What really happened at Allison Mack’s arraignment — When she was first denied bail

The US v. Allison Mack

On Monday, April 23rd , Allison Mack was able to arrange $5 million bail and was released on home arrest at her parent’s home in California.

But at her arraignment, on the day of her arrest – Friday, April 20th – she was denied release. That’s why she spent the weekend in jail.

At that April 20th  hearing, the public learned that Allison was indeed married to Nicki Clyne [as first reported by Frank Report/Artvoice], that her income was about $80,000 per year [down from millions before she started her ‘Executive Success Programs’ training with the NXIVM sex-slaver cult], and, most significantly, that Allison Mack, through her attorneys, agreed to enter into plea negotiations.

Mack appeared before US Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak.

Appearing for the prosecution was Moira Kim Penza and Tanya Hajjar, both Assistant United States Attorneys in the Eastern District of New York.

Mack’s attorneys were Sean Buckley and William McGovern of Kobre & Kim, LLP of NYC.

The following is from the transcript:

Proceedings commenced at 4:27 pm.

THE COURT [addressing Mack]: All right. You’re here today because the grand jury has returned an indictment charging you with three counts. The first count charges you with knowingly and intentionally recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, obtained advertising, maintaining, patronizing and soliciting one or more persons, specifically Jane Doe’s 1 and 2, individuals whose identities are known to the grand jury, in and affecting interstate commerce and attempting to do the same, and benefiting and attempting to benefit financially and by receiving a thing of value from participation in a venture which had engaged in such acts knowing that means of force, threats of force, fraud and coercion and a combination of such means would be used to cause these people to engage in one or more commercial sex acts.

The second count charges you with a conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking, and the third count charges you with conspiring to commit forced labor. Do you understand what the charges are?


THE COURT: Okay. Counsel, have you reviewed the charges with your client and advised her of her rights?

BUCKLEY: Yes, we have, Your Honor. We’ve reviewed them briefly with her in the cell block.


THE COURT: And is she prepared to enter a plea this afternoon?

BUCKLEY: Yes, she enters a plea of not guilty.


THE COURT: All right. Do we have a date for Ms. Mack to appear before Judge Garaufis in this case?

PENZA: Yes, Your Honor. The initial appearance before Judge Garaufis will be May 3rd at 10:30 a.m.

[Ed. Note: subsequently changed to May 4th at 10:30 am.]

THE COURT: Okay. All right. So now we need to deal with the issue of bail or detention. What’s the government’s position with respect to bail for Ms. Mack?

PENZA: Your Honor, the government’s position is that the defendant poses a danger to the community and a risk of flight, but the government’s position is that a substantial bail package, commensurate with the defendant’s access to funds, would be sufficient to mitigate the risk to the community, including intimidation of witnesses and the risk of non-appearance.


PENZA: Based on the charges alone, which are detailed in the letter we filed with the court, Ms. Mack was one of the top members of a highly organized scheme which was designed to provide sex to her co-defendant {Keith Raniere] – who, I will add, Your Honor, is currently incarcerated at the MDC – for her own benefit and for her own status with the defendant.

Under the guise of female empowerment, Your Honor, she starved women until they fit her co-defendant’s sexual ideal, and she targeted vulnerable women in order to do that. There’s also, Your Honor, a true risk of danger here in the form of witness intimidation. She has, based on the structure, a number of what have been termed here slaves underneath her, who have pledged vows of obedience and who literally have collateral [Ed note: ‘Collateral’ is blackmail worthy material]. She literally has collateral on a number of the people who we view to either be victims or potential witnesses in this case. And she obviously has an ability to manipulate people and to coerce them, based on the charges here.

