It’s Great That Raniere Was Convicted – But How Just Is Our Justice System?

Scales of Justice


Joe O’Hara


By Joe O’Hara

It’s been more than three weeks since Keith Alan Raniere AKA The Vanguard was convicted on all the charges against him – and not once during that span of time have I doubted the appropriateness of that outcome.

Raniere deserves to be incarcerated for all the evil things that he did – and, perhaps more importantly, for all the evil things he would have done had he been allowed to remain part of society.

Some see him as nothing more than a conman – sort of a small-town version of Bernie Madoff.

Bernie Madoff

But he is much worse than that.

Madoff stole people’s money.

Raniere stole people’s self-worth.

He has earned all the horrors that await him in federal prison.

He deserves to die without ever experiencing freedom again – and he likely will.

And yet, I still worry about the inherent injustice of a system that has achieved what I consider to be a very just outcome.

If it were anyone but Raniere, I would worry even more…


The Theory Versus the Reality of our Criminal Justice System

The theoretical underpinnings of our criminal justice system are the noblest in the history of the human race.

A presumption of innocence…

The right to confront one’s accusers…

The right to an attorney if you cannot afford one…

The right against self-incrimination…

The right to a trial by a jury of one’s peers…

Requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt…

All very noble standards and requirements.

But is that how our criminal justice system really works?


The Opening of an Investigation

For most individuals who are charged with federal crimes, the process usually begins with an investigation that is triggered by someone registering a complaint with an agency or a law enforcement official.

In Raniere’s case, however, the investigation was triggered by a front-page story in The New York Times that caught the attention of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY).

Is that how our justice system should work: i.e., should newspaper stories be the basis for opening criminal investigations?

Of course not…

But law enforcement officials throughout the Northern District of New York (NDNY) had refused to respond to numerous complaints about Raniere and NXIVM/ESP – either because they were bribed, compromised, or inherently lazy.

Is this the way our criminal justice system should work?

No – but because it was Keith, I was OK with it.


The Grand Jury Process

Once the EDNY investigation got underway, it quickly collected enough evidence to charge Raniere with several crimes.

Much of this evidence was gathered via a grand jury proceeding that Raniere was never told about – and in which the members of the grand jury only heard testimony from the witnesses that the EDNY prosecutors chose to present.

Search warrants were issued based on the testimony of FBI agents that went unchallenged?

Subpoenas were issued to people who were given a binary choice: testify truthfully under oath or be indicted yourself.

Immunity deals were given to others who were involved in NXIVM’s criminal enterprise in order to get them to reveal infromation abou8t Raniere and NXIVM,

Is this the way our criminal justice system should work?

No – but because it was Keith, I was OK with it.


No Extradition Hearing

Even though Raniere was never officially informed that he was the target of a federal investigation, he found out about it because several of his loyal followers were subpoenaed to appear as witnesses before the EDNY grand jury.

And so Raniere fled to Mexico – where because of the political influence of his followers there, he obviously thought he was impervious to extradition (This was obviously not the smartest-man-in-the-world’s best decision).

What he didn’t consider is that the EDNY prosecutors wouldn’t bother trying to extradite him.

Instead, they convinced the Mexican authorities to have the Mexican national police pick him up at the luxury villa where he was residing – unceremoniously (and without any court proceeding) dump him at a border crossing – and force him to cross back into the United States.

Puerto Vallarta

And, coincidentally, there just happened to be U.S. agents on the American side of the border who recognized him, took him into custody, and eventually transported him back to Brooklyn, NY.

Is this the way our criminal justice system should work?

No – but because it was Keith, I was OK with it.


Bail Hearings

Now, the real fun began…

Raniere was originally charged with three crimes: Sex Trafficking (Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2); Sex Trafficking Conspiracy; and Conspiracy To Commit Forced Labor (Jane Doe 1).

Once he was arraigned, Raniere immediately sought bail.

And, even though there is a strong presumption that defendants should not be incarcerated while they’re awaiting trial, Raniere was denied bail.

Even when he amended his bail application to offer more assurances that he would show up for his trial, he was denied bail.

Regardless of what security he offered, he was deemed to be a “flight risk’ and a “danger to society”.

And so he spent 14 months being incarcerated in one of the worst prisons in the U.S. as he tried to prepare for the trial that would determin how he spends the rest of his life.

Is this the way our criminal justice system should work?

No – but because it was Keith, I was OK with it.


