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Nxivm bookkeeper Kathy Russell gets traction with her dismissal attempt

[Kathy Russell and Judge Nicholas Garaufis]

A few days ago we told you that among the Nxivm defendants, bookkeeper Kathy Russell had a novel argument in her attempt to get charges against her dismissed ahead of the April 29 trial start.

Namely, her attorneys told Judge Nicholas Garaufis that she had been sandbagged by prosecutors when she appeared before a grand jury last May. Even though, they admitted, their client was guilty of committing a “variety” of crimes, because she had been lied to by the government, charges against her should be dropped.

Specifically, Russell is arguing that when she was asked to appear before the grand jury she was told by prosecutors that she was not a target of the investigation, only a witness. But subsequent evidence releases in discovery show that the government had multiple documents showing that they knew Russell had committed crimes as Nxivm’s bookkeeper.

Well, now Russell’s attorneys have filed a new letter with Judge Garaufis, and they refer to a hearing on Monday when, they say, the judge admitted that he agreed with their facts…

In light of Your Honor’s preliminary findings that Ms. Russell was “in effect a target of the investigation” at the time of her grand jury testimony and that the government’s statements to the contrary were “misleading, at the very least”…we now write to clarify the ways in which Ms. Russell was prejudiced by that misrepresentation, and to explain further why dismissal of the indictment is the appropriate remedy under the circumstances.


If the judge agrees with them so far, the least he should do is hold an evidentiary hearing to learn more about the way the grand jury proceedings were handled. For one thing, they point out, Russell’s testimony would have been different if she had known she was facing the possibility of an indictment. And, they add, her attorney at the time was also “duped,” and so Russell had no way of knowing she was walking into a trap.

After the questioning at the grand jury turned out to be aggressive and directed at her, after a break Russell realized what was going on and began invoking her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

What do you think? If this is in fact what happened, did prosecutors act improperly by not informing Russell that they had evidence against her and she was, in fact, a target of the investigation? And if they did act improperly, should Russell get to ditch the case just before trial starts? And with three scalps under their belts already with guilty pleas from Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, and Allison Mack, will the government consider it a huge loss if Russell gets away?

Here’s the document…


Nxivm Doc 517: Kathy Russell motion to dismiss follow up by Tony Ortega on Scribd


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 10, 2019 at 13:00

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Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He’s written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology’s harassment of Paulette Cooper titled ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely,’ and more recently a compilation of his stories, ‘Battlefield Scientology.’ He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world, as well as other subjects at The Underground Bunker. You can reach him by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT (Drop him a line if you’d like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.)


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