NEW YORK – A former nurse who once co-founded and led the NXIVM group, where prosecutors say women were brainwashed, branded as animals and coerced into sex, was sentenced to 42 months on Wednesday of prison but will not be locked up until January.
Nancy Salzman, former president and co-founder of NXIVM, must also pay a fine of $ 150,000, said US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis. She agreed to forgo over $ 500,000 in cash, several properties, and a Steinway grand piano.
Salzman is due to report to jail by January 19, Garaufis said. Her lawyers said she was taking care of her sick mother.
Speaking in Brooklyn federal court, Salzman, 67, said she fell in love with NXIVM chief Keith Raniere when they started working together 20 years ago and that she began to rationalize and ignore the misdeeds she saw around her. She apologized to everyone she hurt.
“I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive myself,” she said.
Salzman, known within the Albany-based group as “Prefect,” pleaded guilty in March 2019 to racketeering conspiracy charges involving a conspiracy to commit identity theft and conspiracy to obstruct justice. She was one of the first members of the group’s leadership to plead guilty to criminal charges.
Around this time, a tearful Salzman said she mingled with Raniere, a self-improvement guru and self-proclaimed spiritual leader, because she wanted to help people improve their lives, but that she ended up getting lost helping to spy on perceived enemies. who sought to expose the group as a cross between a pyramid system and a cult.
During Salzman’s sentencing, Garaufis said she positioned herself alongside Raniere “at the top of the NXIVM pyramid” and “left trauma and destruction” in its wake.
“In her misguided loyalty and blind allegiance to Keith Raniere, the accused engaged in a racketeering plot to intimidate critics of NXIVM and which has harmed members of NXIVM,” said the American lawyer. Acting Jacquelyn Kasulis in a statement following Salzman’s conviction.
Raniere was sentenced last October to 120 years in prison for turning some women into sex slaves with his initials and sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. The group has drawn millionaires, including Seagram’s alcohol heiress Clare Bronfman, and Hollywood actors, including TV’s Allison Mack of “Smallville”.
Bronfman was sentenced a year ago to almost seven years in prison. Mack was sentenced in June to three years in prison. Salzman’s daughter Lauren Salzman was sentenced in July to five years’ probation and ordered to do 300 hours of community service for her role in the group.
Nancy Salzman’s crimes involved stealing the identities of group critics and hacking their email accounts from 2003 to 2008, prosecutors said. She was also accused of conspiring over videos of doctors showing her teaching NXIVM classes before the tapes were turned over to plaintiffs in a New Jersey lawsuit against the group.
An NXIVM biography of Salzman posted on the internet said she was a consultant for New York State and large corporations “until she met Keith Raniere and discovered an approach to personal growth that has yielded results powerful and permanent “.