By Frank Parlato;
Keith Raniere is a liar.
That’s what Chief Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, wrote in a decision recently.
Funded by his disciple, Seagram’s heiress, Clare Bronfman, Raniere’s most recent lawsuit is another example of how the duo abuse the judicial process.
In 2015, Raniere, represented by Bronfman’s attorney, Robert Crockett, brought suit against Microsoft and AT&T claiming he invented teleconferencing in 1995 and Microsoft and AT&T were using his invention without paying him.
Raniere said he was the owner of five patents owned by a defunct company called Global Technologies, Inc. (GTI) and submitted to the court a “contract” where GTI transferred the patents to Raniere.
Microsoft’s counsel argued that the contract was not evidence that Raniere owned GTI which had been dissolved in 1996.
Raniere issued a subpoena on an attorney in the State of Washington in order to obtain files that “show, or will show” he owned GTI and could transfer patents to himself.
When the subpoenaed files arrived, they failed to show Raniere owned GTI.
A motion to dismiss was made by ATT&T and Microsoft.
Raniere opposed it, claiming the files refreshed his memory and he ‘remembered’ that his ex-girlfriend, Toni Natalie owned GTI, and a “side letter” she signed in 1995 showed she held GTI ownership “in trust” for him.
Asked to provide the side letter, Raniere said it was lost. Raniere then remembered that Natalie signed a contract which transferred her GTI ownership to him in 2000. When asked to provide that contract, Raniere admitted that contract was lost.
The judge concluded Raniere’s testimony was “untruthful” and the 2014 contract he submitted to the court was a fraudulent, created solely to deceive the court.
She dismissed the case.
AT&T estimated their legal fees and costs in defending the lawsuit at $935,300; Microsoft estimated legal fees and costs at $202,000. Both companies brought a motion for sanctions against Raniere and a hearing was held on August 15, 2016.
Raniere argued that his representations to the court were “an immaterial lie on an immaterial matter” which “did not rise to the level or contempt or perjury” but was “zealous pursuit of his good faith claim of ownership” and asked the court to delay ruling on sanctions while he appealed the case.
Judge Lynn denied his request, writing Raniere’s “conduct throughout this litigation, culminating in his untruthful testimony … demonstrates a pattern of obfuscation and bad faith…. Plaintiff created [a] document that contained false statements of fact regarding his ownership of GTI. … made false and misleading representations to Defendants and the Court that resulted in… significant legal fees incurred in defending this action.… engaged in a pattern of obfuscation, offering inconsistent theories and arguments and promising to produce evidence that never materialized [and] complicated the Court’s examination … by submitting the false … document …. This deplorable conduct constitutes an abuse of the judicial process and warrants an imposition of sanctions.”
Implying she might have had Raniere prosecuted for contempt or perjury, Judge Lynn added, ”An award of fees is the least severe sanction adequate to deter similar conduct by Plaintiff in the future and to preserve the integrity of the Court “ and ordered Raniere to pay Microsoft and ATT&T more than $1 million in legal fees and costs.
Clare Bronfman wrote on her blog, “Keith is my teacher and my best friend” and “I hope to transform many injustices existing in the world, including bringing to light the truth regarding Keith Raniere.”
She also said, “I think what’s being done to (Keith Raniere) in the media and in the world is an injustice.”
Bronfman has garnered some attention recently since, like Raniere, she perjured herself before a federal grand jury in a case against Artvoice editor Frank Parlato.