Mariana Fernandez and Keith Raniere
News NXIVM

Illegal efforts to get Marianna Fernandez in US may get her indicted –Dennis Burke implicated by government in fraud

Arizona Mafia leader, attorney Dennis Burke used his firm, Frontier Solutions, to try to fraudulently obtain a visa for Marianna Fernandez, the government claims.

This is “evidenced by the significant omissions in the letters written by lawyers for Frontier Solutions on her behalf,” writes the government in a memorandum of law seeking to end claims of privilege between Burke and other lawyers and the Nxivm defendants.

The government’s argument that the communications that Clare Bronfman and Keith Raniere had with Dennis Burke and his partner, John Sandweg, is based on the crime-fraud exception that holds that there is no attorney-client privilege if the purpose of the communications is to commit crimes.

One of the startling omissions cited by the prosecution is that Burke’s firm failed to disclose that Marianna had been living with Raniere in Albany, NY, for about 10 years [often illegally], and was working for a Nxivm-affiliated entity, Jness, when they wrote letters falsely disclaiming any intent by Marianna to immigrate to the United States.

Here is an informative timeline that shows how Marianna was aided by Bronfman and Raniere :

2013

December

Marianna Fernandez, a Mexican national, entered the United States on a B-2 “tourist” visa.

She had come in and out of the country for years and remained in the US sometimes for years after her visas expired, according to Nxivm sources.

2015

July

Marianna engaged Frontier Solutions [Dennis Burke and John Sandweg] to assist her in immigration-related matters.

August 12th

Frontier Solutions attorney John Sandweg [another member of the Arizona Mafia] sent an email to Bronfman regarding the requirements to “qualify [Marianna] as an E-2 employee” of Jness, a Nxivm-affiliated entity, or an unnamed investment company.

Bronfman forwarded the email to Raniere on September 5, 2015. That sceme evidently did not work out.

2016

January

Marianna Fernandez was denied entry into the United States and her B-2 visa was cancelled on suspicion that she intended to immigrate to the United States.

The truth is, as the government’s investigation later revealed, Marianna had already for all practical purposes immigrated. She had been living in the Albany, NY area for nearly a decade as part of the Nxivm community and as an intimate partner of Raniere. She was part of a menage a trois with Pam Cafritz and Keith.

January 2nd

A letter, submitted on behalf of Marianna by Dennis Burke, as one of the attorneys with Frontier Solutions, represented that Marianna “has no intent to remain unlawfully in the United States” and that she continues to live in St. Luis Potosi, Mexico where she “enjoys a large network of family and friends, including her mother and sister who live nearby.”

This was evidently not true.

January 5th

In a sworn statement to the Department of Homeland Security, Marianna indicated that she did “advertisement and graphic design” for Sagitta LLC, a company owned by her father.

This was likely a lie.

August 6th

Bronfman sent an email with Marianna’s name in the subject line.

In the email, addressed to “Whomever It May Concern,” Bronfman stated that Marianna is “a Mexican citizen . . . who is asking for a B1/B2 visa to reenter the USA to care for her closest friend, Pamela Cafritz.”

It is not clear whether Marianna was living in Albany or not at the time of the letter.

October 11th

Bronfman sent an email to Raniere concerning Marianna. In it, she gave Keith a number of ways to keep Marianna in the USA. One of them, the first one she proposes, refers to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. With this program, visas may be issued to foreign investors who contribute a specific amount of capital to United States companies that will create full-time positions for at least 10 qualifying employees. In general, the minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million, although the minimum qualifying investment in a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000.

Clare also proposed Marianna get married to a US citizen, possibly Raniere himself. In her email, she said she would look into keeping this confidential.

Keeping such a marriage confidential would have been important to Raniere since he had told several women he would marry them and sire for them an avatar baby.

Clare wrote to Keith, “Hi, So here are the options in order of best to worst:

“EB5 – money is invested (it needs to be from her) into a company that is used to [sic] this process, then we wait for the approval of the visa. This takes about 9 months (we may be able to extend her current visa in the interim)

“Pros – least scrutiny, long term solution

“Cons – $550,000 investment (we may be able to get the $50K fee down a little). Long wait time.

“Marriage: Self explanatory! Pros: It can be done immediately no investment of funds. Cons: Scrutiny, likely a fraud investigation – likely won’t prove it is fraud but it will be unpleasant, I am looking into if it is 100% confidential – if fraud is found, she could get banned

EB1C – Use Saggita [Marianna’s father’s company] as the company she would be coming to manage the company – but she would need to legitimately prove she had the skills and ability and that the company is in a place it wants to open here – it is legitimate and a good business plan.

