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Jeff Peterson sues Arizona Mafia leader [and Clare Bronfman attorney] Dennis Burke

Allegation made that Burke is orchestrating NXIVM lawyers

Ever since Frank Report learned the DOJ brought in Assistant US Attorney Kevin Trowel from the Public Integrity Unit of the Eastern District of NY to help in the NXIVM case, I have been on the lookout for possible targets.

State Trooper Rodger Kirsopp has been mentioned for his unusual zeal to arrest Toni Natalie, Joe O’Hara, John Tighe and Barbara Bouchey on computer trespass charges that, in the cases of all but Tighe, were dismissed via Clare Bronfman’s lying.

Tighe took a plea deal after his computer was ‘found” to have child porn on it after it was seized. Some suspect the child porn was planted by NXIVM.

Former AUSA Anthony Bruce has been named as a possible target for his reckless disregard for truth and possible suborning of Clare Bronfman perjury – in my own case.

Former US Attorney for Arizona, Dennis K. Burke, a member of the so-called Arizona Mafia – and one of Clare Bronfman’s attorneys – is also a possible target.  

The Arizona Mafia is not an official name, but one adopted by a group of people who participated in social and political activities related to former United States Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.   

We learn a little more about Burke, thanks to a lawsuit filed against him by Jeffrey Peterson in federal court in the District of Massachusetts.

Jeff Peterson – known to Frank Report readers for running afoul of the Arizona Mafia – is a well-known technology entrepreneur and founder of the first Social Network to trade on a national stock exchange in the USA.

Peterson founded the first Hispanic Social Network in the USA – Quepasa Corporation, in 1998. He sold Quepasa to Florida governor Richard L. Scott in 2006 and the corporation subsequently changed its name to “The Meet Group”.

In addition to Burke, Peterson is suing

  1. Marco Lopez Jr., a resident of Arizona. Lopez is Senior Advisor to Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and consultant to the Salinas family of Mexico. In March of 2009, Lopez Jr. was named Chief of Staff of United States Customs and Border Protection. 
  2. Luis Borbon Holgun, a citizen of Mexico, who resides in Arizona and conducts business in Arizona, Mexico, and Massachusetts.
  3. Victor Flores, resides in Arizona and conducts business in Arizona and Mexico.
  4. Judge Lisa Flores, spouse of Victor Flores. Judge Flores is Superior Court Judge in Maricopa County, Arizona.
  5. Mario Diaz, resides in Arizona and conducts business throughout the United States. Diaz maintains a significant contractual relationship with the United States Army.
  6. Suzanne Barr, a resident of Washington D.C., who conducts business in the D.C. area and Massachusetts.  In 2009, Barr was named Chief of Staff of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In August 2012, Barr resigned amid allegations of improper conduct.
  7. David Lopez, a resident of California who conducts business throughout the United States and internationally, on behalf of his daughter, Latin musician and movie actress, Jennifer Lopez.
  8. Peterson is also suing Gannet Co. Inc., Phoenix Newspapers Inc. DBA Arizona Republic, The Democratic National Committee and others.

In his complaint, Peterson alleges Burke, with other Arizona Mafia members, and using Burke’s relationships with the United States Democratic Party, sought to silence and discredit him.


Dennis Burke, who is currently Clare Bronfman’s attorney and may be in actual control of the Irrevocable Trust – funded by Bronfman and others which is paying for the legal fees of the NXIVM defendants other than Clare, was US Attorney for Arizona under A.G. Holder, appointed by Obama.

Burke quit his post in August 2011 in the wake of the weapons trafficking scandal known as “Fast and Furious”.  The gun-running operation, which lasted from 2009 to 2011, resulted in the ATF losing over a thousand firearms; two of those weapons were linked to the 2010 murder of a Border Patrol agent in Arizona. Many of the weapons are suspected to have landed in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

After he resigned, Burke was censured and fined by the Arizona Bar for misconduct in March 2014. Burke admitted violating the “Integrity of the Profession”, in an attorney violation involving “dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.”