In addition, Your Honor, we submit that the defendant is a risk of flight. She is facing a 15 -year mandatory minimum charge.  She has a lack of ties to the Eastern District. She has apparent access to enormous personal wealth beyond what we understand her to currently have access to, based on what Pretrial has reported. At the time when her co-defendant was arrested, she was present. It was a villa that was costing $10,000 a week.  She has access to high-ranking members of NXIVM, who have enormous personal wealth themselves [Ed. note: That last reference is to Clare and Sara Bronfman, Seagram’s heiresses].

And, in addition, at this point, we understand that there’s a significant legal retainer and the government, thus far, has not been provided with information as to how that legal retainer is being paid. So, given those concerns, Your Honor, at this point we have not been presented with a potential bail package from the defendant.


THE COURT: All right. …  [W]e have Pretrial Services officers here. Can you give us a report based on your interview?

MOORE: Sure. My name is Ramon Moore. I spoke to the defendant and she advised that … she’s 35 years old and she was born in Preetz, Germany, to the union of Mindy and John Mack. She relocated to the United States at two years old and had resided in California with her parents for 16 years and relocated to Vancouver, Canada for ten years, and lived there alone. She just moved back to New York. …. She moved back to New York and she has been living in New York since December of 2017 at an apartment with her wife, who is Nicole Clyne.

She stated that she has two siblings who both reside in California. She stated that she has been married to Ms. Clyne since February of 2017 and that she’s [Ed. note: Clyne] a green card holder.  She stated that Ms. Clyne is a self-employed writer. Her income is contingent upon the projects that she receives but makes approximately a thousand to $2,500 a month. She stated that she has no children.

The highest level of education she’s received is a high school diploma from Los Alamedas High School in Los Alamedas, California. She stated that she is employed as an actress. She stated that she receives approximately $70,000 in residual payments from the Smallville season, and she signs autographs on the weekend twice per year and receives about $10,000 from that.

She stated that she also owns a residence in Clifton Park, New York that’s valued at $220,000, that she rents out and receives $500 a month for. She stated that she’s also a part-time actress. She teaches acting skills part time. She’s been doing that since 2016 and she makes approximately $100 a hour.

She stated that she has two bank accounts and a profit sharing plan. …  the only asset that she has is the house located in Clifton Park. She stated that she has no physical or mental health issues, as well as no substance abuse history.  And she stated that if she’s released, she can continue to reside at her apartment in Brooklyn, New York. Also, she has a passport that was seized by the FBI this morning. She stated that she traveled to Mexico for three weeks in March of 2018 and over the last five years, she’s traveled regularly to Europe for business and leisure. And that’s about it.


THE COURT: All right. Counsel?

BUCKLEY: Yes, Your Honor. If I may, just briefly I’ll start with the second point the government made first, which is this client does not pose any risk of flight. Just a couple of facts that I would like the court to be aware of. The first is when Mr. Raniere, the co-defendant, was arrested in Mexico, Ms. Mack was also in Mexico at the time. She was aware of the investigation. She was aware of the possibility that she, too, may be charged. And in spite of that, she returned to the United States. But not only did she return to the United States, Your Honor, once she retained us as counsel, she authorized us to reach out to the United States Attorney’s Office to inform them that we had been retained. We affirmatively reached out. And then we contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office two days prior to her anticipated return to the United States to try to find out whether she was going to be arrested and that this would be a surrender, or whether she was going to be permitted to return of her own accord. We were provided no assurances of that.  Notwithstanding the lack of assurances, Ms. Mack still returned to the United States on two days’ notice to the government.

She resides here in the Eastern District of New York. She resides at a residence located not far from here and indeed when she was arrested earlier today, they arrested her at that residence

[Ed. note: her residence was 111 Hicks, Brooklyn Heights].

Those facts, Judge, we think strongly undercut any argument here that this defendant poses a risk of flight.  But those aren’t the only facts for the court to consider. Ms. Mack has substantial ties to the United States. She is a U.S. citizen. Her parents live here in the United States. She has other family who reside in the United States. She owns property in the Northern District of New York. She rents her property here in the Eastern District.  All of her finances and assets are located here in the United States. She doesn’t possess any foreign properties or assets and her professional career is here.

