It appears Keith Raniere purchased space in several online media outlets to take his FBI-tampering claims to the public.
The Miami New Times, the Mercury News, and the East Bay Times have published “sponsored posts” with a pro-Raniere story.
A sponsored post or advertorial is an advertisement that appears on a news website as if it is a news article with a headline and feature photo.
News outlets generally disclose it is paid, and disclaim they did not create the content. Unlike political ads, the news outlets do not disclose the name of the purchaser.
- ‘Paid advertisement. Miami New Times does not sell, evaluate, or endorse products or services advertised.’
- ‘The news and editorial staff of the Bay Area News Group had no role in this post’s preparation.’
The stories are different in each publication.
The Miami New Times advertorial
NXIVM founder Keith Raniere claims the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is trying to “silence” him for going public with his evidence tampering claim against the FBI in his 2019 conviction.
Raniere is a high-profile inmate serving 120 years for racketeering, fraud, and sex trafficking crimes. He claims he has suffered retaliatory actions at a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility in Tucson since the day after documents were filed suggesting FBI personnel tampered with key evidence admitted at his trial: photographs on a hard drive and camera card used to convict him of the heinous charges of possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child, all for the alleged taking 22 photos of a fifteen-year-old in 2005.
Reports of three computer forensics experts, including a former FBI special agent and examiner were filed, demonstrating photo dates were altered and photos were planted on a hard drive that the government claimed belonged to Raniere. Photo dates were how the government argued the photos were contraband. Experts also found that the camera card had been modified while in FBI custody.
Raniere’s evidence-tampering claim is in a Rule 33 motion before the U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who will not decide on it until after the 2nd Circuit rules the appeal, classifying the alleged government crime as not a “substantial” issue.
However, Raniere’s attorney Joseph Tully claims the “level of government malfeasance is extreme” in Raniere’s case – in the form of the planting of alleged contraband photos with manipulated dates and perjury. Those claims have now elicited several retaliatory responses from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), including solitary confinement, loss of phone privileges with defense attorneys, and the latest being his possible transfer from United States Penitentiary, Tucson (USP Tucson).
Raniere, 62, wrote in new court documents that an impending transfer from the USP Tucson would leave him vulnerable to security risks and put his life in danger. “Because of the high profile nature of my case, and the nature of my crimes of conviction, I believe this transfer will expose me to the likelihood of being assaulted or killed by other prisoners,” Raniere said in an affidavit filed in court.
Raniere’s attorneys have asked a federal judge in Arizona for a temporary restraining order blocking the transfer of their client from USP Tucson.
The BOP said it could not give any comment regarding the transfer of inmates due to security and privacy reasons. But attorneys claimed their client was told the reason he was being shipped out of the prison was that he receives “too many legal calls and visits.”
An earlier lawsuit filed in May in the U.S. District Court of Arizona by Tucson-based attorney Stacy Scheff alleges USP-Tucson prison officials engaged in unlawful interference with Raniere’s First Amendment right of access to the courts. The lawsuit also alleged prison officials engaged in retaliatory action by scrubbing or deleting several people from Raniere’s list of approved callers and visitors.
And more recently, prison officials barred Raniere from calling Battlestar Galactica actress Nicki Clyne, claiming he had abused his phone privileges, according to documents filed in court.
In his affidavit accusing BOP of retaliation, Raniere described in detail being locked up in solitary confinement in a restrictive part of USP Tucson called the Special Housing Unit, or the SHU. He claimed, “the room was contaminated with feces.” And that “the odor was overpowering and nauseating.”
The Mercury News advertorial comes with this photo:
The Court of Appeals overlooks damning evidence of FBI corruption in the Keith Raniere case
By SPONSORED CONTENT |
The story reads:
Second Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes denied a request to stay the appeal of NXIVM founder Keith Raniere despite new forensic evidence showing FBI corruption. The stay would have kicked the case back to the district court, presided over by Clinton-appointed Judge Nicholas Garaufis.
It has been five months since this damning evidence was filed, yet the appellate court’s refusal to grant a stay means that no ruling has been made. The government has not offered any proof to deny the allegations of malfeasance or filed any substantive response in court.
The basis of the request was the unanimous findings of three forensic experts that the photographic evidence used to convict Raniere of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor had been “manufactured and planted” in an attempt to “frame” Raniere for these heinous charges.
The forensic experts, led by Dr. J. Richard Kiper, a former FBI Special Agent, Computer Forensic Examiner, and FBI Instructor, discovered that certain key evidence used against Raniere had been “manipulated and planted” — and that the “analysis demonstrates that some of these alterations definitely took place while the devices were in the custody of the FBI.”
