Keith Raniere is suing the BOP again. His second lawsuit is similar to the first.
Raniere, through his attorney, Stacy Scheff, is seeking an injunction preventing prison officials from “retaliating” against him by blocking or hindering his access to the courts, his lawyers, his power of attorney – Suneel Chakravorty – and his friends Nicki Clyne and Danielle Roberts.
Raniere states Chakravorty is also a paralegal and legal manager “helping the attorneys and experts during the post-conviction proceedings.”
Among the lawyers Raniere claims he cannot speak with is his Mexican lawyer, Jorge de la Garza.
The lawsuit states de la Garza, “has over 30-years of experience practicing law, and for fifteen years, he has managed US-based law firms in Monterrey, Mexico.”
The second BOP lawsuit, filed on Dec. 15, was assigned to U.S. District Court Judge John C. Hinderaker.
Then it was transferred to the same judge, U.S. District Court Judge Raner C. Collins, who presided over the first BOP case and dismissed it.
Raniere is a prisoner in the U.S. Penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona, with 97 years to serve on his sentence.
Raniere’s new lawsuit is different in one critical respect. Judge Collins dismissed his first lawsuit because Raniere had not exhausted his BOP administrative remedies.
Raniere now claims he has exhausted or “has been prevented by BOP staff” from exhausting his administrative remedies.
Technically, Raniere is not suing the BOP.
He is suing officials:
- Merrick Garland, the Attorney General of the United States, and head of the United States Department of Justice; the BOP is an agency of the DOJ,
- Colette Peters, Director of the BOP
- The Warden of USP Tucson, whose name is unknown to Raniere.
- Lt. Anthony Gallion of USP Tucson, who Raniere believes is with the Special Investigative Agency (“SIA”) of the BOP.
Raniere alleges the warden, whoever they may be, is retaliating against him based on “personal animus” and not for “legitimate penological” purposes.
He alleges Lt Gallion scrubbed his approved callers and visitors, including his attorneys and their agents.
Raniere charges the BOP is “frustrating and interfering with” his First Amendment right to communicate with his attorneys and the court by “keeping him in the SHU without justification.”
Raniere claims the BOP retaliated against him because he filed a Rule 33 motion accusing the FBI of tampering with evidence.
This alleged retaliation has resulted in him not being able to speak with his POA Chakravorty, plus friends Nicki Clyne and Danielle Roberts.
Raniere claims the BOP is not allowing him sufficient contact with his attorneys to meet his legal needs during his efforts to attack his conviction, particularly his Rule 33 motion.
Seeking Change to Status Quo Ante
Raniere seeks a preliminary injunction to maintain the “status quo ante,” which is the condition he had before the alleged retaliation occurred. He wants to communicate with his attorneys, their agents, and employees, including his Mexican attorney de la Garza, his power of attorney Chakravorty, plus Clyne and Roberts
Raniere claims he
is entitled under the First Amendment to communicate with his attorneys and his attorneys’ employees, both in-person and using contemporaneous telephonic communications, for the purpose of discussing legal matters aimed at attacking his criminal sentence, and subject only to limited restrictions that are reasonably related to penological interests.
He also wants the BOP to pay for his attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing this action.
No Legal Help in Mexico
Raniere claims his legal manager Chakravorty handles financial matters.
Chakravorty is assisting with the probating the estate of Raniere’s deceased partner, Pamela Caftriz, who left Raniere $8 million.
Raniere states Chakravorty “communicates” with Marianna Fernandez, the mother of Raniere’s son, “in matters regarding their son and Plaintiff’s interest in Mexico.”
Because the USP Tucson Warden won’t let him speak to his Mexican attorney, de la Garza, Chakravorty is the only person who can represent his interests in Mexico.
Raniere’s Mexican Lawyer
On April 28, 2022, Jorge de la Garza sought a legal call with Raniere.
On May 31, 2022, Raniere’s prison counselor Daniel Flores directed de la Garza to mail in a visitation form.
de la Garza mailed his required identification documents and license to practice law in Mexico.
On June 24, 2022, de la Garza inquired about the status of his application. Counselor Flores directed de la Garza to mail another visitation form, with a copy of de la Garza’s credentials.
On June 28, 2022, Counselor Flores said he had not received de la
On July 25, 2022, Counselor Flores confirmed receipt of de la Garza’s documents,
On July 26, 2022, Counselor Flores notified de la Garza that he was
approved to have a legal call through the Mexican Consulate Office.
On August 1, 2022, de la Garza applied for visitation, as an attorney
working under Tully & Weiss.
On August 7, 2022, Counselor Flores informed de la Garza that the Warden denied the visit based on the safety and security of the institution.
On August 12, 2022, de la Garza appealed the Warden’s denial of legal visitation.
Since 2014, Jorge A. de la Garza has been a partner at
According to Arttilex website: Garza has experience in commercial real estate, banking and foreign investment, corporate and investment, public and government relations, and tax matters.
He spoke about “Cross-Border Transactions: Doing Real Estate Business in Mexico”, at the US Shopping Center Law Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.