“Pros: Fastest, none of the investment of [sic] marriage problems. Cons: There is significant history to go against it: Current visa’s, [M.F.’s family member’s] visa issues, the state of the US aspect of the company. John [Sandweg] feels there is a high risk of either denial or denial with a ban for fraud.”

November 7th

Pam Cafritz died. Bronfman seems to have taken over Cafritz’s place as one of Marianna’s lovers.

About the same time, perhaps on the very day Pam died, Marianna got pregnant. Keith purportedly sired the baby. It is unclear if he promised Marianna it would be an avatar baby or not.

December

Bronfman and Raniere seemed to have settled on Marianna becoming qualified as an EB-5 investor.

December 21st

In an email, Matt C. Burbach, an attorney with Burbach Law LLC, sent John Sandweg a “draft Notice of Gift from Keith Raniere to Marianna Fernandez” in connection with “an EB-5 project.”

Sandweg forwarded the email to Bronfman, who forwarded the email to Raniere the same day.

Raniere responded to Bronfman in an email: “I don’t have the money yet to make this gift… I won’t even be able to assess [access?] that for a while…  but Pam [Cafritz] had a desire to make this gift which can be done from her estate or something like that…”

This evinces a scheme to circumvent the immigration laws and fraudulently use assets from an estate in probate to “make [a] gift” to Marianna for use in obtaining an investor’s visa, the government argues.

2017

April 15th

Marianna entered the United States on a B1/B2 visitor’s visa. She was pregnant with Raniere’s child.  She was authorized to remain in the United States until October 14, 2017.

May 17th

A Frontier Solutions attorney submitted a petition for entry into the United States on behalf of Marianna under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program on the basis of a $500,000 investment in the Steiner Brooklyn Navy Yard Redevelopment Project.

The supporting documents for the petition reflect that the funds for Marianna’s investment were a gift by Clare Bronfman.

August

Marianna gave birth to Raniere’s child, a boy, in Albany, New York.

October 13th

Mariana’s visa was to expire the following day. After her counsel advised her to leave the USA, Mariana, baby Kemar, Clare Bronfman, and Keith Raniere all attempted to leave the USA for Canada.

Clare had rented an Airbnb in Canada for the four of them to live in while they resolved the immigration issues.

When they attempted to enter Canada, immigration authorities denied them entry.

October 14th

Purportedly to comply with the expiration of her visa, Marianna, along with Kemar and Raniere, flew to San Diego and entered Mexico by crossing the San Ysidro port of entry. 

October 17th 

Raniere left Monterrey and flew back to Albany.

On the same day, The New York Times published a damning article about Nxivm and DOS.

Several weeks later,  the FBI began interviewing witnesses.

November 7th

Raniere, in Clifton Park, claims he spent the day in remembrance of Pam at his former partner’s home on the one year anniversary of her passing.

November 10th

Raniere traveled from Albany to Atlanta and from there to Monterrey “to celebrate the birthday of his son’s mother.”

After he arrived in Monterrey, he lived in a gated community.

November 15th

Marianna’s birthday. 

Clare Bronfman was with him.

2018

After being located by Frank Report and having his address published, Raniere moved from Monterrey to Puerto Vallarta where he lived in a gated seaside villa, attended by Bronfman, Allison Mack, Nicki Clyne, Loreta Garza, and others

March 26th

Raniere was deported from Mexico – and arrested as soon as he stepped across the border into the U.S..

April 20th

Allison Mack was arrested.

July

A trust was created, named the “KAR 2018 Trust.” Bronfman is the sole donor of funds into the trust—approximately $500,000— and Marianna is the sole recipient.

The notation “family support” appears on each of the disbursements of funds from the trust to M.F.

July 24th

Bronfman, Nancy and Lauren Salzman, Kathy Russell were arrested.

Presently

Marianna reportedly lives in Mexico with baby Kemar – using what’s left of the $500,000 Clare gave her.

The lovers are separated. Keith is in the Metropolitan Detention Center. Clare is subject to home arrest in Manhattan.

Based on the fraud Marianna and her lovers committed concerning her visa applications, she may be charged herself as part of the Nxivm case.

About the author

Frank Parlato

25 Comments

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Leave a Reply to Double Anonymous Cancel reply

  • For people who claimed to be enlightened and empowered through NXIVM ‘tech’ developed by ‘the Smartest man in the world’ – they sure were stupid. Never occurred to them that they were memorializing their crimes in email? SMH

    • Like the drug dealers who pose on social media with their stash of drugs and money. Some people make very dumb criminals.

