What Evidence the DOJ Gave Raniere Versus What He Seeks in Rule 33 Motion

Photo Courtesy of Albany Times Union

As Keith Raniere’s various attacks on his conviction dwindle, FR will record in plain language the details of his probable last hope, and a slim one: his claim that the FBI tampered with evidence.

While some may be annoyed with this reporting, FR finds it interesting and instructive for the following reasons:

  1. The government should be held to a higher standard of integrity than the public, for it wields more power.  
  2. The explanation of the evidence is interesting, as it helps lay readers understand more about the world of digital forensics.
  3. If the claims are more of Raniere’s shenanigans and deceptions, it should be clear enough to laugh him right out of court and proclaim his goose is cooked.
  4. There are certain die-hard, so-called ‘dead enders,’ who continue to support Raniere, who pin all their hopes on this one last “hail Mary.” If the FBI did not tamper, they might have to resume their lives without the constant guidance of the Vanguard.
  5. If the FBI did NOT tamper with evidence, it should become increasingly evident by looking at the evidence that Raniere’s highly paid team of experts marshaled. It may exonerate the FBI.
  6. If, on the remote chance that someone did tamper with the evidence, which commenters almost universally agree did not happen, it seems a good idea to find out about it and who did it. Though the odds may be a million to one that the FBI tampered with evidence, the above reasons are good enough to proceed with our analysis. Those with no interest can quickly move on to topics of more interest.   
Marc Elliot, Eduardo Asunsolo, Suneel Chakravorty speak to the press about how Keith Raniere got a raw deal from the government.

Distinguishing What Evidentiary Items Raniere Seeks From What Evidence the DOJ Already Provided

The DOJ used a Western Digital hard drive and a Lexar camera card, seized from Raniere’s library, to prove to a jury that he took 22 explicit photos of Camila when she was 15, then retained them on the hard drive.

The digital evidence proved three predicate acts of Raniere’s racketeering charges: One count of possession of child porn because the FBI found the images on his hard drive, and two counts of sexual exploitation of a child because he took the photos of Camila on two different dates in 2005, when she was 15.

In his Rule 33 Motion for a new trial, Raniere alleges that employees of the FBI conspired to manufacture and plant the 22 images of Camila on the hard drive.

Raniere alleges the FBI changed the EXIF data to 2005. He also alleges the FBI altered the camera card, planting explicit images of women Raniere knew, also dated in 2005, to prove that Raniere initially took the photos of Camila on his Canon camera and stored them on the camera card around the same time he supposedly took Camila’s photos.

Raniere retained seven forensic experts, including four former FBI forensic examiners, to analyze the evidence available to the defense.

Joseph Tully, attorney for Keith Raniere.

According to Raniere’s attorney, Joseph Tully, all seven retained experts concluded that there are “definitive demarcations of manipulation and falsification of evidence, with the most logical explanation being government bad actors.”

The seven experts are: 

  1. J. Richard Kiper, former FBI special agent, and forensic examiner, 1999-2019.
  2. Stacy R. Eldridge, former FBI forensic examiner, 2003 – 2012
  3. Mark Daniel Bowling, former FBI special agent, and forensic examiner, 1995 to 2015
  4. William F. Odom, III, former FBI special agent and forensic examiner, 1996 to 2001
  5. Stephen Michael Bunting, Captain with the University of Delaware Police, 1980 to 2009, handling digital forensics and cyber investigations
  6. Steven Abrams, Esq, cyber lawyer
  7. Wayne B. Norris, forensic expert witness 
Former FBI Special Agent, FBI Certified as a Computer Forensic Examiner and as a Computer Crime Investigator

The evidence the DOJ made available to the defense, which the seven retained experts analyzed, include:

  1. AccessData Forensic Tool Kit (FTK) reports for the camera card
  2. File directory listings of the camera card
  3. File directory listing of the hard drive
  4. Senior Forensic Examiner Brian Booth’s CART examination notes
  5. A drag-and-drop forensic copy of the hard drive taken on September 19, 2018, that excluded alleged contraband
  6. A file directory listing of the camera card
  7. Court testimony
  8. Government exhibits
  9. Defense exhibits
  10. Government discovery items
  11. Search warrants
  12. Associated affidavits
  13. Chains of custody for the camera card and hard drive.

