[Editor’s Note: I believe that the observations and information in this report are not found anywhere else online or in print]
By Dianne Lipson
There were only about 10 observers in Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis’ courtroom on Friday, the 13th – where a Curcio hearing was held concerning a possible conflict of interest regarding Teny Geragos’ application to work as a prosecutor for the EDNY.
Geragos was one of Raniere’s defense attorneys in the successful EDNY prosecution of Keith Alan Raniere. She was present in court along with Raniere’s lead attorney, Marc Agnifio.
Tanya Hajjar was at the prosecution table.
Raniere was brought into court wearing prison garb, a short-sleeved tan shirt and tan slacks – and sporting dark-rimmed glasses. His hair was shorter than at the trial and styled differently, brushed back from his forehead instead of forward onto his face.
[Frank Report previously explained that his new shorter haircut was due to his head being shaven about a month ago because he had a head lice infestation.]
Keith’s short haircut gave him a more neat and dapper appearance than I have seen previously. His demeanor was similar to how he appeared during the trial, attentive and respectful.
Avi Moskowitz, the lawyer assigned by the court to represent Raniere for this proceeding, explained that, although he had wanted to meet with Raniere earlier this week, family matters prevented him from meeting with Raniere until the morning of the hearing.
He said he felt he needed more time to discuss this matter with Raniere, and that Raniere needs more time to think about it.
During the proceedings, the judge asked when Geragos made the application to become a prosecutor.
Hajjar said it was after the trial. Judge Garaufis also wanted to know if the application contained character references from prosecutors, as opposed to references regarding people Geragos has previously worked with.
The question was discussed as to whether this was a waive-able or unwaive-able conflict.
The government felt is was waive-able, Along with the date of the application, Judge Garaufis asked to see the cover letter for the application.
Judge Garaufis wanted to reserve a date for another hearing on this matter. He pointed out that there is no scheduled date for sentencing for Raniere, as the probation report will not be ready until late November.
In perhaps the most notable takeaway from today, the Judge indicated that this will push Raniere’s sentencing into next year. [It is not known if the other Nxivm convicts – Allison Mack, Clare Webb Bronfman, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, and Kathy Russell – will also be sentenced next year. It is believed that Raniere will be sentenced last.]
Regarding today’s matter – on October 4th, Mr. Moscowitz will file a submission, and the government will respond on the 11th. The hearing will take place on October 31st, at 2 pm.
Judge Garaufis said the question between now and then is whether Geragos should be excused from the representation of Raniere as a precaution.
The judge observed that this is a “very unusual circumstance”.
Moskowitz didn’t think that allowing them to communicate changes the calculus.
Agnifilo will be working on another trial during that time period, but Judge Garaufis did not think this was a barrier to communication, saying that Agnifilo “isn’t in Utah under armed guard.”
Judge Garaufis asked Raniere if there was anything else.
Raniere replied “No.”
On the way out, Raniere took a long look in the direction of the gallery. [He does not often see people who are in the free world – dressed as they choose and going where they want – – a world he once inhabited and abused – most of the people he sees are either prisoners or guards].
Agnifilo replied that the judge has not set a date on the ownership issue.
Agnifilo added, “We have a long way to go on this case.”
I asked, “Your work is not over yet?”
He said “No”.
[And don’t forget the appeal.]
I asked if Raniere seemed in good spirits.
Agnifilo said he seemed in mixed spirits, adding that Raniere always puts on a positive face when he sees Agnifilo.
Thinking about it more, Agnifilo added that Raniere was very contemplative. He was in contemplative spirits.
I explained that I brought that up because this kind of issue has assumed great importance after the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein.
As we chatted about Epstein’s untimely death, Agnifilo observed that you never know what’s on someone’s mind.
[Editor’s Note: Many feel Marc Agnifilo deserves an award for representing one of the most odious and reprehensible [non-capital offense] defendants in recent memory.
Agnifilo is to be highly praised. He somehow managed [against all odds] to get through the entire six-week trial – with consistent effort in his clients’ defense, despite incredibly embarrassing and horrific evidence coming out at that trial.
Unlike the spectators, the jury and even the judge – not even once did Agnifilo burst into laughter or unduly grimace – at the astounding and sometimes riotous revelations in court about his client.
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.
IMDb — Frank Parlato
Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Agnifilo already got his award. He did his assigned job of representing Raniere and got paid very well for doing so. Not knowing what is on someone’s mind (or doing) was illustrated for me the other day when I saw an ESPN show about Steve “Air” McNair, here’s the story from a local news outlet, and another example of a woman offing herself with a gun: https://www.tennessean.com/story/sports/nfl/titans/2019/07/03/steve-mcnair-sahel-jenni-kazemi-death/1553404001/
Don’t be fooled by his respectful demeanor and his contemplative bullshit. There is no sincerity behind it. He’s merely acting in a way he thinks will give him better leverage. He’s nearly sixty years old and has been acting the same way for a very long time. Do you think he would ever change now? No. People only get worse and more stubborn in their ways when they get up in age. He’s just milking the system for his own benefit.
Most aren’t fooled by obvious evil. A “devil” doesn’t come to you in a straightforward manner. He tricks you with what you want. Deception and its subtlety has always been in his bag of tricks.
Raniere has no leverage.
Yes, excellent! I enjoyed your angle on Agnofilo up close but relative to Raniere even Ted Bundy was just misunderstood.
I would guess that if any of us was getting paid the kind of money that Agniflio is getting for his work on this trial, each of us would also be able to wear a poker face for six weeks. Actors do it every day for far less.
Thanks Diane for the excellent reporting!
Diane, many thanks for continuing to follow up on the case even after the sensational conclusion of the trial – and of course all your work covering that, as well.
Were any Raniere supporters among the observers?
I really can’t say if there were Raniere supporters there. But it looked like press and government people.
Leave it to the lawyers to screw things up even further.
Nothing has been screwed up.
Scott, the US government and its lawyers screw things up all of the time.
“Exclusive: Russia carried out a ‘stunning’ breach of FBI communications system, escalating the spy game on U.S. soil”
“American officials discovered that the Russians had dramatically improved their ability to decrypt certain types of secure communications and had successfully tracked devices used by elite FBI surveillance teams. Officials also feared that the Russians may have devised other ways to monitor U.S. intelligence communications, including hacking into computers not connected to the internet.”
Scott, who would have guessed that Russia is spying on the US government?
Not the FBI and the US DOJ.
Mr. Shadow, you tried to open the topic from the Geragos flipping sides issue to the entire universe.
Nobody has to guess whether Russia is spying on the U.S. They do it to us and we do it to them.