BREAKING NEWS/UPDATE: Keith Raniere’s request to have his sentencing delayed has been granted. Here is the Order that was issued earlier today by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis:
ORDER re: Keith Raniere’s  Application to Adjourn Sentencing Deadlines. The Application is GRANTED. The court adopts Mr. Raniere’s proposed briefing schedule. A Fatico hearing, if necessary, will be held on May 18, 2020 at 10:00 am in Courtroom 4D South. Mr. Raniere’s sentencing hearing will be held on May 21, 2020 at 10:00 am in Courtroom 4D South. The parties are DIRECTED to provide the court with the names of individuals who may wish to be heard at Mr. Raniere’s sentencing hearing by no later than 10:00 am on May 19, 2020. Ordered by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on 3/18/2020.
Keith Raniere’s attorneys had requested that U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis postpone his sentencing until May 21st (He was previously scheduled to be sentenced at 10:00 AM on April 16th).
In a letter to the judge dated March 17, 2019, Marc A. Agnifilo and Teny R. Geragos noted that the current visiting restrictions at the Metropolitan Detention Center had made it impossible for them to meet with Raniere – and requested the additional time in order to prepare for the sentencing hearing.
Here’s the full text of the letter:
March 17, 2020
The Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis
United States District Judge
United States District Court
225 Cadman Plaza East
Brooklyn, New York 11201
Re: United States v. Keith Raniere, 18 Cr. 204 (NGG)
Dear Judge Garaufis:
With the consent of the Government (AUSA Tanya Hajjar), we move the Court to adjourn the schedule for the sentencing memoranda, Fatico hearing and sentencing date for Keith Raniere. Currently, the defendant’s sentencing memorandum is due on March 23, 2010, the
Government’s sentencing memorandum is due on March 30, 2020, a Fatico hearing is scheduled for April 13, 2020 and the defendant’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 16, 2010.
Counsel for the defendant has been advised by the MDC Brooklyn that counsel visits with MDC inmates will not be permitted for a period of 30 days commencing on Friday, March 13, 2020. Counsel requested an in-person legal visit with Raniere, which has been denied.
Accordingly, it is not possible to properly prepare a sentencing memorandum, with the defendant’s full participation, in a case of this magnitude and complexity, given the understandable restrictions on counsel visitation during this unprecedented health crisis.
We therefore request that the Court adopt the following schedule, consistent with any other Court obligations: defendant’s sentencing memorandum shall be due on April 27, 2020; Government’s sentencing memorandum shall be due on May 4, 2020; a Fatico hearing on May 18, 2020 and the defendant’s sentencing hearing on May 21, 2020.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
Marc A. Agnifilo, Esq., Of Counsel
Teny R. Geragos, Esq.
Clare Bronfman Still Scheduled to Be Sentenced on April 23rd
It is unknown whether Clare Bronfman, the only other NXIVM-related defendant who has a scheduled sentencing date, will also request a delay for her sentencing.
She is currently scheduled to be sentenced at 10:00 AM on April 23rd.
Unlike Raniere, Clare has not been incarcerated while waiting to find out just how long she’ll be spending in federal prison.
Instead, she’s been on home confinement in her luxury apartment – which, if nothing else, has probably reduced the chance that she’ll be infected with the coronavirus.
No Sentencing Dates for the Other Defendants
As of right now, none of the other four defendants in the case – Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, Allison Mack or Kathy Russell – have scheduled sentencing dates.
It now appears unlikely that any of them will be sentenced before Raniere.
And with the ever-expanding impact of the coronavirus crisis, it is uncertain exactly when any of them will appear before Judge Garaufis to learn their fate.
Further Delays for the Civil Case
The postponing of Raniere’s sentencing until May 21st – and the likelihood that at least some of the other defendants will be sentenced after him – will automatically extend the current “hold” on the civil case that has been filed by some 80 plaintiffs against 15 NXIVM-related defendants.
Per that hold, the civil case cannot resume until all the defendants in the criminal case have been sentenced.
Looks like this case won’t get going again until sometime in June at the earliest.
Coronavirus Could Lead to Even Further Delays
Thus far, each federal district court has been deciding on its own whether to curtail or close down court operations (The U.S. Supreme Court has already canceled oral arguments for the rest of this month).
But with the ever-tightening “guidelines” that are being issued almost daily by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – e.g., it is now recommended that people not congregate in groups of more than 10 – I think it is increasingly likely that all U.S. District Court operations will be shut down until, at a minimum, the end of April.
Should that happen, all the sentencings in the NXIVM case could be further delayed.
Tanya Hajjar Claims There Are No Coronavirus Cases in Federal Prison
According to a story in yesterday’s New York Post, former Raniere prosecutor Tanya Hajjar recently informed a federal judge that all 122 federal detention facilities are free of the coronavirus.
In a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Margo Brodie, Hajjar told the judge that no inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) – or any other federal detention facility – has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Hajjar also said that MDC inmates are being screened for possible coronavirus symptoms – and then quarantined in the SHU if they show any signs that they may have contracted the virus. She also said that those who show signs are being tested.
Based on anecdotal information that the Frank Report has received from several Bureau of Prison sources, we believe that the coronavirus has already been detected in federal facilities in Miami and Seattle. We are also awaiting confirmation that one case has shown up in a federal prison in New York State.
I’m surprised that Ms. Hajjar went out on such a skinny limb to proclaim that there are no coronavirus cases in the federal prison system. Surely, she must be aware that federal prisons – and most, if not all, state and local prions and jails – will soon be inundated with the virus.