…  As I noted, she returned voluntarily with no assurances about whether she would be arrested or not with knowledge that this investigation has been launched and with knowledge of the charges that were levied against Mr. Raniere.

The government in its submission points to the strength of its case. I’m not going to belabor it, Judge, given that it’s a Friday afternoon, but the allegations contained in the indictment are only that. They are allegations. The hard facts establish that Ms. Mack is not a risk of flight. To the extent there is concern about her prior travel, that concern is readily ameliorated by the surrender of her passport and an agreement by Ms. Mack that she will not apply or seek new documents.

And even were she to leave, she’s a U.S. citizen, Judge. A red notice would follow her and subject her to arrest anywhere in the world and return here…. The only argument advanced by the government about the need for detention is a speculative argument that she may threaten others or try to tamper with witnesses.


THE COURT: All right. What’s the government’s view here?

PENZA: Your Honor, the government’s position is that a personal recognizance bond in a case involving a 15 -year mandatory minimum sentence is wholly inappropriate….

Moreover, at the time when she did fly into the country, at that time she had no phone on her and no computer on her, which we — the government submits has been a pattern of members of the NXIVM community coming into the country without those devices to avoid law enforcement seizing those.


THE COURT: … You indicated, I believe, in the initial argument that you thought she had substantial assets. They’re telling me that all she owns is this $200,000 property in Clifton [Park], New York, and she makes very little in terms of salary, from I guess the residuals from her acting job previously, and some current acting teaching that she does. So I’m a little confused as to what exactly is the status of her resources here.

PENZA: … [T]he government does not have a fair picture right now of her access to funds.  The very fact of Kobre & Kim’s being retained alone indicated that there was a very high retainer. We understand that there is a high retainer and our concern is that that means there are NXIVM contacts, these high net worth individuals that we’ve talked about who are providing Ms. Mack with funds and whom she would have access to funds from. So, that’s why in terms of determining an appropriate package, we need to flesh that out, Your Honor.

BUCKLEY: If I may, Your Honor. It’s an absurd argument that we’re taking funds from people related to NXIVM. The government has no real right to inquire into the source of our funds at this stage, but — nor how much she’s retained Kobre & Kim for. I think that argument is, frankly, ridiculous.


THE COURT: Well, I considered – the government’s argument and I considered defendant’s arguments as well.  Honestly, … given the nature of the charges, the 15 -year mandatory minimum, a personal recognizance bond not secured by anything other than the defendant’s own signature is not, in my view, sufficient.… I am not going to release her this evening on her own signature… The government’s allegations in this case involve a far reaching conspiracy and… these are serious charges.  And while you’ve made an impassioned plea that she is not a risk of flight, I respectfully disagree. She may not have realized that she was looking at 15 years in jail….  If you would like to come back … with a more put together package, with suretors and property… then that’s fine….

BUCKLEY: … Just to clarify two points though. One, we are prepared to post both the property in Albany and her [parents] are prepared to post her childhood home in California, which they also own.

THE COURT: … before I’m going to release anybody on that, I need to see the mortgage, I need to see the deeds. I need to see the suretors. And I don’t have any of that today…. So I’m telling you I’m not going to release her tonight, but you certainly can come back whenever you feel you’re ready to do that.


THE COURT: Okay. Is there anything else this evening?

PENZA: Your Honor, Judge Garaufis has given us permission to seek an order of excludable delay. The government intends before the next status conference to begin the process of producing discovery and we also would entertain any initial plea negotiations that the defendant would like to have. So in light of that, we would ask that time be excluded until the May 3rd conference.

THE COURT: Counsel, is that what your client wishes to do?

BUCKLEY: We have no objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Okay. Have you discussed it with Ms. Mack?

BUCKLEY: We did. Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT: You’ve explained it.

