Agnifilo Sees Another Client Go Down in Flames

Marc Agnifilo

Maybe he just happens to take on a lot of cases that are unwinnable…

Or maybe he just doesn’t mind seeing his clients go to prison if he thinks they’re actually guilty…

Whatever it is, high-priced criminal defense attorney Marc Agnifilo has seemed pretty sanguine of late as one after another of his clients has been found guilty or pleaded out to serious crimes.


Some Of Agnifilo’s Recent Cases

When Martin Shkreli AKA Pharma Bro was found guilty on three fraud counts, Agnifilo emphasized the fact that he had been acquitted on five others. Shkreli, who did not put on any defense, ended up being sentenced to seven years in federal prison.

Martin Shkreli

Later, when Keith Raniere AKA The Vanguard was found guilty on all seven charges he was facing, Agnifilo comforted one of his victims by saying “I hope some good feeling somehow comes out of it.” Raniere, who also did not put on any defense, is currently awaiting sentencing.

Keith Alan Raniere

And just last week, when Jacob Kingston admitted to defrauding the U.S. of $512 million in renewable-fuel tax credits, Agnifilo noted “We are hoping that he and his family are shown leniency by pleading guilty before trial. He just wants to get this situation behind him.”

Jacob Kingston


No Defense Seems To Be Agnifilo’s Favorite Strategy

It is not at all uncommon for the defendant in a criminal trial not to testify on their own behalf.

The reasons that are most often cited by defense attorneys for that decision include the following:
(1) The burden of proof rests with the prosecution to prove the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
(2) The defendant waives his right against self-incrimination if he takes the witness stand – and can no longer “plead the Fifth”.
(3) Cross-examination can be brutal – and can uncover additional crimes that have not yet been charged.
(4) Other witnesses can testify on behalf of the defendant.
(5) Some defendants simply refuse to testify.

But putting on no defense at all is always risky.

It basically means that the defendant’s fate is entirely dependent on three things: the opening argument; the cross-examination of the prosecution’s witnesses; and the closing argument.

Like Dirty Harry said: “Do you feel lucky, punk”


Jacob Kingston And “The Order”

Agnifilo’s latest case is almost as bizarre as the Raniere/NXIVM case.

His client, Jacob Kingston, is one of four family members who were charged with defrauding the U.S. government.

Kingston, the CEO of Washakie Renewable Energy, admitted during his allocution that his company had falsely claimed it had produced or blended biodiesel fuel that qualified for tax credits.

He also admitted that he had laundered more than $100 million in proceeds from the fraud through Turkey – and that he had tampered with several potential witnesses in his case.

The other family members who were part of the fraudulent scheme were his wife, Sally; his brother, Isaiah; and his mother, Rachel.

Sally Kingston


Isaiah Kingston


Rachel Kingston

All four of the defendants are members of the Davis County Cooperative Society – which is generally referred to as “The Order” and which is one of the largest Mormon polygamous clans in the U.S.

As part of the plea deal, Kingston and his other family members have agreed to pay back $512 million – and forfeit the Washakie Renewable Energy plant, dozens of properties in Utah and Turkey, several luxury cars, and various bank accounts.

The remaining defendant in the case is Lev Derman, an Armenian immigrant who owns a string of gas stations throughout Southern California. He is being represented by Mark Geragos – and is scheduled to go to trial on August 9th.


The Order Makes Raniere Look Like A Piker

The 10,000 members of The Order own more than 100 businesses – including a casino in Southern California, a cattle ranch on the Nevada border, and a tactical-arms company that specializes in semiautomatic weapons.

Prosecutors had claimed in various court filings that The Order had engaged in many crimes throughout the years.

“The Order also promotes a practice of ‘bleeding the beast,’ wherein Order members are encouraged to obtain as much money as possible from local, state and federal government agencies for the benefit of the Order, because of the fear that the government will seek to punish them for their way of life,” prosecutors wrote last month in one court filing.

It is not known whether women members of The Order have their pussies branded.


About the author

K.R. Claviger


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  • Federal prosecutors have like a 95% conviction rate. Shkreli had crazy negative press at the time, 7 years given the charges was a great outcome

  • That’s an interesting account of cases. I wonder if Agnifilo sees his role more as not providing a defense to his clients, so much as mitigation through offense for the obviously guilty, such as through plea negotiations and cross-examination of prosecution witnesses.

    The Order, along with the FLDS, is a rebuke to partisan claims that fraud, abuse and pedophilia somehow fall along convenient partisan lines. And from the Children of God to the Mormon polygamists, there is a lot of virtual trafficking of women, and pedophilia, by groups that claim to be Christian and use the Bible as their justification.

  • The primary reason Agnifilo takes these cases is because these people have lots of money and can pay him his high hourly rate, plus, and not putting on a defense leaves him more time to find other clients with lots of money who can pay him his high hourly rate, and so on. Wash, rinse, and repeat, over and over again.

    Except for Sally (Sarah is close), all of the Kingston clan has a biblical first names.

    One good thing about this scam, it didn’t involve scamming others via MLM (Mormons Losing Money) from the capital of MLMscamland of Utah.

  • I am guessing Agnifilo can only win when his wife in the DA’s office helps him get the charges dropped before it goes to trial like he did with Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn.

  • Question – What is a piker? Allso, Isaiah Kingston is the spitting image of the actor David Tennant.

    • Here are three definitions of “piker”:
      (1) a person who does anything in a contemptibly small or cheap way.
      (2) a stingy, tight-fisted person; tightwad.
      (3) a person who gambles, speculates, etc., in a small, cautious way.

  • Thank you Frank! I was going to ask you to write more about Agnifilo. My guess is that he won’t be representing Raniere by the apeals. He looked like he is totally done with him.

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