Raniere’s legal team filed a motion to compel the DOJ to provide additional discovery. His attorney, Joseph Tully demands:

  1. A forensic copy of the camera card dated April 11, 2019
  2. FTK log file dated April 11, 2019
  3. A forensic copy of the camera card dated June 11, 2019
  4. FTK log file dated June 11, 2019
  5. File listing of the hard drive
  6. A Comma Separated Values (CSV) file for the forensic image of the hard drive taken on September 19, 2018
  7. CART Examination notes made by SFE Flatley when he inspected the camera card  
  8. FTK Log Files, created when SFE Flately made an FTK report of the camera card 

Prohibited Reexamination of Camera Card 

In explaining why the defense wants the additional evidentiary items, Tully claims the FBI made two forensic copies of the camera card, one dated April 11 and another on June 11, 2019.

Despite federal rules of discovery mandating such disclosure before trial, the DOJ never provided the defense with either of the two forensic copies of the camera card. 

The DOJ also did not provide the log files, though they provided the FTK reports.

Raniere alleges that the FBI’s creation of two forensic images of the camera card violates the FBI’s Digital Evidence Policy procedures and policies. The FBI’s Computer Analysis Response Team [CART] policy “strictly prohibits such reexaminations, unless approved by the executive management of the FBI Operational Technology Division,” according to one of Raniere’s experts, Dr. J Richard Kiper, a former FBI forensic examiner and instructor of forensic examiners.

Kiper claims SFE Booth did not get authorized approval from OTD but instead obtained permission from his acting supervisor, Trenton Schmatz, to proceed with the reexamination. 

Kiper adds that the purpose of strictly prohibiting reexamination of digital devices without authority is, according to the FBI Digital Evidence Policy Guide, Section, to “[e]nsure that the integrity of the evidence is maintained.”

Overview of reexamination
Excerpt from the FBI Digital Evidence Policy Guide regarding re-examination

The Raniere case is a good example of the reason for the prohibition of reexamination. The FBI FTK report based on the reexamination of the camera card produced 37 new image files not found on the first.

Tully maintains the DOJ is long overdue in turning over the two forensic images of the camera card and the associated FTK lists. 

He says these evidentiary items would allow Raniere’s forensic experts to examine the content and metadata of the 37 new files that appeared on the June 11, 2019, FTK report, which was not present on the April 11, 2019, FTK report, to determine what forensic tools the FBI allegedly used to allegedly “manipulate” the images and when it was done. 

Two examinations of the same device using the same tools – as in this case – should produce identical results, Raniere’s paid experts state.  

The Hard Drive

The FBI made a forensic image of the hard drive on September 19, 2019, and the defense has a forensic copy minus the 22 images of Camila.

Tully seeks the file index, claiming that “by reviewing the hard drive’s file index list, the forensic experts can determine whether the “manipulation present on the hard drive occurred before or after the government imaged it” on September 19, 2018.

Evidence Item #2 – a hard drive. Later 22 photos of Camila were found on that hard drive. Raniere says they were planted.

Raniere Seeks Evidence Under Brady Doctrine

Though the trial ended almost four years ago, Tully argues that the evidentiary items he seeks are exculpatory and covered under the Brady Doctrine, a pretrial discovery rule established by the United States Supreme Court in Brady v. Maryland (1963).

The rule mandates the prosecution to turn over any evidence favorable to the defendant, which could exonerate him.

Tully, quoting a 2002, 4th Circuit case, Harvey v. Horan, said, “[I]t would simply be ‘constitutionally intolerable,’ for the government to withhold from the convicted, for no reason at all, the very evidence that it used to deprive him of his liberty.”

Tully added, “these four evidentiary items… were used to convict him of the most heinous allegations against him.”


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Frank Parlato


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  • “In the mid-1980s, DeWolf gave several interviews and made sworn statements about his father’s history. He explained that his father had been “deeply involved in the occult and black magic.” Aleister Crowley’s death in 1947 was a pivotal event that led Hubbard to “take over the mantle of the Beast”. “Black magic is the inner core of Scientology”, DeWolf said. “My father did not worship Satan. He thought he was Satan.”

    “99% of what my father ever wrote or said about himself is totally untrue”, DeWolf said in a TV interview in 1983. That same year, he told Penthouse magazine that his father was a KGB asset and a drug addict who claimed to be Satan incarnate. According to DeWolf, his father was so close to embattled actor Errol Flynn, that Hubbard regarded Flynn as DeWolf’s adoptive father, and that together Hubbard and Flynn engaged in such illegal activities as drug smuggling and statutory rape. Speaking on WDVM in Washington, DC, in 1983, on the Carol Randolph Morning Break show, he compared Sea Org with the Nazi SS, and described drug importation operations he alleged his father had been involved in, citing organised crime connections in Mexico and Colombia. In his opinion, Scientology was little more than a cult that existed to make money.”

