All six NXIVM defendants appeared in Brooklyn Federal Court on Monday, January 28 for an 11 a.m. hearing, where it was repeated more than once that they are apparently running out of money to pay their attorneys. RadarOnline.com can reveal exclusive details on the court hearing.
Minutes after the cult’s founder, Keith Raniere — the only defendant still denied bail — entered the courtroom in his usual green prison garb, Judge Nicholas Garaufis announced that he was “concerned.”
The hearing was held for attorneys to discuss with the judge the controversial irrevocable trust defendants have been using to pay their legal fees. Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman allegedly funded the trust.
According to the judge, defendants Raniere, Allison Mack, Lauren and Nancy Salzman, and Kathy Russell have spent a “vast majority” of the trust fund. Without disclosing the total amount of the trust, the judge claimed there’s only 25 percent of it left.
The judge said the little amount of money the defendants have left to pay their lawyers is a cause for concern.
“These are real life issues,” the judge stressed.
The judge questioned, “In the event there are no longer funds made available, which is entirely possible, then what happens in regards to representation of these defendants?”
Raniere’s outspoken lawyer Marc Agnifilo made it clear to the judge that he will be seeing the case through to the very end despite whether or not his client can afford to pay his fees.
Despite Agnifilo’s definite answer, all of the defendants’ attorneys agreed to submit their decisions in writing to the judge later this week.
Meanwhile, Bronfman’s attorney made it clear that the heiress will not be replenishing the fund once it runs out.
A source exclusively revealed to Radar after the hearing that the trust fund is rumored to have had $10 million, which would mean the defendants have already paid their lawyers a total of $7.5 million for pre-trial representation.
Discussing the defendants’ sketchy fund, the judge admitted he’s “never run across this before in 18 years.”
The trial is scheduled to begin on April 28, 2019.
Defendant Nancy Salzman attended her first hearing in months because she was battling an undisclosed illness.
Stay with Radar for more on the case.
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