Why Weren’t Some Potential Witnesses Called By The Prosecution?

MK10ART's painting of Keith Alan Raniere where he presently resides.

Hard to believe that almost a month has passed since The Vanguard was found guilty on all charges by a jury that spent less time deliberating his fate than he spent playing volleyball each week.

But that, in fact, is the case.

Guess time really does fly when you’re having fun…

The Uncalled Witnesses

Far be it for me to challenge success – and the strategy and tactics that were utilized by Moira Kim Penza and the rest of her prosecutorial team obviously produced a successful outcome.

Moira Kim Penza 

Short of having the jury haul Raniere out into the park across from the EDNY courthouse and stone him to death, the prosecution pretty much got the perfect result in this case.

Hell, even Raniere’s lead attorney, Marc Agnifilo, pretty much acknowledged that his slug of a client got what he deserved (That still does not excuse Steve Coffey’s amateurish and boorish tirade about Agnifilo but it appears that Steve and his colleagues at O’Connell & Aronowitz have a few other things to worry about right now in terms of the ongoing investigation into Raniere and NXIVM).

Keith Raniere’s super lawyer, Marc Agnifilo, outside the Brooklyn courtroom [Photo by Dianne Lipson]
But it is interesting to look at some of the potential witnesses that the prosecution might have called – and to try and figure out why they chose not to do so.

Rather than try to prioritize them, let’s just take them in alphabetical order.

Barbara J. Bouchey
This one is actually pretty easy. Despite the fact that she could provide some really damning information in terms of how Raniere’s pissed away her life savings on his “can’t miss” commodities trading algorithm – and how he lost more than $90 million of the Bronfman sisters’ money on other stupid ventures – Barbara would have likely wanted to talk about what was “good” about the NXIVM tech. She would have been a disaster on cross-examination – with or without Keith’s inevitable Post-It Note questions.

The brilliant and impressionistic artist MK10ART’s painting of Barbara Bouchey drinking a milky white glass of Kool-Aid.

Clare Bronfman
According to recent reports, Clare is still 100% loyal to Raniere – and would likely have perjured herself rather than say anything negative about the only man in the world who reportedly ever fucked her. She’s already perjured herself in several other court proceedings – and probably would have been willing to pony up a couple more million in fines to do it again on behalf of “her man”. Also, there’s a very good chance that Clare is going to be facing additional criminal charges in the not-too-distant future.

Clare Bronfman

Sarah Edmondson
Although she was obviously willing to pull her pants down – and expose her KAR brand on page 1 of the New York Times – Sarah may not have been a good witness for the prosecution. At a minimum, she would have been asked on cross-examination about her reported $30,000/month income at the Vancouver Center – and why she stayed in the NXIVM cult for so many years.

Sarah Edmondson

Allison Mack
While Allison would have made a great witness if she were willing to tell the truth about Raniere’s involvement in DOS, she would have also been a major distraction at the trial. In addition to the fact that she was once a B-level Hollywood actress, she also would have had to deal with the fact that she once claimed that the “branding” was her idea.

Allison Mack

Joe O’Hara
Joe would have been an interesting witness because he’s the guy who helped set up NXIVM’s original political contacts – as well as their network of attorneys who would be willing to do anything as long as their fees were high enough (e.g., Richard Mays, Peter Lynch, etc.). But he’s a convicted felon – which automatically means he would have no credibility regardless of how much information he could provide about the NXIVM/ESP cult and its operations.

Joe O’Hara in cuffs in court

Toni Natalie
Although Toni desperately wanted to be a witness, the prosecution was very wary of calling her to the witness stand. In part, that’s because Toni has apparently forgotten about her involvement in the early stages of NXIVM/ESP – and, in part, it’s because there are still a lot of unanswered questions about her involvement in a variety of illegal activities before, during, and after the time she was part of Raniere’s harem.

Toni Natalie & Keith Raniere

Frank Parlato
Frank would have made a superb witness – especially in terms of detailing Raniere’s total control over the Bronfman sisters. But Frank still has a baseless federal indictment hanging over his head – which is probably why he was never called to the witness stand.

MK10 Frank Parlato

Nancy Salzman
Although she was the first of the co-defendants to plead guilty, Nancy apparently did not enter into any type of “cooperation agreement” with the feds. Thus, she was not compelled to testify like her daughter, Lauren – which meant that she may have just invoked her 5th Amendment rights had she been called to testify at Raniere’s trial.

Nancy Salzman


So, there you have it…

A lot of interesting potential witnesses who were never called to testify by the prosecution in Raniere’s case.

But, not to worry.

The feds are not done with Raniere and those who enabled him to be a scourge on the landscape of Upstate New York for so many years.

These – and lots of others – might get a chance to testify in a future trial.

Viva Executive Success!

About the author

K.R. Claviger

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4 years ago

But why didn’t the defense ask for a missing witness charge for Allison??

4 years ago

” While Allison would have made a great witness if she were willing to tell the truth about Raniere’s involvement in DOS, she would have also been a major distraction at the trial. In addition to the fact that she was once a B-level Hollywood actress, she also would have had to deal with the fact that she once claimed that the “branding” was her idea.”

