We just received several updates concerning Keith Raniere’s status at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
Some of them indicate that he is beginning to adjust to prison while others indicate the exact opposite.
But far and away the most interesting tidbit concerns the fact that he recently told several of his fellow inmates that he is looking to hire a new attorney to handle his appeal because he can no longer afford the ones who have previously been working on it.
As Frank Report readers are well aware, Raniere was convicted last June 19th on multiple felony accounts: Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, Forced Labor Conspiracy, Wire Fraud Conspiracy, Sex Trafficking, Attempted Sex Trafficking, and Sex Trafficking Conspiracy.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17th.
The Appeals Process for Federal Criminal Cases
Once he is sentenced, the clock will start running for Raniere to file his appeal.
The first requirement will be for him to file a “Notice of Appeal” – which is simply a declaration to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that he is planning to formally appeal his conviction.
Raniere’s trial attorneys – Marc Agnifilo and Paul DerOhannesian – will be required to represent him throughout the appellate process unless/until they are relieved of that obligation by the appellate court.
And if Agnifilo and DerOhannesian want out, they’ll have to file a motion to that effect within 7 days after the “Notice of Appeal” is filed.
One of the most common reasons why trial attorneys are relieved of their obligation to represent a convicted defendant on appeal is because the defendant cannot pay their expected legal fees.
When that happens, the appellate court appoints an attorney to replace the trial counsel.
So, why is Raniere telling people that he needs to get a new attorney for his appeal – and that he’s trying to find one who will take his case on a “contingency fee” basis (I’ve never heard of any attorney doing that – and I assume that Raniere will most likely end up with a court-appointed attorney)?
Have Agnifilo and DerOhannesian already told him they will be seeking to be freed from their obligation to represent him on his appeal because he no longer can afford to pay them?
Have Clare and Sara Bronfman finally realized that Raniere is nothing more than an aging con man – and stopped paying his legal bills?
That certainly seems like the most likely explanation for Raniere’s recent comments about needing to get a new attorney for his appeal.
In any event, we should find out more about this matter by the end of next month.
No Visits For You!
No more all-day meetings with multiple attorneys.
No more visits from comely women.
No more snacks from the vending machines in the Visitors Room at MDC.
Raniere has not any visitors for the past few weeks.
None, nada, nil, niente, rien, no one…
Not even one of his many acolytes has come to visit the man who once made his minions wait hours just to have a few minutes with him.
Not even one attorney has sat with him taking notes at $500 per hour.
My, how the mighty Vanguard has fallen.
Overcrowding Is Becoming an Issue at MDC
Ever since MDC administrators decided to save some money by stop utilizing the decrepit East Tower to house prisoners, things have been getting progressively tighter over in the West Tower where Raniere resides.
In recent weeks, things have gotten even more crowded as courts have started slowing down for the holiday season.
Except for about 150 “cadre prisoners” who serve as slave labor for the prison, all the other 1,700 inmates at MDC are either awaiting trial or awaiting sentencing.
So, over-crowding at MDC is likely to get worse before it gets better because people are still getting arrested or indicted just about every day of the week.
And some of them are still being assigned to MDC.
Back To Squinting
As statistically improbable as it may seem, the Vanguard’s glasses – the ones that finally had his correct prescription and were the right size – were recently broken.
Is that bad luck or what?
Getting replacement glasses will likely take several months.
Which means that Raniere may be showing up to his sentencing hearing with taped-together glasses or ones that cause him to squint in order to be able to see what’s going on.
The “accident” apparently happened several weeks ago.
Over the course of the past few weeks, Raniere has evolved into MDC’s mac-and-cheese man.
Rather than depending on MDC’s fine cuisine for his daily caloric intake, the Vanguard is now scarfing down mac-and-cheese meals from the Commissary just about every day.
And not just once a day.
Sometimes, he’s eating those mac-and-cheese meals four times a day.
That’s a lot of mac-and-cheese – even for a rat like Raniere!
Still Having Problems With His Wrist
The wrist that Raniere claims to have injured while he was stretching and practicing his karate moves in the middle of the night has still not healed properly – and will definitely need surgery in order to restore full functionality.
But MDC officials have decided not to have that surgery done while he’s still incarcerated there.
So, the corrective surgery will not be done until Raniere is assigned to a regular prison – which will likely happen soon after he’s sentenced on January 17th.
Assuming that the Bureau of Prisons abides by its policy of assigning prisoners to prisons that within 500 miles of their homes, there are quite a few facilities where he could end up.
But only one of them in the BOP’s Northeast Region is categorized as a “Federal Medical Center”.
That would be the Fort Devens facility – which just happens to be where John Tighe is currently incarcerated.
Talk about irony…
Very Low Energy – Might Be Clinically Depressed
Maybe it’s because he’s no longer having his legal fees paid for by the Bronfman brats.
Or because he no longer has any visitors.
Or because his glasses were broken – again.
Or because his wrist still hurts.
Or because his sentencing date is now only a month away.
Or because he’s eating all those mac-and-cheese meals.
Whatever it is, several observers have noted that Raniere is very listless these days.
That’s actually quite understandable.
There’s not a lot of things for inmates to do at MDC.
No time outdoors.
Few recreational opportunities.
A very limited library.
Limited – and monitored – phone calls and emails.
So, it’s quite common for inmates to become lethargic and depressed.
It’s also possible that this is all a show that Keith is putting on in an attempt to gain sympathy from the guards and/or other inmates.
If that’s his plan, it’s not working.