Yesterday, Eastern District of New York DOJ prosecutor Mark Lesko told Judge Garaufis that he met with Mark Geragos and Michael Avenatti concerning Clare Bronfman’s criminal case.
This revealed publicly the surprising news that Avenatti likely represents Bronfman.
The revelation, not coming first from the defense, angered the judge, who declared there is no attorney-client privilege concerning whether or not an attorney represents a defendant in a case.
The judge pressed the defense for an answer – if Avenatti – who was arrested this week on attempted extortion charges – indeed did represent Bronfman. This caused the delicate heiress to faint dead away. She recovered shortly thereafter and left the courtroom – without answering the judge’s question.
Frank Report previously reported that Lesko filed a notice of appearance in the Nxivm case. He was a prosecutor with the EDNY DOJ, from 2002- 2009, then left and turned politician. He was deputy head of the criminal division on Long Island when he left the DOJ and was elected three times as Brookhaven supervisor.
Lesko then left elected office to become executive director of Accelerate, a not-for-profit organized to develop biotech companies on Long Island. He was also vice president for economic development at Hofstra University.
We also reported that, given Lesko’s expertise in successfully prosecuting cases, his return to the DOJ and participation in the Nxivm case would be a formidable addition to the prosecution.
Now, it appears that we may have underestimated just what a force Lesko will be on the case. This week, Richard Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the EDNY [appointed by Trump], named Lesko, as chief assistant U.S. Attorney — the No. 2 person at the EDNY.
The EDNY has about 175 federal prosecutors. The district includes Nassau and Suffolk counties, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Lesko replaces Bridget Rohde, who was named Donoghue’s special counsel.
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 featured prominently on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and acted as lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” 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 has 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, which was ironic since many credit Parlato as being one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.