According to multiple sources – and as reported by Brendan Lyons in the Albany Times Union – numerous people involved with NXIVM have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in Brooklyn.
Artvoice has heard that 10 NXIVM members have been subpoenaed to testify this week.
Based on who reportedly has been subpoenaed, it appears clear the criminal investigation of NXIVM is expanding beyond sex trafficking and forced labor.
NXIVM leader Keith Raniere was arrested on March 25th in Mexico by Mexican federal police. He was living with several ‘slave’ women including Allison Mack, Nicki Clyne, Loreta Garza and others in a luxury villa in Puerto Vallarta.
Raniere fled to Monterrey, Mexico last November shortly after news of his branding and blackmailing women made worldwide news.
Artvoice broke the story that Raniere left the country and provided stealth photos for readers. Raniere reportedly told NXIVM members he had received death threats in Albany that necessitated his hasty departure from the USA.
Following his arrest last Sunday, Raniere was extradited to the US and is being held without bail in a federal prison in Oklahoma City, OK.
The expanding investigation by the DOJ Eastern District of NY appears to be focusing on NXIVM finances, including allegations of money laundering, bulk cash smuggling, tax fraud and other crimes. all of which were originally reported to the feds in the Western District of New York by this writer in 2015 – and all of which were totally ignored.
This has prompted some to wonder how many sex trafficking victims would have been spared had the Western District of New York been as competent as the Eastern District. The human branding and blackmailing occurred after this writer brought the Western District of New York substantial evidence of Raniere’s crimes in 2015.
Investigators with the Internal Revenue Service assigned in the Eastern District have now reportedly joined the probe.
Among those subpoenaed are brothers Justin, Marc and Brian Elliot.
Justin was a known lover of high-rank NXIVM board member Alejandro ‘Alex’ Betancourt and is rumored to have aided Betancourt by smuggling cash to Raniere from Mexico.
NXIVM encouraged Mexican students to pay cash for their programs and would reportedly mark the students as having gotten a scholarship in order to evade taxes.
NXIVM members Clare Bronfman, Karen Unterreiner, Lauren Salzman and Nancy Salzman facilitated the cash transactions, according to multiple eyewitnesses, and used various code words for cash to disguise the income from authorities.
Marc Elliot claims to have been cured of Tourette’s Syndrome by NXIVM programs and recruited members by claiming NXIVM cures Tourette’s.
All three brothers recruited members for NXIVM, which has been described as a pyramid scheme.
Last week, the FBI raided the home of NXIVM president Nancy Salzman. Agents came at about 7:30 AM and remained until early evening, carrying away boxes of items, neighbors told Artvoice.
Following the raid, Salzman moved from her home, taking her remaining possessions not seized by authorities. She is living at an undisclosed location and it is not known if she is in hiding. As of last week, she met with remaining NXIVM members to accuse this writer of being behind the latest ‘false charges’ against Raniere.
Raniere has not been arraigned and it is not known if he has been indicted by a grand jury – a formal – largely procedural step required for Raniere to stand trial.
Raniere is expected to appear before a U.S. magistrate in Brooklyn within the next two weeks for arraignment and a hearing over whether he should be allowed to post bail.
It is expected that Raniere’s attorneys will seek his release on bail pending his trial which likely will not take place for at least a year. The U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York opposes bail and filed a detailed motion seeking to detain Raniere in federal custody until his trial.
The DOJ argues that Raniere is dangerous and a flight risk – an argument bolstered by his hiding in Mexico for months and his alleged attempts to cause personal harm to several people that he considers to be “enemies”.
Other people believed to have been subpoenaed or expected to be subpoenaed are Kathy Russell, Karen Abney, Ben Meyers, Angel Smith, Shelly Tarzia, James Del Negro, and Esther Chiappone Carlson.
Mack was with Raniere in Mexico when he was arrested. It is not known if she has returned to the US. She is expected to be charged as a co-conspirator in the Raniere case.
Calls to Nancy Salzman and Mack went unanswered.
Raniere could not be reached by phone at the federal prison where he is being held.