Previous to his appointment as US Attorney, Burke served on the Obama-Biden Transition Team and as Senior Policy Analyst for the White House Domestic Policy Council during the administration of President William Jefferson Clinton.

Subsequent to Burke’s resignation as US Attorney, Burke began working with Marco Lopez Jr., who serves as consultant to the Salinas political family of Mexico, led by a former President of Mexico,Carlos Salinas de Gortari and for billionaire Carlos Slim Helu.

Peterson’s lawsuit alleges numerous malicious acts by Burke, Lopez and others that constitute a “Retaliatory Campaign” meant to “silence and harm.” 

Peterson claims to know a lot about Burke and others in his group with whom he had a 10 year relationship.  According to Peterson, the trouble began in 2014 when the friendship deteriorated between Peterson and Burke.

Burke then allegedly began his “Retaliatory Campaign,” to “permanently damage the reputation, credibility and viability of [Peterson].”

Peterson alleges Burke and colleagues “want to destroy [Peterson’s] Character in order to conceal the truth about certain activities.”

Peterson alleges Burke was behind certain defamatory news articles about Peterson published by the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com.

Peterson also alleges that

  1. Burke and Lopez Jr. were engaged in significant business,  political and personal relationships with the Salinas family of Mexico.
  2. Burke allegedly made statements, including possible admissions of misconduct and/or culpability to Peterson when they were friends, regarding Burke’s involvement in Fast and Furious.
  3. Burke knowingly reported facts he knew were false to a State Government agency, the Arizona Corporation Commission.
  4. Lopez Jr.’s consulting business negotiated its first material contract with Grupo Carso, the conglomerate of Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim Helu with the assistance of Peterson. Slim is connected by leading media publications with the political and business interests Carlos Salinas.  
  5. A meeting occurred with Peterson and Bill Clinton where Clinton allegedly confirmed he had a longstanding relationship with the Salinas family. Clinton asked Peterson if he had entered in to any type of “meaningful relationship” with the Salinas family. 
  6. In early 2014, Peterson met with Emiliano Salinas at the Salinas residence in Mexico City. At the meeting, Emiliano stated he was owner of a “Venture Capital” company, Prorsus Capital, that he had interest in technology start-ups, and later invested $50,000 in Peterson’s new company, Mobile Corp.. 
  7. Emiliano stated he was also involved with a “self-help”organization called Executive Success Programs and suggested Peterson should join ESP.
  8. At a social event at the residence of Lopez Jr., near Washington D.C.. Peterson noticed that Barr and Lopez Jr. spoke about “close contacts” each had within U.S. Federal Government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, since their resignations, and of their ability to order these “close contacts”to “expedite visas” for foreign nationals.
  9. Peterson noticed Lopez Jr. speaking with Emiliano Salinas on his mobile phone and that he mentioned Bersin, who previously served as Lopez Jr’s superior at the US Dept. of Customs and Border Protection, as Commissioner. Peterson asked Lopez Jr. about his conversation with Emiliano.  Lopez Jr. allegedly stated that if Peterson were to disclose the fact to anyone that Lopez Jr. was working with Bersin, Emiliano or any of the Salinas family, “they [Salinas],” would “kill your entire family … then kill you.”

Perhaps of interest to readers of Frank Report is that Peterson spoke with an attorney representing a number of NXIVM victims.

Peterson interviewed regarding Burke concerning NXIVM

Peterson alleged in his complaint that a conversation occured with a certain attorney, unnamed in the complaint but known to Frank Report. 

In that conversation, the attorney allegedly stated he was acting as liaison between the FBI and victims in the NXIVM case. The conversation took place in July 2018.

The Attorney allegedly told Peterson the following about Burke:

  1.  BURKE made phone calls to witnesses in the NXIVM scandal to intimidate and coerce them
  2. BURKE provided services, including legal services, to Bronfman, in connection with the NXIVM matter
  3. BURKE was working “behind the scenes” to coordinate activities of multiple Attorneys and Defendants in connection with the NXIVM matter.
Dennis Burke

About the author


News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.


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