On May 11, during the first week of the trial of Keith Alan Raniere, the Albany Times Union, the newspaper that did so much to report the misdeeds of the scoundrel, published an editorial that deserves to be read by all readers of Frank Report – and, I might add, by, hopefully, the US Attorney for the Northern District of New York.
His name is Grant C. Jaquith. He has been with the US Attorney’s office since 1989, when Raniere was just getting started with his Consumer Buyline crimes in the Albany area.
Raniere started Nxivm in 1998 – also in the Albany area.
Jaquith became Chief of the Criminal Division from 2006-2010, which is when Raniere’s Nxivm crime organization was nearing its heyday in the Albany area.
Jaquith rose to First Assistant U.S. Attorney in 2010 and remained in that position until 2017. During this time period, Raniere was at his peak of criminality, creating DOS, [in the Albany area] and having gotten most of his enemies indicted – including Joe O’Hara, John Tighe, Toni Natalie and myself.
Jaquith became acting-US Attorney in July 2017, one month after I broke the story that Raniere was branding and blackmailing women.
He became US Attorney on January 5, 2018, two and half months before Raniere was arrested.
Jaquith is a career prosecutor. He might become famous too if he takes on the Nxivm case and finishes the business the US Attorney for the Eastern District of NY [EDNY] has begun.
There are hundreds of crimes committed by Raniere and his confederates, such as Emiliano Salinas, Sara Bronfman, Clare Bronfman, and other headline names – in the Northern District – that have not been charged.
Which leads us back to the editorial in the Times Union. A lot of people in law enforcement and the public have wondered why the NDNY never touched Raniere despite 95 percent of the alleged crimes being committed in their district.
Why did the EDNY have to do the work of taking down this cult, headquartered in Albany – smack in the center of the NDNY?
The TU’s editorial is germane, on point and important.
Here are some excerpts:
… As sordid testimony unfolded last week in a Brooklyn courtroom about a supposed self-help group based in Colonie, you might have wondered why the trial isn’t happening here, and why it didn’t occur years ago, when questions about NXIVM came to light.
Good question. Why NXIVM founder Keith Raniere is only now being tried in the federal Eastern District of New York, which includes Brooklyn, and not the Northern District, which covers the Capital Region, is a lingering mystery. Officials here didn’t merely drop the ball; they never even picked it up.
That something was seriously wrong at NXIVM was apparent at least as early as 2012, when a Times Union series exposed Mr. Raniere’s alleged abuse of young girls and claims that NXIVM was, as one expert put it, an “extreme cult,” using relentless litigation funded by Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman and other tactics to intimidate and punish critics….
At all levels, federal, state and local, the government for years seems to have shrugged off NXIVM defectors whose stories were told by this newspaper and others. What response did we see from federal prosecutors in the Northern District, or from the FBI, the New York attorney general, district attorney offices in Albany and Saratoga counties, the New York State Police and the Internal Revenue Service?
Regardless of the outcome in Brooklyn, the criminal justice system here should pursue those matters. U.S. Attorney Grant Jaquith, in particular, has a chance to do what his predecessors failed to do: assure the victims of these alleged crimes that the system works for all, regardless of wealth, celebrity, or whatever it was that for too long tipped the scales of justice the wrong way.
It could not have been said better.
This kind of public pressure, by the leading publication in the Northern District – the Albany Times Union – may not go unnoticed – by the US Attorney. He almost certainly has read it.
His office must be experiencing a degree of embarrassment and chagrin over the fact that the big boys [and girls] in Brooklyn had to do the hard work that the little fellas in the Northern District were just not big enough or smart or tough enough to handle.
But now that the EDNY has smashed Nxivm down to size, the Northern District might be able to step up to the plate and finish the business of bringing justice to the many victims of Nxivm and its criminal leader Keith Raniere – and his confederates – even some of those who they perhaps once considered too big to touch – like Salinas and Sara and Clare Bronfman.
They should not get away with their crimes just because they are rich, powerful and famous.