Keith Raniere adds former Epstein lawyer to his legal team

Katie R. Ochoa

The imprisoned NXIVM chief and convicted sexual intercourse trafficker just included a single of Epstein’s previous lawyers, Marc Fernich, to wage his attraction – in addition to yet another legal professional who, along with Fernich, has represented Sinaloa drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera. 

Fernich, whose former consumer Epstein was identified dead in his jail cell of what was dominated a suicide on Aug. 10, 2019, joined the lawful crew for Raniere on Friday, in accordance to paperwork submitted in U.S. District Courtroom in Brooklyn.

“Personal autonomy and individual preference, nonetheless unorthodox, are critical  values,” Fernich instructed Legislation Conquer. “To the extent Keith’s prosecution infringed those people values, I hope to assistance vindicate them. Government shouldn’t be in the small business of policing morality.”

Raniere, 60, the reputed cult leader known as “Vanguard” who commanded NXIVM and its Govt Results Applications (ESP) for two many years based mostly in Colonie, is serving 120 several years in an Arizona federal prison. A federal jury in 2019 convicted Raniere, formerly of Halfmoon, of sex trafficking, compelled labor conspiracy, fraud and racketeering prices that provided underlying acts of possessing boy or girl pornography and exploitation, extortion and identity theft.  

Fernich joined Group Raniere after an additional significant-profile lawyer, Jeffrey H. Lichtman and two of his agency associates, Jason Goldman and Jeffrey Benson Einhorn, have been added to the attractiveness before in the week.

Alongside one another, the legal professionals have represented a who’s who checklist of higher-profile defendants. Both represented “El Chapo,” who was convicted of all prices in the similar courthouse as Raniere and is serving lifestyle in prison and John A. “Junior” Gotti,  the son of the late Gambino crime spouse and children boss of the same title. Gotti Jr., who was convicted in 1999 of racketeering, was tried consistently in U.S. District Court docket in Manhattan on charges he engineered a plot to shoot Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa within a taxi for remarks Sliwa made on his radio present. The juries all deadlocked, leading to mistrials.

Fernich’s former customers involve shoe businessman Steve Madden, who was convicted of a inventory fraud, and ex-state Senate chief Malcolm Smith, who was convicted of hoping to bribe his way onto the ticket in the 2013 New York Metropolis mayoral race.

Lichtman has represented clients that incorporated rapper Body fat Joe, who was convicted of tax evasion, and a New York Town tv reporter accused of slapping a chaffeur, a circumstance that ended in an acquittal.

“I was contacted by Mr. Raniere relating to substantial new facts which simply call into serious concern some of the most prejudicial proof entered towards him at the trial,” Lichtman instructed Regulation Beat. “Soon after an preliminary evaluation I agreed to enter my visual appeal for Keith and progress a movement for a new trial. 

“When I recognize that Keith is not the most preferred defendant, all people accused of a crime warrants justice and a good demo, irrespective of who they are and what they’ve been billed with, Keith Raniere and his codefendants involved. And that is all we will be asking for right here.”

Lichtman mentioned Raniere’s lawful crew will no extended contain Albany lawyer Paul DerOhannesian, who was one of Raniere’s demo lawyersor Jennifer Bonjean, who just won Bill Cosby’s reversal on a sexual intercourse crime conviction from the top rated courtroom in Pennsylvania, or the firm of Steven A. Metcalf II.


DerOhannesion told Law Beat he was however outlined as an attorney for Raniere.

In addition to his particular expansion company, Raniere secretly led  Dominus Obsequious Sororium (DOS), a clan that demanded associates choose life time vows of obedience in a supposedly all-female empowerment sorority. Gals promptly acquired they have been “slaves” to “masters,” which include Raniere, the “supreme grasp.”  Women in DOS had been deprived of food stuff and slumber, pressured to proceed to hand about blackmail substance termed “collateral,” in several situations branded with Raniere’s initials on their pelvic parts and, in a number of other situations, requested to seduce Raniere. 

On Wednesday, previous DOS member Jessica Joan likened Raniere to Epstein at the sentencing of previous significant-ranking NXIVM member Allison Mack, a first-line master in DOS who requested quite a few women of all ages to seduce Raniere. 

“She was the Ghislaine Maxwell to Keith Raniere’s Jeffrey Epstein,” Joan instructed Senior U.S. District Decide Nicholas Garaufis, naming Maxwell, the girl accused of delivering teenage girls to Epstein, a financier and convicted sexual intercourse offender. 

The decide sentenced Mack to 3 decades in jail, demonstrating leniency in substantial section because of the defendant’s cooperation with prosecutors.

And far more leniency could be in shop for Lauren Salzman, a former high-position member of NXIVM and initial-line DOS master who will be sentenced July 28 by Garaufis.  Salzman, who pleaded responsible to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, performed a purpose in a person of Raniere’s most egregious acts: the confinement of a Mexican girl in NXIVM to a room in her family’s Halfmoon townhouse for practically two several years, all mainly because she dared to kiss another person. 

But Salzman, the daughter of previous NXIVM president Nancy Salzman, was a star witness for prosecutors, delivering details about NXIVM, DOS and Raniere’s physical and emotional abuse of women. Salzman’s mother could also get major leniency primarily based on her degree of cooperation. Her sentencing date and the sentencing day for NXIVM bookkeeper Kathy Russell, who pleaded responsible to visa fraud are unscheduled. 

 

 

 

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