  • I’ll go with Door Number Three, and laugh at Vanguard’s shenanigans. His goose is well and truly cooked, and I delight in the knowledge that this rapist, this fraud, con man, racketeer and wannabe slaveholder is in prison for life. Imagine this sonofabitch’s crushed hopes and impotent rage when his ridiculous Rule 33 motion is summarily denied! Delightful!

    This desperate and silly motion that Tully filed, no more believable than a fairy tale, is being scrutinized by Judge Garaufis , an eminently sensible justice possessed of a fully functional bullshit detector. Not some foolish gullible girl of the sort that Raniere was accustomed to hoodwinking.

    Raniere doesn’t seem to realize he’s no longer the Philosopher King of Flintlock Lane, venerated and feared by his circle of dumb as dirt admirers. Now, he’s just some asshole in an orange jumpsuit, whining and bitching and wasting everyone’s time. Or trying to.

    Judge Garaufis will probably take one look at this Rule 33 motion and deny it on the grounds that it contains no new evidence. It’s just an attempt to re-argue evidence that was presented at trial. In Garaufis’s own courtroom.

    Claviger explained all this long ago.

    Judge Garaufis also heard the victim testify during sentencing, again in his own courtroom, that Raniere took the pictures and took them when she was underage. So the fanciful speculations of Raniere’s seven bought experts are meaningless. The debate over Exif files and black or silver hard drives and trips to Ghana are all so much eyewash.

    It’s a lead pipe cinch that this silly Rule 33 motion will be denied and the shitbird Raniere will cry his little eyes out at this his latest failure, and punch his pillow in a rage in his prison cell. Hahaha!

    It makes me happy to see Justice done in this manner. I hope Raniere lives a long and miserable life behind bars, filled with desperation, weeping bitter tears of self pity and horrified by the black hopelessness of each passing hour. Because while committing his crimes and happily ruining peoples lives, this scumbag smugly told everyone that we all make our own fate. Well he made his own fate alright, and that fate was to end up an old man locked up in federal prison, with nothing to look forward to but his own death.

  • Vanturd just will not give up. What a fucking asshole.


  • I find it interesting in that Keith is so very very desperate but I couldn’t read anymore of these conspiracy theories. And that Tully, looks and acts like he pours whiskey on his cereal (in my humblest opinion)

  • Noticeably absent from the defense’s “expert witness” list are representatives from Western Digital, Canon and Lexar. It’s kinda like saying Gus down at the corner garage knows Fords better than the engineers in Detroit who designed and built them.

    • I remember the days when Frank fought to take Raniere down.
      I sure do miss those days.
      Now he seems to side with Raniere lawyers & his followers.
      He’s the only non-paid for publication that seems to care.
      Wonder why that is?

      • Anonymous: I remember the days when Frank fought to take Raniere down.
        I sure do miss those days.
        Now he seems to side with Raniere lawyers & his followers.
        He’s the only non-paid for publication that seems to care.
        Wonder why that is?

      • Anonymous: I remember the days when Frank fought to take Raniere down.
        I sure do miss those days.
        Now he seems to side with Raniere lawyers & his followers.
        He’s the only non-paid for publication that seems to care.
        Wonder why that is?

        Its not siding with them at all. Its called looking at both sides of the argument.. Pretty sure Frank explained himself well right from the start…. its about informing those who want to know how this all works…

      • 8:57,

        If the tampering happened was it sloppy on purpose? If it wasn’t sloppy on purpose, was it done to help the federal case against NXIVM? If it was sloppy on purpose, was it done to undo the federal case against NXIVM? Maybe it was a brave effort to shine a bright light on very dark politics. How many FBI agents know who Tom O’Neill is?

        The Dell computer is gone …
        The two forensic tool kit reports are different …

        If you haven’t yet, please read Tom O’Neill’s book CHAOS. The Manson and Raniere cases look the same. Raniere and Manson were both smart young men. Both were vulnerable to suggestion and influence after long histories of abusive behaviors toward women. They both committed many sexual assaults. Both were involved directly and/or indirectly in random murders.

        They both had help gathering groups of young women to exploit. How many Mormons in Mesa, Arizona know about NXIVM recruiting efforts in Mormon communities in Mexico — and what about the “Fast and Furious” scandal?