Prosecutorial Discretion

Once they had Raniere in custody, the EDNY really went to work on him.

First, they amended the original indictment by adding several more charges.

Tanya Hajjar (m) and Moira Kim Penza (r) – Photo by Tom Gargiulo

Suddenly, instead of three charges, Keith was facing eleven charges.

And instead of ten predicate acts to support the Racketeering charge, there were now fourteen such acts.

Several of the charges involved activities that clearly did not take place in the EDNY – and should not have been charged there (Eventually four of these charges were dismissed on jurisdictional grounds – and referred to the NDNY).

But Raniere’s attorneys had to waste time and resources fighting battles that neverwould have been necessaril;y had the prosecution not included inappropriate charges i9n the superseding indictments.

Is this the way our criminal justice system should work?

No – but because it was Keith, I was OK with it.


Additional Defendants Cut Deals & Agree To Testify

Along the way, the EDNY prosecutors added several more defendants: Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, and Kathy Russell.

Nancy Salzman[l} and Lauren Salzman [r]
Marie White’s depiction of Clare Bronfman


Allison Mack


Kathy Russell 

But others who were originally named as alleged co-conspirators were never formally charged with any crimes, thereby allowing them to escape any prosecution for their role in the NXIVM/ESP criminal enterprise.

Still others were given immunity deals that ensured they would not be charged for any crimes they had committed provided they agreed to testify against Raniere and his co-defendants.

Is this the way our criminal justice system should work?

No – but because it was Keith, I was OK with it.


Pre-Trial Rulings

In the run-up to the trial, there were numerous issues that had to be resolved by the presiding judge, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis.

Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis

What evidence would be admissible?

Would Raniere’s Mexican witnesses be granted “safe passage” to come to Brooklyn to testify in his behalf – or, in the alternative, would they be allowed to testify via closed-circuit TV.

Would Raniere’s alleged “victims” be required to reveal their identities – or would they be allowed to testify under just their first names or a pseudonym?

In every instance, Judge Agnifilo ruled in favor of the prosecution and against Raniere.

Is this the way our criminal justice system should work?

No – but because it was Keith, I was OK with it.


In-Trial Rulings

During the trial, there were several occasions when the defense objected to the way in which the prosecution was presenting its case to the jury.

Two “Motions For Mistrial” were filed by Raniere’s attorneys – and both were summarily denied.

Marc Agnifilo was cut off during his cross-examination of Lauren Salzman – the woman who many court observers have identified as the “key witness” in the trial (Even Raniere has told his fellow inmates that Lauren’s testimony was the primary reason he was found guilty).

Marc Agnifilo

Is this the way our criminal justice system should work?

No – but because it was Keith, I was OK with it.

Finally, there is the matter of the standard trial procedures and rules.

The way it works is that the trial begins with the prosecution giving its “Opening Statement” to tell the jury what the case is all about.

Then the defense follows by telling the jury the defendant’s side of the story.

Next, the trial proceeds with the prosecution calling witnesses to testify – and the defense then cross-examining them.

Then, the prosecution rests – and the defense puts on its case.

Except that in this case, the defense chose not to put on any defense.

In part, this was due to the fact that its witnesses were not willing to risk getting indicted by coming to Brooklyn to testify – a decision that proved to be prescient since several of Raniere’s supporters who simply showed up at the trial were handed grand jury subpoenas.

And Raniere did not take the stand – which despite being told not to do so, most jurors view as a sign of guilt.

Since the defense chose not to put on a case, the prosecution proceeded to give its Closing Argument – and the defense did the same.

Moira Penza gives the Closing Argument for the prosecution.

But then, the prosecution got to do a Rebuttal – a privilege that was not accorded to the defense.

And so, the prosecution had the first word in the case via its Opening Statement – and the last word in the case via its Rebuttal.

Is this the way our criminal justice system should work?

No – but because it was Keith, I was OK with it.


Trust me… I am not at all bothered by Keith Raniere’s conviction – and I hope that his sentence will ensure that he dies in prison (I still hope to live long enough to piss on his grave).

MK10ART’s painting of Joe O’Hara pissing on Keith Alan Raniere’s grave.

But there are still a lot of aspects of our criminal justice system that bother me.

Image result for niemoller quote


About the author

J.J. O'Hara


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  • I’d say not very just. (Our justice system). The handful of top NXIVMites are being let off with a mere slap on the wrist. I won’t be surprised if Keith himself only does the minimum 15 years.