That’s not a good excuse thou…So because she was B listed, she has no right to have justice? she must be hidden in jail with no right to defend after a Trial (against Raniere, not her) draw a negative image (based on her crude vocabulary).

Oh and “claimed” is not either a good word…Lauren said clearly that it was Raniere’s idea to put the blame on them.
She (Lauren) said that they wanted to Believe it was to test their ‘faith’.
The proof show she had Nothing to do with anything created with DOS…Especially since she entered AFTER it’s creation and the record “show” (it was vocal) that he was behind the creation of everything (especially the branding that 1. wasn’t her idea and 2. didn’t include her initial as long said around here…All this is FACTS FROM COURT)

The Only Reason she was not allowed to testify is that during the trial, Allison was shown to be a victim of the cult (like Nicole, like Sylvie , like Dani…) but then, during 1 testimony , someone accused her (at right) to be linked with a crime…
But that person didn’t knew that Allison was Under the same condition (collaterals) and how little Allison had to say(in term of power).

Allison giving a testimony would have definatly prove that she was more a victim (but would have pushed more on Raniere).
The plea deal was on several count and out of all of them, only the collection of collateral happened.
This would be a public display of how unfair a plea deal can be when a victim is pushed to plea (against their best interest) because of accusations that don’t fit (and were also admitted in court for Allison…that no link between Allison and the underage crime that Raniere’s facing exist).

4 years ago

Toni Natalie was the biggest crook in Keith Raniere’s life until Clare Bronfman. Toni only spoke out about Keith Raniere after she was caught committing massive bank fraud by the FBI and US Attorney in NDNY, years after she left Clifton Park. She is a career criminal. She was never going to be called as a witness by Moira Penza, never. Frank and Claviger please investigate her. It hurts the real victims of Raniere to have this crazy woman rewriting history and putting out all these lies so she can profit from other people’s suffering. Suffering that she helped cause. Where was Toni Natalie in the early 2000’s trying to get the dozens and dozens of women she brought into NXIVM out? NOWHERE. Toni was the highest ranked student – green sash proctor – in NXIVM and was in the module videos extolling NXIVM with Nancy to new students for years. Everyone would have listened to her. She was NXIVM’s #1 recruiter and Keith Raniere’s “public” girlfiend, that’s how she got the green sash. How many women did Toni try to deprogram? ZERO. How many women did Toni hurt by ensaring them into Keith’s harem as slaves for her and him during the years of CBI, their health food store, and worst of all NXIVM? MANY. As long as Toni was the queen of the slaves she was happy. She is a total sociopath and anyone who believes otherwise should start asking questions.

The Retard
The Retard
4 years ago

Finally an unbiased post that accurately criticizes Toni Natalie, Irish Barb Bouchey and even Saintly Joe O’hara. 🙂

I can’t believe that photo of Joe O’hara.

Holy fuck! He looks like an aging biker and a homeless thug.

Joe, why the fuck did you choose to look like a homeless biker and a thug?

How many street brawls have you been in?

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

My opinion of Joe O’hara has forever changed after seeing that photo.

Unlike other people, I do believe you can judge a book by its cover.

Joe, I have no doubt that you were an unsavory asshole way back then. I have no doubt that you were aligned with the dark side of the force. You were probably Darth Vader’s right hand man. I’m guessing that you deserved your stint in the slammer, especially after seeing that photo. You’re no longer a ‘saint’ and a ‘good guy’ in my mind.

What about Irish Barb Bouchey?

Irish Barb is an emotional disaster. If she had been called to the witness stand, she would have made Keith seem sane by comparison.

She’s an emotional wreck.

She’s got so much excess ’emotional baggage’ that even an entire team of psychological bellhops couldn’t lug that shit up to her room.

What about Toni the saintly Italian?

Toni was one of Keith’s top salespeople in Consumer Buyline. She lived with Keith for years, benefiting from the proceeds of that SCAM. I’ve never heard her publicly apologize for ruining so many people’s dreams. I’ve never heard about her making financial amends with those victims.

Toni is no victim here. Except in her own mind (and perhaps Frank’s).

Frank, you need to start letting us express honest opinions and stop protecting your ‘favored’ people in this story.

4 years ago

K.R. that photo of Clare B. is bonechilling and freakish. I’ve never seen it before tonight. She looks demonic, and it is as if it’s a mugshot in a bad movie kind of a facial expression, too.

Another thing, one man you mentioned as a convicted felon. You wrote “which automatically means he would have no credibility” to testify for the prosecution in Raniere’s case.

Nancy and Lauren Salzman, Allison Mack and Clare Bronfman convicted felons too, yes? From a variant point of view, here’s.another slate of reasons how come these goblins didn’t get to testify, with Lauren being the exception here.

1) Allison Mack: Mack would have had to come up as witness before so many other witnesses were called who crucified her during their testimony. She lost credibility as a potential witness by exactly what was exposed about her in court.

