Just as Joe O’Hara predicted, Keith Alan Raniere is now attempting to assert ownership rights to some of the assets that federal prosecutors are attempting to acquire via forfeiture proceedings.
Joe explains, “Raniere claims to own 10% of the assets, proceeds and property of First Principles, Inc. – including, but not limited to, all the company’s patents and proceeds, all of its ethical and psychological tests, all its business and financial records, all its files (student and otherwise), all curricula, materials, rights and related property and any interests and proceeds derived from the assets of the company.
“Raniere has requested that Judge Nicholas Garaufis hold an ancillary proceeding within thirty (30) days to hear his arguments – and to rule on the matter.
“As a result, it is doubtful that any sentencing hearings will be held until after that ancillary hearing has been concluded.
“Although the filing did not include any proof-of-ownership materials, it was noted that Raniere’s attorneys had provided the Court and the prosecution with a copy of Government Exhibit 1279 – which purportedly includes references to the royalties that Mr. Raniere had been collecting or accumulating from First Principles, Inc.”
Thanks, Joe, for explaining it in simple language. Now here is the actual letter to the judge in legalese, of course.
It is noteworthy that Raniere’s lawyers signing off on this latest filing are part of the defense team that represented him as his ill-fated trial: Paul DeroHannesian and Marc Agnifilo.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
PETITIONER KEITH RANIERE’S SPECIFIC PETITION ASSERTING CLAIM OF INTEREST IN CRIMINAL FORFEITURE AND REQUEST FOR ANCILLARY
PROCEEDINGS CONDUCTED UNDER 21 U.S.C. § 853(n) AND FED. R. CRIM. P. 32.2(c)
The Petitioner, Keith Raniere, pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(n), and Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.2(c), hereby petitions for entry of a Final Order of Forfeiture, amending the preliminary orders of forfeiture entered herein as necessary to account for third party rights and any lawful orders, and specifically as to Petitioner’s interests in the release of property from criminal forfeiture in the ancillary proceedings conducted pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §853(n)(6)(B) in
The property to which this petition and claim refers (hereinafter referred to as such and as “the property”) is described below as: First Principles Inc., a Delaware corporation, and all assets rights thereof, including but not limited to bank accounts and intellectual property rights.
THIRD PARTY PETITION AND CLAIM OF INTEREST IN CRIMINAL FORFEITURE
The property was identified in the preliminary orders of forfeiture in this matter as subject to criminal forfeiture in the criminal action pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841, 846 and 853(a).1
Pursuant to the applicable provisions of criminal forfeiture, the forfeiture procedures are governed by Fed.R.Crim.P. 32.2. See, Rule 32(k)(2). These are the sentencing procedures applicable to the Defendants N. Salzman, A. Mack and L. Salzman. Moreover, “[a]ny person convicted of a violation under this subchapter or subchapter II of this subchapter punishable by imprisonment for more than one year shall forfeit to the United States, irrespective of any
provision of State law: (1) any property constituting, derived from, any proceeds obtained directly or indirectly, as the result of such violation; (2) any of the person’s property used, or intended to be used, in any manner or part, to commit, or facilitate the commission of such violation.” Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(a).
Pursuant to the applicable provisions of criminal forfeiture, third party interests in forfeiture are adjudicated under 21 U.S.C. §853(n). These are the procedures applicable to Keith Raniere.
1 On June 20, 2019, the Court entered a preliminary order of forfeiture relative to the defendant Nancy Salzman’s [Dkt. 739] conviction to the subject offenses contained in the Indictment filed in Federal Court.
On June 25, 2019, the Court entered an amended preliminary order of forfeiture relative to the defendant Allison Mack’s [Dkt. 742] conviction to the subject offenses contained in the Indictment filed in Federal Court.
On July 17, 2019, the Court entered a preliminary order of forfeiture relative to the defendant Allison Mack’s [Dkt. 758] conviction to the subject offenses contained in the Indictment filed in Federal Court.