  • Joe O’Hara — can you elaborate on this statement: “…..witnesses were not willing to risk getting indicted by coming to Brooklyn to testify – a decision that proved to be prescient since several of Raniere’s supporters who simply showed up at the trial were handed grand jury subpoenas.” Who, in particular, received a subpoena(s) while attending the trial?

    • –how common is potential witnesses for the defense being given grand jury subpoenas?

      I thought if the police don’t have enough evidence to charge someone, they then can’t intimidate them from testifying for the defense.

      • As noted in my previous reply, none of the people who showed up at Raniere’s trial were scheduled to appear as witnesses. They were merely there to show their support for their Vanguard.

        The fact that some of those supporters got served with grand jury subpoenas may have been done to send a message: i.e., the NXIVM investigation is ongoing and there will likely be more indictments in the future. It may also have been done to discourage other supporters from showing up at the courthouse.

        I don’t particularly like this type of prosecutorial intimidation. But, once gain, because it’s directed at Raniere and his supporters, I’m OK with it.

        Raniere and his attorneys routinely used tactics that were unethical – and in many cases illegal. The fact that they’re getting a little taste of their own medicine is fine with me.

        • Joe,

          I guess we are simpaticos (like-minded)…..

          “I don’t particularly like this type of prosecutorial intimidation. But, once gain, because it’s directed at Raniere”, I am in full agreement with your statement.

          I disagree in regards to the “safe passage” or “closed-circuit tv” witness testimony.

          In my opinion, allowing people who fled the country to avoid indictment is like allowing fugitives to testify.

          It will be interesting to see how Raniere’s appeals play out in the appellate.

          If Raniere was just some poor fellow with a public defender this case would just be swept under the rug of justice.

          However, as Krclaviger points out, the United States of America has a two-tier justice system.

          Unfortunately for us Raniere inhabitants the upper-tier thanks to Bronfman money.

    • Raniere’s lead attorney, Marc Agnifilo, originally asked the prosecution to guaranty “safe passage” for any Mexican citizens who wished to appear as witnesses on behalf of Raniere. That request was turned down.

      Next, Agnifilo asked the court to allow those same Mexican natives to testify via closed-circuit TV. That requested was also rejected.

      The bottom line is that none of the potential witnesses from Mexico ended up testifying on behalf of Raniere. That will likely end up being one of the issues that Agnifilo raises on appeal.

      The people who were served with subpoenas when they showed up at Raniere’s trial were not scheduled to appear as witnesses. I don’t have the names of those who were served but I’ll see if I can get that info.

  • One of the problems with our court system are the professional politicians who have made careers as elected officials, many of whom are attorneys. This incestuous relationship basically perpetuates itself because these politician-lawyers typically create laws or procedures that benefit lawyers. For example, if you get arrested for DUI, you may be eligible for a diversionary program in which you get placed into a treatment program in lieu of jail. However, in order to be eligible for this program, you have to have a lawyer represent you. That means that your costs just doubled, and all the attorney is going to do is re-explain what the court is telling you.

    A friend of mine who served in our states legislature for a couple terms told me that there are too many lawyers elected to public office. I like the idea of term limits for this very reason.

    • The whole system is RICO fraud, but it would be very difficult to find a lawyer who is willing to take the case, they would literally be taking money out of their own pockets.

  • Great article Joe! Very good points. I was wondering about the prosecution’s rebuttal. i didn’t think that was done before this trial. I hadn’t heard of that before. So that’s not a thing? Why was it allowed? And why didn’t Agnifilo protest?

    • Rebuttals are now standard practice. So, there was nothing for Agnifilo to protect. But allowing the prosecution to have the “first word” and the “last word” in a trial just seems out-of-balance to me.

      • Sorry Joe, but your analysis is backwards bro.

        The prosecution always gets the final word (rebuttal) BECAUSE they have the BURDEN OF PROOF.

        The defense doesn’t have to prove anything, they have no burden. Thus, it would make no sense to give them the final word.

        As for your claim that the prosecution gets another advantage going ‘first’ too, that’s also wrong.


        The side who argues first will have all of their points rebutted by the side who argues second.

        Thus, by going ‘second’ the defense is given the opportunity to argue their case while ALSO rebutting anything the prosecution said.

        Why a final rebuttal for the prosecution?

        …Because they have the burden of proof, something which makes it inherently harder on them. This is NOT the same as a full closing argument again. It’s much shorter and is limited in scope.

