Another lawyer leaves NXIVM leader’s case

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NEW YORK (NEWS10) — An Albany lawyer who served on NXIVM leader Keith Raniere’s defense team has left the convicted sex trafficker’s case, as well as the firm for which she worked.

Paul DerOhannesian II, of the Albany firm DerOhannesian & DerOhannesian, submitted a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis informing him of Danielle Smith’s departure from his firm, and acknowledging her withdrawal as an attorney for Raniere.

“Prior to leaving, she discussed the issue with Mr. Raniere,” DerOhannesian wrote, “who agreed that she would no longer represent him in this matter upon her departure from D&D.”

DerOhannesian continued to say he has since spoken to Raniere, who reiterated his consent to Smith’s withdrawal. “Mr. Raniere will suffer no prejudice as a result of her withdrawal,” DerOhannesian wrote.

This comes after Raniere’s lead attorney also left the NXIVM leader’s case last month. A new group of lawyers has taken on Raniere’s case and plan to appeal his conviction.

Raniere, whose NXIVM followers included millionaires and Hollywood actors, is currently serving a 120-year sentence in an Arizona prison on charges including racketeering, alien smuggling, sex trafficking, extortion and obstruction of justice.

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