        Raniere and Manson both thought they would conquer the world — in a good way, of course — and convinced their followers to think the same. Raniere and Manson both studied Scientology and attracted influencers in Hollywood – just as Scientology did. Most “Family” members and NXIVM followers thought they were disrupters for good. All were test subjects. In human experiments. Literally. Human test subjects.

        Tom O’Neill’s book shows the confusion of law enforcement efforts in the Manson case. Law enforcement efforts in the Raniere case looked the same, from beginning to end. Manson and Raniere were caught committing crimes and then released to do more harm to an unsuspecting public. Raniere wasn’t supposed to run another pyramid scheme and … twenty years of ESP and NXIVM took the experiment to Mexico to almost conquer that nation.

        Manson and Raniere both eventually went to jail. Maybe Raniere will eventually be too crazy to tell us what he knows. Maybe it’s nothing, but has anyone reported anything about the box of white pills on Raniere case evidence list? In “Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties”, O’Neill asked forensic psychologist Alan Scheflin if the Manson murders were part of “an MK-Ultra experiment gone wrong”. Scheflin said, “No, […] an MKULTRA experiment gone right.”

        About the camera used and the toolkits used for the forensic reports: Was it a Canon Camera EOS 20D?

        Didn’t some say the camera wasn’t available in 2005? Wasn’t that camera available in 2004?

        Regarding data verification: “The EOS 20D is compatible with the optional DVK-E2 data verification kit, used in fields such as insurance, reporting and police work to verify the authenticity of images taken with the camera.” Which data verification kits were used to review, process and report the evidence?


        Maybe this explains part of what happened:

        “The EOS 20D (with appropriate firmware updates) can also accept the Canon Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E1/E1A for fast file transfer to a remote file server, either through an ethernet cable or a Wi-Fi network.”


        If Wi-Fi file transfers can influence American elections, what can they do to American justice?

  • Most of us know Raniere took those pictures of that 15-year-old girl when she was 15.
    A few cry baby who doesn’t have a life, we could give a shit if they grow old fighting for him.
    Raniere loves his pictures.
    He loved his pictures so much that he had over 170 file folders of images of women’s private parts the FBI had.
    He also started a Master/Salve club group with blackmail photos for him to look at.
    He had women branded with his initials while being videoed so that he could watch.
    How the FBI got the picture of the 15-year-old, we don’t give a shit about that.
    She said he took them, we believe her.
    Raniere try to get the photos supressed before his trail, what does that tell you.
    Raniere had 7 Major RICO charges and 11 total predicate acts
    He’s a danger to the public

  • If Raniere took those pictures, then he’s lying and all of this is just baseless claims and a waste of time.

    Can’t the deadenders just open themselves up to this very real possibility? That Raniere is a scumbag, child pornographer, and two-faced conman? That he actually received due process and the FBI caught him red-handed?

    Look, this isn’t about selectively targeting or proving Raniere guilty of these allegations of falsely claiming his lack of due process or challenging his claim that the FBI cheated. We can look past all of that.

    This is about making sure that people like Raniere who have millions of dollars at their disposal can’t bog down an already slow system at taxpayer expense and the expense of the rare, truly innocent victims of the system, e.g., people like Adnan Syed. Every citizen should have due process, like the latter category described and shouldn’t be occluded from it due to obviously guilty people like Raniere, and it has nothing to do with his claims of FBI tampering, which may or may not be true. It’s about allowing the system to function efficiently and properly, therefore allowing the due process of those more worthy.

    So if we consider this very real possibility of Raniere’s false claim of due process causing the failure of due process for innocent people locked up in the system for whatever reason, then aren’t we paradoxically denying due process in a far greater manner!

    I say yes!

    • Spot on.
      Whatever happens you can be sure Raniere will keep on filing motions ad infinitum. As long as his backers continue to finance him there will be possible frivolous legal challenges over something or other. It is a complete waste of resources because the dogs in the street know he’s guilty as hell. There are still some of his supporters out there who will always believe he was unfairly treated, that he did not get due process. To them I say: just reflect on the fact that you were all psychologically mind-fucked to believe all the BS he ever told you. Wake up and smell the coffee!

  • Its weird, I couldn’t get past the building departments stringent rules of chain of title when applying for Certificate of Occupancy why the FBI can break that protocol on chain of custody without an eyelash batted is beyond me!

  • Wait a minute “manufactured”?

    Are they now alleging that the FBI actually created child sexual abuse material?

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com