On June 17, 2019, the Court entered an amended preliminary order of forfeiture relative to the defendant Lauren Salzman’s [Dkt. 722] conviction to the subject
offenses contained in the Indictment filed in Federal Court. On July 17, 2019, the Court entered a preliminary order of forfeiture relative to the defendant Lauren Salzman’s [Dkt. 759] conviction to the subject offenses contained in the Indictment filed in Federal Court.
[A]ny person, other than the defendant, asserting a legal interest in property which has been ordered forfeited to the United States pursuant to this section may … petition the court for a hearing to adjudicate the validity of his alleged interest in the property. 21 U.S.C. §853(n)(2).2
[T]he petition shall be signed by the petitioner under penalty of perjury and shall set forth the nature and extent of the petitioner’s right, title or interest in the property, the time and circumstances of the petitioner’s acquisition of the right, title or interest in the property, any additional facts supporting the petitioner’s claim, and the relief sought. 21 U.S.C. §853(n)(3).
Pursuant to the applicable provisions of criminal forfeiture, the ancillary proceedings conducted by this Court require the entry of a final order of forfeiture. See, Rule 32.2(c). Under Rule 32.2(c)(1), “[I]f, as prescribed by statute, a third party files a petition asserting an interest in the property to be forfeited, the court must conduct an ancillary proceeding, but no ancillary proceeding is required to the extent that the forfeiture consists of a money judgment.”
Keith Raniere hereby submits his sworn petition asserting the nature and extent of his lawful interest, right and title in the subject property inclusive of additional facts supporting his claim and the relief sought. This hearing must therefore determine the validity of the third party interests in the property pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §853(n)(2).
A. Section 853(n)(6)(A).
Petitioner shall set forth below the nature and extent of his title and interest in the property. Specifically, Keith Raniere’s title and interest in the property set forth below was vested in him, not in the defendants, N. Salzman, A. Mack and L. Salzman. His right, title and interest was superior to that of any alleged interest claimed by any of the defendants who was subject to the forfeiture order. Furthermore, the defendants N. Salzman, A. Mack and L. Salzman claim no interest whatsoever in any subject property.
Thus, Mr. Raniere’s interest in the subject property was superior to any purported interest claimed by the Defendants N. Salzman, A. Mack and L. Salzman (“Defendants”) at the time of the commission of the acts which gave rise to the criminal forfeiture of the property under this section. See, 21 U.S.C.
B. Section 853(n)(6)(B).
Keith Raniere’s title and interest in the property is superior to any other interest claimed by the Defendants or third party. He was “a bona fide purchaser for value of the right, title or interest in the property and was at the time of purchase reasonable without cause to believe that the property was subject to forfeiture under this section.” See, 21 U.S.C. §853(n)(6)(B).
C. Material Facts Related to Keith Raniere’s Proceeds and Assets in First Principles, Inc.
First Principles, Inc. is a Delaware Corporation in which Mr. Raniere has by agreement a 10% interest in the assets, proceeds and property of First Principles, Inc.
Mr. Raniere claims his right, title and interest in all proceeds and patents of First Principles as set forth above as well as the ethical and psychological tests, business and financial records of First Principles, Inc., all files (student and otherwise), all curricula, materials, rights and related property and any interests and proceeds derived from the assets of First Principles, Inc.
Petitioner concludes that he is entitled to relief from forfeiture and this District Court should amend the order of forfeiture in accordance with its determination. 21 U.S.C.
[3 We are providing the Court and the Government with Government Exhibit 1279, via electronic mail only, which references Mr. Raniere’s royalties from First Principles, Inc. We are not attaching the Exhibit in this public filing as it was not introduced at trial and therefore remains covered by the applicable Protective Orders.]
§835(n)(6)(B). Petitioner maintains that the final order of forfeiture against Raniere entered does not affect him and is invalid to forfeit his interests in the property. Several reasons apply. As an initial matter, there has been no determination of the extent of interest of any third party’s interest in the forfeited property.
