. The trial was originally going to start last July. Then it was postponed to October and then postponed again to January.

But the possibility of another delay is complicated by the fact that Keith’s attorneys and Geragos’ attorneys are one and the same.

On the one hand, they might advise Keith to passively consent to the delay, to keep the trials from being severed, which might also help ease the way for their other client, Geragos, who just two days ago was one of the most prominent and respected lawyers in America but is now under a dark cloud that may end his legal career, to quietly slip out of the case, and give Bronfman time to transition to another lawyer.

[Will the judge have to order another Curcio hearing for Raniere, with an independent attorney to advise him on the fact that his present lawyer’s law firm represents his co-defendant’s lead attorney and that that co-defendant is paying his legal bill?]

The media will certainly be there tomorrow to find out if Judge Garaufis is going to delay the Nxivm cult sex-slaver trial because of Geragos’ legal woes.

Raniere’s attorneys [who work for the same law firm as Geragos’ attorneys] may try again to persuade the judge to let Raniere out on bail, something the judge almost certainly will not consider since in  three previous decisions denying bail, he made it abundantly clear that he considers Raniere a flight risk and a danger to the community.

Judge Garaufis could sever the trial.  He could delay it.  He could order it to go forward on schedule.

All of these decisions are imperfect, just like the law.



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Frank Parlato


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  • Thinking it through, if Geragos really had been sucked into what he thought was going to be the legitimate negotiation of a settlement for a client, and then started to cooperate with authorities as soon as it became obvious that Avenatti was going to try to turn it into an extortion scheme, it seems to me that the very publicity-minded Geragos would have been vigorously making that case in his defense by now – so he likely has been caught red-handed, and is facing serious troubles of his own. Now I’m starting to wonder if he’s gotten away with things like this before, just what sort of settlement he made with Nike less than a year ago for his client Colin Kaepernick, and if he cut himself and extra large slice of that deal, too.

    It will indeed be extremely interesting to see what comes of the status conference today. I’m assuming that one possibility is that Geragos withdraws from the case beforehand, and doesn’t show.

    It occurse to me that it might be said that what we’re seeing, is that Clare’s attempts to keep herself out of jail – and out on bond as long as possible – by spending inordinate amounts of money on as many lawyers as can be fit into a courtroom, could be having the effect of keeping Keith sitting in jail awaiting trial that much longer. I expect we’ll hear further fussing from his lawyers about that, particularly if there is any consideration that Clare’s problems with legal representation might lead to further delay.

    • It would of been Geragos who contacted the AG office not the Nike attorneys.

      Geragos was in on the deal from the beginning. He had plenty of time to step up and say, this isn’t legal, this isn’t right and I’m not playing this game.

      Instead his eyes kept going cha-ching millions of times.

      • Reportedly, though, he started cooperating with the authorities at some point – and apparently, that was enough to get him left as just an unindicted co-conspirator, at least for now. The question is, at what point, and whether he was the one who finally when to the authorities when he realized it had gone too far (or that they might get caught), or whether it actually was the Nike attorneys, and he only finally started cooperating later.

  • JOY to ALL and to the freed slaves this first joyous KARma Day!

    Not too shocked that the sleaziest sharks in the swamp are swarming around this billionaire blood fest.

    [Unless you buy that Clare hooked up with Daddy Geragos shark through her own independent online research —without a peep from his pretty babygirl sharkette representing Keith Alan Raniere. Say, Mebbe sharkette’s still got this kill covered for pops even if Daddy Shark’s hauled off in cuffs tom.]

    What’s shocking is the timing and surreal kismet…#metoo NIKE being extorted by Stormy’s pimp and the NX Daddy/daughter shark duo…and Did I just read the NIKE CEO is a pedo goof, too? Damn, these pedos are just falling from the trees!

    Joy and Power to Judge Gaurufis for Tom.’s judicious proceedings. Can you imagine his position? I’d want to sign *him* for a book deal first!

  • Listening to the “Escaping NXIVM” podcast.

    Sarah Edmondson is a manipulative and calculating liar. She is part of the NXIVM fabric, playing innocent.

    • Scott,

      If I call into the “radio”, show you cohost on I am going to have to mention all of the posts you have made over the last month.

      Would it be okay for me to contact your cohost and producer ahead of time and supply them with the links to all of your most vitriolic posts?