        You’re also forgetting that the defense gets extra points with the jury. The jury is instructed to acquit the defendant if proof beyond a reasonable doubt isn’t met.

        For instance… If they think the defendant is LIKELY guilty, they are instructed to acquit because that’s not BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

        Also, if the jury finds 2 competing stories (from defense and prosecutor) equally possible, the jury is instructed to acquit.

        Thus, the defense already has built-in advantages over the prosecutor.

        If the defense got the final rebuttal it would be way too unfair against the prosecution.

        This whole article sounds like a utopian dreamworld. The world isn’t 100% fair for anybody.

        Europe and Canada don’t have the massive minority population crime waves and drug waves that we have in the USA. It’s easier for them to let criminals go free cuz they don’t have the minority crime that we have.

        We have to do something to lock up the undesirable serfs who prey upon us. Prison is probably the best thing for them.

        • Bangkok,

          “Sorry Joe, but your analysis is backwards bro”,(Bangkok).

          Uh….excuse me Mr. Bangkok, you actually are ass backwards.

          It’s become a clichè for me to say “it”, but your reading comprehension Bangkok is worse than Lauren Salzman’s Dyslexia…..

          Bangkok your parents probably named you “Bob” so you would not spell your name wrong.

          Your parents probably tell the neighborhood you were adopted!


  • Great piece, Joe! So good to see you regularly contributing your knowledge, wisdom and wit on here despite all the enormous challenges you’ve so deftly overcome. You’re an inspiration to us all to never be silenced or surrender our faith, spirit and convictions. What a true patriot and leader you are! You’ve already saved countless souls and changed history in your victory over NXIVM, I can’t wait to see what you do with helping to restore and reform the American justice system before it’s too corrupt to protect society from the next Keith Raniere ET AL.

    • American justice is just fine. It doesn’t need any saving.

      The corruption you’re referring to exists everywhere.

      For instance… England’s prosecutors often let child molesters and woman beaters go unpunished (or punished very weakly) if they are from a Muslim culture. That’s not fair either, but it happens for political reasons.

  • Many valid points in this article.

    I guess one way to look at it, is that Raniere abused the legal system, and was abused by it in turn.


    • As I said in the post, I’m perfectly OK with the outcome in this case. But I do have questions about some parts of the process that got us there.

  • This story is an example of lawyer thinking vs. engineer thinking. Lawyers like to make things as complex as possible and not offer solutions, because this is how they get paid – muddle things and drag them out as long as possible, it’s called billable hours, cha-CHING! Engineer thinking quickly breaks down a problem/issue to its simple and fundamental elements and offers a solution. The offered solution may not be ideal or even correct, but at least it is being offered to solve something and move the ball forward for further discussion and to enable others to bring forward better ideas.

    The Opening of an Investigation – Do you really KNOW the FBI opened the investigation soley because of the NYT story, or was it a combination of people approaching the FBI AND the public pressure, particularly the picture of the cauterized scar, that was created by the NYT story? Trying to compare the NYT with a small newspaper rag in upstate New York is apples and oranges (apologies to the Big Apple and Syracuse Orangemen). If lots of people had come together, started a Frank Report-like website a decade or more ago, and added to the small newpaper rag’s stories and individuals going to the upstate New York law enforcement agencies, could NXIVM had been addressed earlier? Probably, but now we’ll never know. However, this should be a wake-up call, as the NYT can’t bail out everybody who is being harmed by others. People are underestimating the power of the internet – it is the greatest platform to use to level the playing field, but it has to be used to be effective. The tiff between the various former NXIVM participants was childish and directly caused NXIVM to “prosper” for years longer than it should have.

    The Grand Jury Process – It’s not wise to give a potential perp a head’s up, that’s why the grand jury process is one-sided. Evidence is not gathered via a grand jury proceeding, it is collected and then presented to a grand jury. The potential perp is not told about search warrants beforehand, because this would allow them the opportunity to hide and/or destroy evidence. Did you get your law degree from a Cracker Jack box, Joe? I mean that question with all seriousness, and it applies to a lot of the points Joe is attempting to make. I understand the “game” that lawyers on both sides make, our judicial (not justice) system is designed as an adversarial construct, and it isn’t your job to make the opposing side’s points, but this isn’t a court case, it’s a website discussion platform. It’s tiring to see a lawyer view everything as a nail (court case) because the only tool he has is a hammer (adversarial positioning). What is the problem with putting pressure on people to tell the truth about a criminal act? Isn’t that the essence of justice, to get to the truth? The same with immunity deals, this is nothing unique to Raniere or NXIVM, and is designed to nail the main perp. Without immunity deals, many kingpins would go unpunished, because there simply isn’t enough evidence to overcome the high bar in court of beyond a reasonable doubt. So yes, it is the way our judicial system should work, and the way to keep the prosecutors honest is to have strong anti-SLAPP laws in place, as many states do, but unfortunately New York state does not. A federal anti-SLAPP lawsuit would help as well. The same system should apply to everyone, not just “Keith.”

