What do El Chapo, Jeffrey Epstein, John A. ‘Junior’ Gotti [the late Don’s son], and Keith Raniere have in common?
They have the same lawyers.
Raniere, who is serving a 120-year sentence, just retained four new lawyers for his appeal, and for the possible presentation of new evidence that could potentially result in a new trial, and for the restitution hearings.
In her appeal for Raniere, Jennifer Bonjean mentioned that tampering evidence may form a part of a Rule 33 motion – a motion that requests a new trial based on new evidence that was not available during the trial.
Raniere’s supporters have maintained that the nude photos of 15-year-old Camila, which many consider to be the most damning evidence presented at the trial, were tampered with while in FBI custody.
FBI examiner Brian Booth admitted under cross-examination that the FBI lost custody of one or more of the devices they used to prove the pictures were Raniere’s.
The shock of the presenting of the Camila pictures was so profound that eyewitnesses describe Judge Nicholas Garaufis recoiling in front of the jury when he was first presented with the pictures that were to be admitted into evidence.
The four new attorneys made a notice of appearance before Judge Garaufis.
The new attorneys are Jeffrey Lichtman, Jeffrey Einhorn and Jason Goldman of the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman – and Marc Fernich, who has his own firm.
All are located in NYC.
These lawyers have handled high-profile cases and have experience with the judges and prosecutors in the EDNY.
Marc Fernich, a Manhattan attorney, does criminal defense and appeals.
His clients include:
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loero
Malcolm Smith [State Legislator Accused of Trying to Bribe His Way into NYC Mayoral Race]
Gigi Jordan [Pharmaceutical Executive and Socialite Charged with Killing Allegedly Autistic Son]
Vittorio “Little Vic” Amuso, Peter Gotti, Gurmeet Singh Dhinsa, Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov [Alleged Crime Bosses]
Kurtis Blow [Legendary Hip Hop Pioneer]
Robert Simels, Larry Bronson [Criminal Defense Lawyers Accused of Crimes]
Tra’ves Bush [Naval Academy Football Player Accused, Militarily, of Sex Assault, Making False Official Statements]
Robert Malin [“Squawk Box Six” Member Charged with Inside Trading Based on Brokerage Firm Intercom Broadcasts]
Joseph J. Santopietro [Ex-Waterbury, CT Mayor Accused of Political Corruption]
Paul Cortez [Musician, Artist and Fitness Trainer Charged with Killing Girlfriend]
Armand D’Amato [Lobbyist and Ex-U.S. Senator’s Brother]
Carmine Agnello [Reputed crime family soldier; ex-son-in-law and -husband of John J. and Victoria Gotti]
Ferenc Koreh [Alleged Propagandist in Nazi Hungary]
- Named a New York-Metro Super Lawyer since 2009,
- ranked “AV” preeminent by the Martindale-Hubbell attorney rating firm,
- teaches appellate advocacy at Pace and Brooklyn law schools
- serves as a director for the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
- In the latter capacity, he co-chairs a friend-of-court committee that files public interest briefs on issues of concern to the criminal defense bar at large.
- A frequent author and lecturer on criminal justice topics, Fernich regularly appears in the media as an expert legal commentator. Aside from handling criminal appeals and motions, he also maintains active civil and trial practices
Lichtman represented John Gotti Jr. and secured a dismissal of three charges of murder conspiracy, an acquittal on a $25 million securities fraud charge, and a hung jury on every remaining count brought against him.
In 2010, Lichtman’s client – who was convicted of multiple counts of sexual assault – had his 27-year sentence vacated, and was released after Lichtman successfully argued that trial counsel was ineffective.
In 2011, Lichtman achieved an acquittal after trial for WPIX television reporter Vince DeMentri, on assault charges.
In 2018, Lichtman represented Khari Noerdlinger, son of former New York City Hall aide Rachel Noerdlinger, on charges including manslaughter. After discovering that evidence was withheld that exonerated his client, the charges were dropped.
In 2018, he was hired by suspected Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to represent him in his federal trial in Brooklyn, which lasted from November 2018 to February 2019. Guzmán was found guilty of all 10 counts in February 2019.
Also with Lichtman are two lawyers with his firm, Jeffrey Einhorn and Jason Goldman.
The status of Raniere’s other lawyers – Jennifer Bonjean, Marty Tankeloff and Stephan Metcalf, and Joseph D. McBride – is unclear.
Bonjean filed Raniere’s appeal earlier this year. The presence of the new attorneys who are fierce opponents of the DOJ and not go-along-to-get-along attorneys suggests that Raniere plans to step up his game.
A Word on El Chapo
El Chapo was a mid-level provider of cocaine to the USA, the proof of which is that trafficking of cocaine has not slowed down one iota since El Chapo’s arrest.
During his trial, El Chapo’s organization was alleged by the DOJ to have trafficked 328 million lines of cocaine – “enough to provide a line of coke for every person in the US.”
It sounds big. But once you break it down – at 15 lines per gram – based on my calculations, it comes to about 50,000 pounds of cocaine – or 25 tons.
Based on statistics available online, Americans consume 4,000,000 pounds of cocaine per year. [2,000 tons].
El Chapo was responsible for less than 1 percent of cocaine sales in America – at best.
A low to mid-level trafficker.