The original story is published here: https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/NXIVM-co-founder-Keith-Raniere-charged-in-federal-12782354.php#photo-2457504
Keith Raniere, the co-founder of the NXIVM corporation, a secretive Colonie-based organization that an expert has called an “extreme cult,” has been arrested by the FBI based on a federal criminal complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York, according to a person briefed on the arrest.
The Times Union reported in December that the Justice Department’s broad probe is examining NXIVM’s business dealings, including its practice of recruiting members from abroad. A federal grand jury empaneled in Brooklyn has been reviewing evidence in the case, according to people who testified before that panel.
Among those who provided testimony are women who claimed they were lured into a secret club that required them to consent to being branded with a design that included the initials of Raniere and a NXIVM associate, Allison Mack.
NXIVM’s supporters have insisted it is a self-help group focused on business improvement. NXIVM officials and associates have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and dispute any allegation that it is a cult. Recent efforts to reach NXIVM officials for comment have not been successful.
Dating back years, people with connections to NXIVM have filed complaints with various law enforcement agencies, including the New York state Attorney General, the U.S. attorney’s office in Albany, the New York State Police, the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency, the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI.
But law enforcement sources said the federal probe in Brooklyn was the first significant investigation involving either the organization or its leader, Raniere, who is known to his followers as “Vanguard.”
In November, the Times Union reported that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office had begun examining NXIVM’s dealings, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
Questions have also been raised about the response of state health officials to a complaint filed in August against a NXIVM-connected doctor who allegedly subjected multiple women to brain-activity studies that apparently did not follow standard research protocols. In October, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered a review of the Health Department’s handling of the complaint.