      I would include all of the posts regarding Heidi and her sister that committed suicide, also the post about your fictional sex story that Frank did not post. In addition I would also like to add links to some of your more salacious attacks on a number of other women at this website.

      Scott can I have your permission to contact your producer and email him the links to your juiciest comments.

      I think if I appear on your radio show we will have much to discuss.

      • Scott,
        I assume the show that you keep referring to is the “Fortunes” show. I looked up the email all ready. No need to post it.

        • Scott,

          I would want to be fair to you if I appear on your show I will be asking you questions regarding your many posts.

          Here are some of the questions I will be asking:

          1.Scott Johnson are you the sole person commenting as Scott Johnson, Tex, and Tex2 ?
          2. Do you allow anyone else to comment using your account?
          3.Do you allow anyone to use your internet connected devices?
          4. Are you aware that by answering my questions on a public forum such as your podcast radio show you are disseminating information about yourself as public record.
          5. Are you aware depending upon which states your podcast/radio show are being up loaded in your show can be used in a civil lawsuit?

          Scott please let me know at your convenience if these questions will be okay.

    • Scott,

      I will submit a more formal list of questions to you before I potentially I call in. I want you to know that I will be asking questions that relate to the public record.

      I promise I will not ambush you. I am a “nice guy”.

      • Scott,

        May I invite Bangkok to appear on the radio show with me, when I am interviewed? Maybe Bangkok can chime in towards the end of the program.

        I think there is the possibility that we will have a cool show and fun time after all. At the very least it will be interesting.

        Let me know what you think Scott.


      • I’m free Sat evening. LET’S DO THIS!!!!!

        BTW, Scott. I think a good legal defense is “I had too many pops and didn’t mean it when I made fun of her hair-lip”

  • Even Michael Jackson was smart enough to fire the man. The question is wi Clare Bear fire her new found lover boy.

  • Greragos is not dumb enough to show up to the court house with all of the press waiting to ambush him.

    Who ya kidding Frank?

      • Scott,

        You baiting me to come on your show is never going to work.

        You have been attempting to bait people to come on your show for over 6 months.

        My problem with you is quite simple you attack people in pain without provocation and in the cruelest way possible.

        Scott you attack these people as a way of compensating for your poor self esteem and deep rooted insecurities regarding your station in life.

        Do you honestly believe anyone at the Frankreport website believes you are successful?

        I do not believe you understand how transparent you truly are being.

        Successful people do not spend their time incessantly attacking people who have been through heart breaking emotional events.

        You are a pitiful petty man.

        Scott the fact that you use real identity and attack innocent people the way you do proves you have nothing to lose. You have no career or social standing in your community.

        I am truly sorry Scott that your life has been so empty and unfulfilling.

        Scott would you want someone to treat your children the way you treat individuals on this website?

        • You’re the one who said you would be on my radio show, but you knew you weren’t going to do it so you said you would come on if Frank came on first. When you found out Frank was on, then you brought Ben into the conversation by saying he was never on, but he was on. You just double trapped yourself and exposed yourself as the fool that you’ve proven to everyone that you are! I’ll answer all of your questions/comments – when you come on my radio show. LOL

    • I gotta admit that Niceguy turned out to be a little wussy.

      He talks tough but when faced with the possibility of having to speak with Scott live on the phone, he turned into a little scared-ee-cat and ran away with his tailed tucked between his legs. LOL.

      I actually know Niceguy, or at least guys like him. He’s the guy who got his ass kicked in high school because he was too afraid to stand up and fight back, LOL.

      For those who don’t know… Mr. Niceguy said he’d go on Scott’s radio show if Frank ever did — but Frank already did go on the show, which means Niceguy is actually a coward for not honoring his word.

      He’s too afraid of having to speak with Scott on the phone. 🙂

      Anybody can ‘talk’ tough — but only pussies PROMISE to go on a radio show but then get too scared and back out.

      Tell me sir… What exactly are you afraid of?

      What do you think Scott is gonna do to you?

      It’s only a PHONE. It can’t hurt you.

      Don’t be scared of Scott’s ‘voice’ over the phone, sir. That’s kiddie stuff.