Also, as the trial progressed, additional input from more witnesses became unnecessary to convict Raniere, and it would have become too repetitive. You learn to get a feel for the jury and never risk losing any of them to oversaturation.

2) Clare Bronfman: She arranged or at least semi-arranged an “understanding” that she would not be testifying, probably as part of her plea deal and perhaps somewhat nebulously. Her ivory tower is going to crash later.

3) Nancy Salzman: She was seen coming and going as a clever swine of a woman. She was not only a buffoon trying to act like a qualified therapist/executive. Nancy Salzman handed her daughters’ lives over to Raniere, and the prosecution team was well aware of this. It’s very likely, especially after deposing Lauren Salzman, that the prosecutors would find it more expedient to do their work without a word from Nancy Salzman’s twisted mouth.

4 years ago

SE did, of course, a great effort to bring this monster down, but to think that she potentially still lives from NXIVM’s dirty money makes me sick to my stomach.

4 years ago
Reply to  Outsider

Edmondson is one of the Vancouver actors who it would actually be really telling, to get more of an accounting from.

My guess would be that her income wasn’t really as high as it might seem – she would have been expected to turn around and spend a lot on NXIVM herself, which was the whole point of its pyramid-scheme–like quality – and that in Canada she probably paid lots in taxes, and as an actress she had a fairly expensive lifestyle. Then, getting good legal help to deal with issues related to leaving NXIVM and closing her center, not taking into account NXIVM suing her as they had done others, could easily have cost $100,000. I doubt she came out ahead, and given what Raniere tended to do to people financially, she may even have been a net loser.

Scott Johnson
4 years ago
Reply to  AnonyMaker

Dones and Vicente should be able to shed some light on the profitability of a NXIVM center, but they haven’t. Suddenly, all of the “heros” have tarnished images.

Mouths are sewn shut by Clars lawyers
Mouths are sewn shut by Clars lawyers
4 years ago
Reply to  Scott Johnson

Scott, you know how MLM/ pyramid schemes work. The money rolls up hill to the top level.

No one who ran a center ever made enough money to pay off their investment of opening it let alone to keep the doors open.

Because of non-disclosure agreement in place, people can face lawsuits by disclosing NXIVM payment plan.

Take notice that most who left were broke or had to file for bankruptcy. Most had to find another way to rebuild their lives.

Bouchey was lucky, she at least had enough of her financial planning business left she has a pretty good life when it comes to.income. Not so with others.

Keep that in mind when you want to slam those you think won’t speak out. We just cant handle another lawsuit. NXIVM is still a business.

All of Them Witches
All of Them Witches
4 years ago

I look at it the other way…if NXIVM is “still a business”, they can still be sued. If NXIVM is “still a business”, they have attachable assets which can be used to pay damages. As time goes on this opportunity as it were may disappear.

I would fear not Clare Bronfman. I would look at her great(ly diminished) wealth as a treasure trove for those who have suffered harm due to the criminal activities of the Mini Manson/Mini Madoff and his posse of B minus actresses and lost souls. Home schooled and oh so homely, Clare Bronfman’s winning percentage when it comes to litigation is right up there with the Washington Generals when it comes to basketball (According to Wikipedia, The Washington Generals, the foils of the Harlem Globetrotters, once had a 2,495 game losing streak).

Scott Johnson
4 years ago

I know exactly how MLM scams work, you obviously don’t. It’s not just the singular, top level that makes all the money, a couple of levels below the top also make money. It’s the only way the scam can keep operating. Unless they have separate NDAs, the courts have already ruled the only copyright material is the course content and nothing else. I couldn’t afford to speak up about Amway, but I did it anyway, because I’m not selfish and want to help others. Most others are selfish and don’t want to help others. I still speak up against Amway and other MLM scams, and I’m now protected by a very favorable (to me) settlement agreement, which is posted on my websites. Amway and other MLMs are still scam businesses. See how easy it is?

All of Them Witches
All of Them Witches
4 years ago
Reply to  AnonyMaker

Still don’t understand how Hallmark dumped Lori Loughlin and allows Sarah Edmondson to ply her trade.

Sarah the brave. Sarah the heroine. Sarah knew she would get more exposure on the front page of The New York Times than she got in an entire career of voice acting and dreadful Canadian summer stock theater.

Hope the NXIVM movie/miniseries shows “Nippie”, Edmondson’s husband, upon discovering that his wife has been branded like a piece of cattle, absolutely going ballistic…..and sending a whiney, self centered email to Nancy Saltzman. Laugh out fucking loud.

Scott Johnson
4 years ago

Is that picture of Mack really her, or Raniere in drag? We’ll never know, because there’s no cankle shot.

How about the hapless Kathy Russell? A tutu performance in court to show how skilled she is would have been the perfect illustration of Raniere’s “brilliance.”

4 years ago

Deep down many of these witnesses are still loyal to NXIVM.
And several of these NXIVM gangsters need to be indicted in the NDNY and brought to justice in Albany where their crimes were committed.

4 years ago


So true!!!

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.” Parlato was also 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 premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankreport76@gmail.com


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