    No Extradition Hearing – I think the Feds made a mistake by not tailing Raniere and preventing him from escaping the country, but then we wouldn’t have the delicious stories about a group blow job being planned for him in Mexico. It is the right of a person providing grand jury testimony to talk about it, publicly and privately. It’s called the First Amendment, Joe. Look it up. It provides some balance to the necessary and admitedly one-sided grand jury process. I’m not intimately knowlegable about the details of an extradition treaty, but it is between two countries, not the individuals captured in the other country. Until proven otherwise, I’ll assume the treaties often contain provisions to waive certain aspects, such as a formal hearing before returning the potential perp to their native country. Why would U.S. agents NOT be on the U.S. side waiting for Raniere to be delivered? We wouldn’t want Raniere to get dehydrated in the southwest desert and die like many illegal aliens do, would we (present company excepted)? Except for the Feds not tailing Raniere, this is how the judicial system should work, unless you have better ideas, which you didn’t present.

    Bail Hearings – The judge had good reason to consider Raniere a flight risk and a danger to society, the two main reasons to deny bail. Either one of them could have been enough, but Raniere was two for two. After all, Raniere was captured in a foreign country and had access to Bronfman’s money and private jet, as well as a long track record of threatening others, mostly with false yet financially devestating lawsuits and illegal spying. It will be telling if Epstein is released on bail this week, but there are also a number of differences between the two cases. Epstein didn’t flee and offered up to waive any resistance to being removed from another country. He’s also putting up his own money instead of somebody else’s. It’s Raniere’s fault he was kept in jail for over a year before the trial, not the judicial system.

    Prosecutorial Discretion – It’s quite normal to have additional charges after the initial charges, especially in a complex case and one where house raids are done at the same time as the arrest. It was good that the EDNY made the additional charges, it helped put pressure on the NDNY to finally do the right thing and go after Raniere. It was law school 101 (even the Crackjack Box version) that the crimes committed elsewhere could be prosecuted there. It probably took only a few minutes of Raniere’s lawyers time to address that issue, so it was only a few hundred dollars worth of Bronfman’s money. Not a big deal. Mountain, meet molehill. Of course it is how our judicial system should work.

    Additional Defendants Cut Deals & Agree To Testify – Note to Frank: Please provide a cankle shot of Mack whenever you provide a photograph of her, it is her defining “quality.” As noted above, it is quite normal to give the lower level criminals deals in order to have enough evidence to nail the primary target/kingpin. There is nothing wrong with this. Also, the EDNY may not be done prosecuting additional people and/or additional charges against some of the existing defendants, this is one reason why the sentencing hearings may have been delayed, along with some of them trying to get some leniency for providing extra dirt on others. Of course this is how the criminal judicial system should work.

    Pre-Trial Rulings – Raniere had dealt himself and his lawyers a very bad hand. They tried, but had poor basis for their arguments. Raniere didn’t even put on a defense, and there were plenty of people who were in the U.S. who could have testified for him, but they didn’t. There was nothing unusual about the judge’s pre-trial rulings. Raniere was treated as anyone else should be treated, and I’m suprised a lawyer, even a Crackerjack Box one, would suggest Raniere should be treated differently. That is beyond unprofessional.

    In-Trial Rulings – Hey Joe, we actually agree on something. I said from the beginning that the judge should have either let Salzman suffer on the stand or cut off the testimony and either let her regroup after a few minutes or stop for the day and restart the next morning. After all, it was almost at the end of the day anyway. He definitely screwed up on that decision, although the highly overpaid Raniere lawyers should have asked to continue the next morning as well. Not testifying in his own defense also isn’t unique to Raniere and it’s often a difficult decsion. Although in Raniere’s case, the evidence was overwhelming and I believe it was an easy decision to make. Even Raniere, the smartest man in the world, probably realized this. I also agree with the point that the DOJ should not have been given the chance for the last word, but the judge knows this and the Salzman “breakdown” issue will have to be viewed as being significant enough to have potentially overturned the decision. I think once the higher court hears the appeal, especially the part about the entire courtroom bursting out in laughter (including the judge biting his tongue and covering his face/mouth) when a witness was asked about whether Raniere was the smartest man in the world and gave a humorous answer, it will be all over. I’m not okay with the irregularities, but there are humans involved in court cases and they sometimes make mistakes. But that’s no excuse to act unprofessionally, or pure bedlam would break out. Is THAT what you want, Joe?