  • the crime fraud exception that holds that there is no attorney client privilege if the purpose of the communications is to commit crimes.

    Spot On!

    ————-

    The truth is, as the government’s investigation later revealed, Marianna had already for all practical purposes immigrated. She had been living in the Albany, NY area for nearly a decade as part of the Nxivm community and as an intimate partner of Raniere. She was one of a menage a trois with Pam Cafritz and Keith.

    After Cafritz passed away Allison Mack was an alleged member of the menage a trois.
    Or was it a menage a quartre?
    All part of NXIVM’s Musical Beds.
    Keith, Allison and [pregnant] Marianna living together on Oregon Trail
    https://frankreport.com/2017/08/14/keith-allison-and-pregnant-marianna-living-together-on-oregon-trail/
    ——————
    Dennis Burke represented that Marianna “has no intent to remain unlawfully in the United States”
    This was evidently not true.

    A Bronfman lawyer lied!
    Say it ain’t so!

    ————————————————-
    -Clare also proposed Marianna get married to a US citizen, possibly Raniere himself. In her email she said she would look into keeping this confidential.

    This is how Nii Clyne got to stay in the United States.

    ———————
    Pam Cafritz died. Bronfman seems to have taken over Cafritz’s place as one of Marianna’s lovers.

    How many lovers did Marianna have?
    She must have been a busy woman?

    ____________
    Raniere responded to Bronfman in an email: “I don’t have the money yet to make this gift… I won’t even be able to assess [access?] that for a while… but Pam [Cafritz] had a desire to make this gift which can be done from her estate or something like that…”

    This evinces a scheme to circumvent the immigration laws and fraudulently use assets from an estate in probate to “make [a] gift” to Marianna for use in obtaining an investor’s visa, the government argues.

    Two crimes in one act.
    Bravo!

    • A Frontier Solutions attorney submitted a petition for entry into the United States on behalf of Marianna under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program on the basis of a $500,000 investment in the Steiner Brooklyn Navy Yard Redevelopment Project.

      The supporting documents for the petition reflect that the funds for Marianna’s investment were a gift by Clare Bronfman.

      Dear Clare Bear:
      I could use a cool 500 K for a sure fire investment.
      Do you have a spare 500K lying around?

      Shadow State

  • I went back and did a close reading of the gov’t memorandum. Sure does look like Denny Burke is implicated in the attempt to get a fraudulent visa. What is unclear is who lied: only his clients, or did Burke and John Sandweg help them to submit false documents as part of the effort to get the sham visa? It’s difficult to believe Burke would have been naive enough to take everything his “clients” told him at face value without conducting his own due diligence. Then there’s the consideration an attorney at Burke’s “level”, a former United States prosecutor (not an AUSA, but a former United States Attorney), would be held to a higher standard in terms of the due diligence he would be expected to conduct before submitting documents to an agency of the federal government. With Burke’s disciplinary history and the fact Burke’s business/lawyer partner, John Sandweg tried to use his previous DHS title as part of a scheme to persuade the U.S. embassy to grant a sham visa, God help Denny Burke and John Sandweg if they are criminally charged with visa fraud or as part of the NXIVM RICO racketeering acts and a United States judge gets ahold of them. Not gonna be a pretty sight.

  • Probably one of the more interesting photos taken of Keith in stealth mode — pretty snappy. I’m sure the cost of the entire outfit w/stroller just appeared on someone’s American Express.

    Curious to know whether there is going to be another grab bag of New Years treats at MDC. If I’m in the neighborhood, I’ll do a drive by and park outside MDC. I’ll be the one eating pizza with hot sauce and waving to our little buddy. Think I’ll wear my homemade Frank Report t-shirt. What the heck!

  • Keith’s first baby-mama escaped with the child and went into hiding. I’m sure he did not want a repeat of that experience.

    Raniere chose more carefully this time. Most of Marianna’s family is in NXIVM. Not only that, but it also appears that for almost the whole time, Marianna was surrounded by other NXIVM friends/associates/bed partners/minders. One sister, now out, was imprisoned by Raniere. I wonder how Marianna feels about her situation now.

  • Warning: The prosecutions case no matter how strong will be decided by a jury.

    If anyone has information regarding criminal wrong doing by the defendants you should contact the FBI or prosecutor’s office directly.

    Jury’s come out with crappy verdicts all of the time regardless of how strong the prosecution’s case.

    Just about any lawyer will attest that, “every time you go to trial it’s a crap shoot”.

    If you have additional information not in the public domain that could help the prosecution you should come forward.