      Oh well, I guess you gotta run some errands for sugar mama. Or maybe get back to your shift at Walmart or Mickey D’s. 🙂

      • ^ ^ 🧐

        Does anyone doubt after reading this “Retard” post that IT and IT’s alias’ (Clicky, Bangkok, etc.) are, in fact, Scott (Tex) Johnson — no matter how he lies and denies and tries to hide his shamefulness, his need to abuse those on FR who threaten to expose his malignant narcissistic delusions of greatness by their very, credible presence?

        Who but Scott would know or care about his show deets, or persuasions for Niceguy to appear on it by phone or promote it on FR. “Retard” aka Bangkok’s” not the type to plug for anyone’s show either — except the show of his own alter ego.

        Don’t do it Niceguy! You heard him threaten and blackmail Barbara Bouchey. It’s he who uses alias such as Bangkok etc. to insult and slander Claviger, Toni Natalie, me, Frank…

        There’s a reason all the chainsaw massacres happen in Texas.

        • Hi Heidi,

          You are undoubtedly right. Bangkok’s latest posts confirm your hunch is correct.
          Scott has been Bangkok all along.

      • So stupid, have you gone on Scott’s radio show? Are you saying Nice Guy is Keith Raniere? Now he’s a guy whose ass got kicked and cried like a baby.

      • I don’t think it’s cowardice for people to make a mistake. Who really cares that Nice guy is “not honoring his word”. He made an error. The internet is full of flippant comments. People put on a show. It’s not the real them. You, Retard, may very well be a nice person to be friends face to face with but it’s definitely doesn’t show in these posts! The truth is we could all be opposites of what we project. In many a case, I frigging hope so. It’s all nonsense. Who gives a flying f in the grand scheme of things.

      • Bangcock – You’re the one who cried to Frank and said Frank was letting through too many mean comments about you.

        You little fronting bitch.

        At risk of Frank not posting any of this, I’ll leave it here.

  • Does nobody realize that justice is at stake? Clare is entitled to good and Uncompromised legal representation.

    • She’s as dumb as a box of rock. She has 10 lawyers. How is she not going to get a fair fucking trial?

    • Yolanda Cortez,
      What makes you think justice is not going to be served? Clare is the one picking her attorneys. How is anyone else responsible for her picking a guy who is just as much a criminal as she is?
      Are you really as stupid as Retard or Pea Brain?

  • It occurs to me, that Garaufis is obviously very much a stickler, so Geragos’ shenanigans and the twisted incestuous connections of the NXIVM defendants’ attorneys, must really rankle. Also, might this not further complicate daughter Teny Geragos’ tenuous position?

    I find it sort of amusing to think that Bronfman is such an “influencer” in a negative way – don’t some portray her as a sort of witch? – that dealing with the bootlegger’s granddaughter accustomed to using mob-type lawyers to harass enemies, might indeed have had something to do with setting Geragos on the path to trying a mob-style legal shakedown of his own. It’s happened in cases before, that mobsters’ lawyers have ended up succumbing to the lure of trying to pull off some of what they help their clients to get away with, and dabbled in crime themselves, though of course those are cases of long-term associations. But she, and Raniere and NXIVM, do seem to have had a way of pulling people into the blackness of their self-serving, amoral, end-justifies-the-means “ethics.”

  • That giant sucking sound is coming from all the trust fund money being squandered, and I mean squandered, on all these attorneys who end up withdrawing from the case. I’d bet they get to keep their initial retainer fee, at the very least.

    • Interesting question about what happens with Bronfman’s retainer of Geragos, which has been estimated in the $3 million range, if Geragos has to recuse himself.

      The way Geragos and Avenatti were trying to set it up with Nike, the retainer was to be considered as payment for services already rendered, and thus non-refundable – with further work to be billed in addition to it.

    • Scott ‘3inch’ Johnson,

      Nobody gives a f*ck whom you respect.


      Get a f*cking clue Scott. Scott, you are a f*cking sidekick on an internet ‘radio’ that you work at for free.

      Scott nobody respects you.

  • Judge Garausis should do the igniting. Just wipe the slate clean. We need a fresh lot of attorneys – ones who aren’t corrupt and jaded.

  • The clowns are all in bed together. Cuddling and spooning at every angle. Red oversized shoes sticking out of the covers. A couple rainbow afros can be seen. Some of the round red noses buried too deeply in the next clowns ass can’t be seen. It’s a twisted sleazy lawyer orgy. Somebody douse the bed with gasoline and ignite it!

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.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was 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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

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