Petitioner’s interests survive any alleged claim of interest by the Defendants.
Defendants’ interest, if any, could be forfeited, but Petitioner’s remaining lawful interest survives Defendants’ interest. Moreover, Petitioner’s interest in the property is a superior interest to any right, title or interest of the Defendants. 21 U.S.C. §853(n)(6)(A). In addition, Petitioner’s interest is valid because he was a bona fide purchaser for value of a ten percent interest in First Principles, Inc. and any other property relevant to this claim and petition. 21 U.S.C. §853(n)(6)(B).
Likewise, Keith Raniere is an innocent owner of the ten percent interest in First Principles, which is property titled in his own name, having acquired this property with his own lawful funds. He has demonstrated this by a preponderance of the evidence. 21 U.S.C. §853(n)(6).
Consequently, the District Court should amend the order of forfeiture [Dkt. 739] and grant claimant’s third party petition for ancillary proceedings under 21 U.S.C. §853(n).
What this means, as I understand it, is that Raniere is claiming that he created the technology for Rational Inquiry that was used as Nxivm through a licensing agreement with First Principles. In return, the lad got 10 percent ownership in First Principles LLC [Delaware]. [He actually controlled 100 percent of everything.]
(He also had some [worthless] patents owned by First Principles such as “Tests to Spot a Luciferian” [A sociopath] and “How to Control Dreams”, and, of course, his patent on the colored sashes.)
So now the government is attempting to seize First Principles which is owned primarily by Nancy Salzman. Salzman is not opposing the government taking First Principles. So but for Raniere, the government would grab 1005 of this company.
Nancy is through with Raniere – at least for now. And she is more interested in getting a light sentence than causing any problem with the feds.
Raniere, however, is objecting because he owns 10 percent of First Principles, or so he claims. After all, the genius tech was invented by him. Not only that, he’s got nothing to lose. Unlike Nancy, Lauren, Allison and the others – who might get light sentences – Raniere is down for a minimum of 15 years for the sex trafficking charges alone.
It is not clear if Keith Alan thinks he can resurrect Nxivm someday – when he gets out of prison in 30 years or so – or whether he is trying to obfuscate matters with hopeless legal nonsense.
He may just want to get a hearing in front of the sentencing judge before he is sentenced to show how smart he is and impress the judge with the golden nature of his teachings. Maybe if the judge only understood how ethical and misunderstood Raniere is he would sentence him to a lighter sentence.
Raniere may be able to wax poetic before the judge – without being cross-examined. (He was too chicken to take the stand on his own behalf at his trial – most likely because he feared being cross-examined by a slender woman in turquoise heels [Moira Kim Penza]).
He may – at a hearing – be able to argue that he invented the tech – on his own – with his own brain – and therefore his 10 percent interest is not crime proceeds. Whatever his gambit, however, I suspect, it is not likely to succeed.
But what is the value of this 10 percent interest in First Principles anyway?
The government plans to seize First Principles. If they get it, will they auction it off? Possibly.
Perhaps Clare Bronfman, Edgar Boone, Sara Bronfman, Omar ‘Cuckie’ Boone and others in Nxivm might bid to buy it. Raniere would not want to be cut out.
There may be others, former students – who have left Nxivm and now denounce Raniere – who might think that the tech is still good despite Raniere.
They might also bid for the company that controls the Nxivm tech and try to revive the tech under another name.
Raniere would want his share of the profits.
But can the feds in good conscience sell First Principles?
The argument can be made that the entire tech is nothing more than a devious hypnotic induction program meant to slow boil students into submission to the leader. And then there are the perverse elements of it – the teachings that rape is a metaphor for orgasm for women and that little children who enjoy sex with their parents are not being abused.
Is this what the government wants to sell?
It is all very curious.
Let us see how it plays out.