    You may still get a chance to piss on Raniere’s grave, assuming he gets a marked one, but most of what you did with this story is piss into the wind and you’re getting yellow liquid all over your face. I again invite you on my radio show to discuss the above and other issues. My life was pretty messed up by Amway, but I don’t think they should be held to a different standard than any other entity.

    • Joe,

      I paid you a compliment!

      Now, can you please publish the names of those who are attempting to take credit for defeating Raniere and Nxivm?

      Who are those that have attempted to steal valor from the powerful and great Barbara Bouchey?

  • Bravo, Joe!
    I’m glad you had the courage to state that.
    Our basic rights need protection against improper influence from the state
    Furthermore, there is much wrong in the prison-industrial system, legal system and law enforcement that needs correction. The documentary Attica (1974) is still relevant today.

  • Joe, the day you attended Keith’s trial did he see you there ? If he did, what was his reaction ?

    • I don’t believe Keith noticed me. But I did get to watch him in his non-stop gerbil mode throughout the time I was there – which I found quite amusing.

      Several people asked me if I was “happy” with the outcome of the trial. My response was that I was “relieved” more than “happy”. Relieved because I was afraid that one juror could have screwed up the whole trial by buying into Raniere’s bullshit – which, thankfully, didn’t happen.

      All Raniere’s trial meant to me is that we got to check one name off the list of people who need to be held accountable for what they did on behalf of NXIVM/ESP. There are still plenty of names on that list.

  • Jeffrey Epstein and the NXIVM defendants.

    In 2008, Jeffrey Epstein used his wealth and his political connections to cut a plea deal with US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida that was perhaps the sweetest deal for a defendant in history.

    Epstein, a die-hard pedophile who molested up to 80 underage girls according to the Miami Herald, received 13 months of work release
    in the Palm Beach County jail.
    Normally, a defendant in Epstein’s position would have received life in prison.

    But recently the Southern District of New York reindicted Epstein on the exact same charges as in 2008 and added new charges.
    Charges that will almost certainly land Epstein in prison, real prison, for life.
    What gives?

    First of all, Epstein’s plea deal in 2008 was not with the Department of Justice.
    It was with the Southern District of Florida and the US Attorney for that District.
    That deal only binds the prosecutors in that District.
    Altogether, there are 94 Judicial Districts in the United States.
    Under Justice Department rules, a plea deal only binds prosecutors in one Judicial District.

    Another prosecutor in a different Judicial District with jurisdiction over the matter is free to resurrect all of the charges that were plea-bargained away in the initial charges.

    Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes extended from South Florida to Manhattan island and west to Epstein’s New Mexico ranch.

    And there is no issue of Double Jeopardy.
    Because Epstein was never tried on those initial Federal charges in 2008, he was never in jeopardy in the first place.

    What does all this portend for the NXIVM defendants who plea-bargained away many charges in the EDNY (Brooklyn)?


    Since these defendants were not brought to trial in the EDNY, there is nothing to prevent them from being tried in the NDNY.

    Most of NXIVM’s crimes occurred in the NDNY.
    Most of the victims were victimized in the NDNY.
    Brooklyn was always a sideshow for NXIVM.
    Raniere seldom left his lair in the Clifton Park area.

    And now President Trump has appointed ALL of the relevant US Attorneys.
    Donoghue in the EDNY is a Trump appointee.
    Berman in the SDNY, who is handling the Epstein case, is a Trump appointee.
    Jaquith in the NDNY is a Trump appointee.

    Indeed, Jaquith is chomping at the bit to prosecute the NXIVM cases.

    “Jaquith has reportedly tried to insert his office into the EDNY’s investigation of Raniere and NXIVM/ESP on a couple of occasions. Each time he did so, however, he was emphatically told to back off – and to stay out of the way until the EDNY had finished its work.”

    It’s time for the DOJ to coordinate its efforts and wipe NXIVM and its leadership off the face of the earth’

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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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083