U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis announced in court yesterday that because the requisite Pre-Sentencing Report on Keith Alan Raniere won’t be finished until late November, he will not be sentencing the man once known as Vanguard until some time in 2020.
Although the judge did not indicate when he will be sentencing any of Raniere’s co-defendants – Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, Lauren Salzman, Nancy Salzman, and Kathy Russell – it seems unlikely that any of those will be taking place any time soon.
Curcio Hearing Extended to October 31st
The purpose of yesterday’s Curcio hearing was to allow Raniere to voice his opinion on whether Teny Geragos’ application to become an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) posed a conflict-of-interest – and, if so, whether he would waive it. Geragos was a member of Raniere’s defense team during his trial earlier this year – which resulted in him being found guilty on all seven felony counts.
Raniere was represented at the Curcio hearing by Avraham (“Avi”) Moskowitz – who also represented him at a previous Curcio hearing (The previous hearing concerned the question of whether Raniere, the Salzmans, Mack and Russell wanted to keep their attorneys – all of whom were being paid for by Bronfman – or have new attorneys appointed for them by the court).
No final decision was reached at yesterday’s hearing because Moskowitz indicated that “Mr. Raniere needs some time to consider this issue a little bit longer”.
There is also a question as to whether Raniere has the ability to waive the conflict-of-interest if it, in fact, exists. Or as Judge Garaufis succinctly stated, “It is what it is, once we figure out what it is”.
The hearing will resume on October 31st – which just happens to be Halloween (My guess is that Raniere is going to come to court dressed as a federal prisoner).
Lots More Going on Behind the Scenes
While other media outlets reported on yesterday’s hearing – and took notice of Raniere’s appearance – none of them noted some of the subtleties of what was going on.
To begin with, Raniere was brought into the courtroom in handcuffs. No more concerns about how jurors might be negatively influenced by seeing him that way.
In addition, he was also dressed in prison “travel scrubs” – the type of outfit that is handed to a prisoner who will be traveling outside the prison after the prisoner has gone through a full body search (Squat, Pick ‘em up, Cough, Turn-around and do it again!). No need for Raniere to don the sweater-and-pants outfits that he wore throughout his trial.
And just as they do with every prisoner who is considered to be a pain-in-the-ass, the prison guards gave Raniere a well-wrinkled set of duds to wear to court.
Also, all the reports noted that Raniere is now sporting a buzz cut. But not one of them noted the reason for the new look.
As Frank Report disclosed in an exclusive inside report back on August 20th, Raniere had his hair shorn after he developed a serious case of head lice while he was in the SHU at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC).
As we reported at the time, the Bureau of Prisons has its own treatment regimen for prisoners who have head lice: cut off all their hair.
Lastly, one of the reports noted that as he was being led out of the courtroom for his trip back to MDC, Raniere pushed up his glasses back onto the bridge of his nose. Regular readers of Frank Report know that Raniere has had all sorts of issues with his glasses since he’s been incarcerated at MDC – and that the last pair he was given were intentionally made not to fit because of all his previous bitching.
What About the Other Defendants?
At this point, it is unclear when the other defendants in the case will be sentenced.
The original sentencing dates were as follows:
– Nancy Salzman: July 25th
– Clare Bronfman: July 25th
– Kathy Russell: July 31st
– Lauren Salzman: September 11th
– Allison Mack: September 11th
– Keith Raniere: September 25th
But those dates were scuttled by Judge Garaufis who adjourned all the sentencings sine die – which simply means that no new dates were established.
So, while Raniere goes back to his cell at MDC, the others languish in various levels of home confinement.
And all of them, of course, are still being electronically monitored by ankle bracelets that are a constant reminder that they are convicted criminals facing prison terms.
Are There Other Reasons for the Delayed Sentencings?
Frank Report previously asked several attorneys why they thought the sentencing dates had been delayed.
All of them cited the fact that the judge had just finished presiding over Raniere’s 27-day trial – and needed a break before taking on the very important task of sentencing.
They also all agreed that compiling the “Pre-Sentencing Reports” would likely take more time than usual because of the many off-the-grid activities of the defendants. This is particularly true for Raniere who, although he claimed to be a renunciate, actually owned or controlled many assets (He recently claimed to the court that he owns 10% of First Principles, Inc. – a claim that could result in him being charged with perjury because of his prior sworn statement that the only asset he owned was a 50% interest in the townhouse located at 3 Flintlock Lane).
Another possibility that was cited by some of the attorneys is that one or more of the defendants may be trying to get a reduced sentence by offering up information and details about other criminal acts involving the NXIVM cult and the public officials who allowed NXIVM to operate with impunity. This would seem to be a real possibility – especially for Nancy Salzman who was the first to plead guilty in the case and who did so without any plea deal in place.
Of course, it’s also possible that the sentencings have been delayed because one or more of the defendants is going to be indicted on new charges in the Northern District of New York. If, as we have been assured on several occasions, the investigation is still going on, then this is a very real possibility.
Especially because Grant C. Jaquith, the current U.S. Attorney for the NDNY, has been kicked upstairs to a federal judgeship. No word yet on who will replace Jaquith but, hopefrully, it’s someone whoi is not afraid to take on the entrenched political machines in the Capital District.
Four of the charges that were originally part of the EDNY case were dismissed because of jurisdictional issues – and referred to the NDNY for follow-up.
These four charges are as follows:
– Sexual Exploitation of a Child – Jane doe 2: Keith Raniere
– Sexual Exploitation of a Child – Jane Doe 2: Keith Raniere
– Possession of Child Pornography: Keith Raniere
– Conspiracy to Commit Identity Theft: Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman & Others
Some Good Things Will Result From the Delayed Sentencings
Even though we’re all anxious to find out how much prison time each of the NXIVM defendants will be serving, there are some good things that will result from the delays.
For one thing, Clare may actually have time to pass her GED test.
And Nancy may snag one or more fools into taking her $25,000 counseling course.
Lauren will have more time to find someone to take care of her cat while she’s away.
Allison will have more time to take classes and attend church.
Kathy will be able to participate in a holiday ballet.
And Keith will get another one of MDC’s “Christmas Bags”.
Viva Executive Success!