Rare, Insightful Report on Raniere’s Curcio Hearing on Friday the 13th – Concerning Teny Geragos Potential Conflict
September 15, 2019
[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.