The team of forensic experts has since expanded to six experts, including three former FBI examiners. They all claimed to have never seen government tampering before the case of US vs Raniere. “In my 20 years as an FBI agent, I have never observed or claimed that an FBI employee tampered with evidence, digital or otherwise”, Dr. Kiper stated in his report. “But in this case, I strongly believe the multiple, intentional alterations to the digital information I have discovered constitute evidence manipulation.”
The central charge in the case, before the government superseded eleven months later with a child porn charge, was sex trafficking, based on a single witness. Until the superseding indictment containing the child porn charges, it is believed that all the co-defendants in the case were planning to go to trial. Harvard Law School professor Ron Sullivan, who is representing a co-defendant, argued new evidence “suggests photo manipulation” by the government. He claimed the manipulated digital evidence — which he said was entered in the “11th hour” — was “so prejudicial” that it resulted in a guilty plea by his client, Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman.
An exhibit in support of the motion asserts that a hard drive and a camera memory card both exhibited “anomalies” when examined by defense experts.
The exhibit says that prosecutors used metadata to convince the jury that Raniere committed the racketeering acts of possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child. At issue were “22 nude photos found on a backup hard drive” – purportedly of a Dell Dimension that was never found – which depicted the female identified as “Camila” at trial.
After the trial, three top-level digital forensic experts were brought on to analyze the relevant photo evidence central to secure convictions for the racketeering acts of possessing child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor. “All three experts, to their surprise and dismay, found a multitude of anomalies that evidenced that the alleged contraband photos were manufactured and planted”, the exhibit indicates.
The defense said the “level of government malfeasance is extreme,” the goal of which was to link Raniere to the photos and that the dates were intentionally tampered with to make it appear that the subject, “Camila,” was underage at the time the photos were taken.
Because the implication of FBI corruption is significant and weighty – alleged altered evidence was a proverbial linchpin to the entire case – this could overturn the conviction on the basis of outrageous government misconduct, and the defense attorneys are demanding there be an evidentiary hearing for this to be fully investigated, and the responsible parties be held accountable.
The East Bay Times advertorial comes with this generic image:
By Sponsored Content
The Appellate court has chosen to ignore the evidence-tampering charge against the FBI filed by an attorney for Keith Raniere. If his conviction goes unchallenged, Raniere will spend the remainder of his life in prison.
After the trial, the Raniere defense team recruited three top digital forensic experts to analyze key photo evidence central to secure convictions for the racketeering acts of possessing child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor. “All three experts, to their surprise and dismay, found a multitude of anomalies that evidenced that the alleged contraband photos were manufactured and planted,” the exhibit indicates.
NXIVM founder Raniere is serving a life sentence after the jury found him guilty of a raft of charges, including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and attempted sex trafficking.
Keith Raniere is seeking to get his conviction vacated on grounds the FBI allegedly tampered with photos on a hard drive and camera card, including photos of a nude woman known as ‘Camila’ at trial, to make it seem as if she was underage – key evidence against him – and gave false testimony in his 2019 trial.
A team of six highly regarded forensic experts including Dr. J. Richard Kiper, who was a former FBI Special Agent, Computer Forensic Examiner, and Instructor, discovered that certain key evidence used to convict the former NXIVM leader had been “significantly manipulated” and even “planted” — and that the “analysis demonstrates that some of these alterations definitely took place while the devices were in the custody of the FBI.”
The guilty as-charged sex cult leader claims the outcome of his original 2019 trial would have been different had jurors been aware of the alleged FBI corruption, especially as his five co-defendants only pleaded guilty after the eleventh-hour, supposedly accidental discovery of the photos.
Attorneys and experts retained by Raniere are arguing the FBI allegedly manipulated the dates of photographic evidence used to convict their client of child pornography and sexual exploitation charges, to make it appear as if it was taken in 2005 – when she would have been under the legal age to give consent to have her nude photo taken.
“There is evidence that computer data related to digital photographs taken of a nude female were materially altered to make it appear that these photographs were taken in 2005,” Raniere’s attorney Joseph Tully wrote in his filings to a federal appellate court. “The government used the year 2005 to establish the female as being under the age of eighteen, making the photographs contraband.”
“All of the anomalies all favor the government’s narrative that Camila was underage at the time she started a relationship with Keith Raniere,” Tully continued. “It just leads you to the conclusion that the FBI was engaged in this tampering.”
Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, who is also part of Raniere’s defense, said the team’s allegations against the government are “very credible and serious”. He urged the U.S Department of Justice to live up to its mandate to pursue justice and not merely convictions. He believes the right thing to do going forward is for the DOJ to at least agree to an evidentiary hearing on the defense evidence-tampering allegations.
The news and editorial staff of the Bay Area News Group had no role in this post’s preparation.