    It would be incredible scary if this sick psychopath got off.

  • Let’s be clear about this. A former United States Attorney, Dennis K. Burke, who resigned in a weapons trafficking scandal involving Mexican cartels, now working for a Mexican political family frequently accused in the media of weapons trafficking with cartels, implicated by the government in a visa fraud scheme, together with his law partner, John Sandweg Esq., who was at one time in fact senior executive management or the Acting General Counsel for the government agencies in charge of foreign visas and immigration crimes, D.H.S. and ICE, accused of attempting to invoke his old job title as a part of that visa fraud scheme, all done with intent to get sham visas for Mexican national members of a Sex Cult accused of federal immigration crimes, and one of the beneficiaries of the scheme was the Vanguard’s baby mama?

    Holy heck, you can’t make this stuff up. You couldn’t write this script if you tried. In the Nxivm case, real life is stranger than fiction.

    Why isn’t this first page news across the USA? Burke made national news when he resigned in Obama’s Fast and Furious scandal. For this, he’ll probably be facing more than the oversight hearings he refused to attend in 2013.

    The new allegations against Dennis K. Burke by the government are in the government’s memorandum of law dated December 28, 2018, on page 5. It clearly states all of the named parties are subject to the government’s ongoing investigation, on page 1.

    The memorandum calls Burke and John Sandweg’s actions a “scheme to circumvent the immigration laws” on page twenty four. There’s much more in the memorandum worthy of reporting.

    If nothing else, it’s a public document which specifically names Burke and John Sandweg Esq., Burke’s law partner, as Clare Bronfman’s lawyers and Nxivm representatives. That in and of itself is jaw-dropping, given Burke’s history with the Fast and Furious ATF gunwalking scandal, and his alleged proximity to Emiliano Salinas of Mexico, in this matter.

    Now we know the reason why AUSA Kevin Trowel (known for prosecuting corrupt public officials) recently joined the government’s team of prosecutors. Burke and Sandweg would be significant take-downs for the Public Integrity Section at the DOJ. Understandably, Justice is going to make an example out of these blatantly corrupt lawyers!

  • I am hardly a legal scholar however this case appears to embrace so many areas of the law: sexual abuse , blackmail, money laundering and tax evasion, immigration, outrageous legal harassment of dissidents, legal misconduct including possible involvement of prosecutors and state police Furthermore, a large and international cast of characters involving a leading political family in Mexico, Hollywood actresses, New York heiresses and even the Dalai Lama. And, the whole thing is centered in a small town, a suburb of Albany, NY which is really nowhere itself. And, all this comes from a personal growth group and that was also a MLM scheme. from a guy that claimed he was the world’s smartest man.

    When I tell friends about Nx who have no knowledge of the company, they think I am making up the story! LOL!

    D

    • Well said, Double Anon! What pushes it over the top for me is that the world’s smartest man is a formal track rival of Carl Lewis!

  • Double Anonymous… When I tried to engage family, friends and coworkers, they all thought I was crazy. I told them to read Catherine Oxenbergs book. Im still waiting to have someone to talk about this with on a daily basis. You literally can’t make this stuff up.

    • The problem is the story for those of us that are involved is addictive. It’s important to keep it real. Although Nexium embraces sex, power, money, control, the legal system and the media it is but one story in the whole story of life. It’s a story for us to learn lessons from, not a story for us to get lost in. As a addict, I have to remind myself of that!!! LOL!

      • Double A, as a fellow addict, I hear what you are saying. However our obsession does serve a purpose, and not only for the lessons you are describing. It also shows the power of indoctrination. IMO we are all indoctrinated to some extent by education, media, and politics. By providing an extreme example of group-think, cults have a lot to teach about us about the importance of honing our instincts and our power of critical thinking.

  • Looks to me that Clare is up to her eyeballs in legal quicksand, she was shipping emails and advice back and forth regarding the visa issue. She should probably be staying at the MDC hotel with this revelation.

    Also, gotta love this, from page 20 of the linked document, “…see also NXIVM Corp. v. O’Hara, 241 F.R.D. 109, 138 (N.D.N.Y. 2007)
    (“Obviously, when communications between a party and her attorney occur in the presence
    of a third party, the privilege may be waived.”).” Using NXIVM’s own lawsuit against Joe against them is special literary talent.

  • So from a hierarchy perspective – would Marianna rule the harem roost since she lived under the same roof with KAR and Pam for 10 solid years? That’s a long time. With Allie and Lauren so besotted with him, I’m surprised there wasn’t some serious sister wives drama. Was she much of a player in all the scheming or was she just along for the ride?

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