BUCKLEY: Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT: So Ms. Mack, I want to make sure you understand what we’re talking about. Under the Constitution and the laws of the United States you’re entitled to a speedy and public trial by jury commencing within 70 days of the filing of the indictment…. If the government fails to bring you to trial within that requisite time period, that could later be the basis for you to move to dismiss the charges against you. What the government has indicated to me is they would like me to exclude the time from today until —

PENZA: May 3rd, Your Honor.

THE COURT: — May 3rd, when you’ll see the district judge on this case, because during that period of time, the government’s going to be providing your attorneys with the evidence that they have collected regarding the charges here, and your attorneys and the government are going to have a conversation to see if the case can be resolved without the need for a trial. And it’s difficult to both engage in plea negotiations and also prepare for trial at the same time. Do you understand all of that? Speak up.


THE COURT: Okay. Have you discussed this with your attorneys?


THE COURT: Okay. Do you wish me to enter this order of excludable delay while these plea discussions go forward?



THE COURT: All right. I’m going to approve the order to excludable delay finding that it is in the best interest of both the public and the defendant while plea negotiations continue. All right. Anything else?

PENZA: Not from the government, Your Honor.

BUCKLEY: No, Your Honor.

(Proceedings concluded at 4:52 p.m, some 25 minutes after they commenced.)


About the author

Frank Parlato


Click here to post a comment

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us! (Email & username are optional)

  • Wow… I mean such a stunning turn for an otherwise capable and already accomplished actress. I’m sure her career is over, but I really do hope that she gets her life turned around for the better.

    That being said, she owns a $220,000 in Clifton Park, New York that she rents out for $500.00 a month? Hell, whoever is renting that house is getting a steal of a deal! I mean without pricing it out even I know that $500.00 a month isn’t enough to cover the mortgage let alone make a bit each month. Can’t believe that, royalties from Smallville and whatever else aside, that I make more each month then Allison Mack makes? She’s living on comparative crumbs!

  • I wonder how her weekend in jail went. does anyone know if she was in general pop or not?

  • Key phrases


    “our attorneys and the government are going to have a conversation to see if the case can be resolved WITHOUT the need for a trial.”

    • I do think Allie will be a witness. But everyone is playing their cards close to the chest.

      If I was Allie, I would request a US Marshals protection detail. How far will Clare Bronfman go? And where is Nefarious Nancy?

      • Good question FormerNexian. The list of items seized by Federal Marshals from Nancy’s house must have interesting contents, wonder what is on those many external drives and computers. I bet she is sweating it out right now, lol. Let me warn you before you click on this earlier article here on Frank’s place, there is a large pic of Nancy waiting to greet you at the top of the page, gahhh. it’s bizarre to think she gave her own daughters, her own flesh and blood, to this pervert to use as sextoys. Most women and mothers protect their children; she offered them up to be abused. Horrible woman, she’ll go down in history as having turned her own daughters into disposable sex robots for Raniere to use and throw into the garbage as he wished. If she has any other family members, they must be sick to think she is related to them.


    • You dumbass, that means she will plead GUILTY, not that they will let her walk, you fucking moron. Go start a blog defending your princess, since you love sadism and the abuse of women and girls. See how many followers you can get, maybe the nexians will join you–oh wait, you already are a nexian, isn’t that right? You LOVE the sexual enslavement and abuse of women, you LOVE seeing them in pain, you piece of shit.

    • If Ally Wack’s case is resolved without a trial, then it ONLY means the allegations are true and she plead guilty.
      I don’t think that is what your post was implying.

    • shadowstate stop obsessing over mack and posting the same crap

      She is innocent until proven guilty

  • Hollywood is one of most – if not the most – liberal industries in society. In general, people who go into acting typically have looser morals than the rest of society. Hence, the term liberal. At the same time, some of these people think they can tell you how to live your life in such a patronizing manner, yet they never tell you what standards they intellectually ground their judgement on. They just parrot each other, like saying the same thing over and over again makes an argument. It’s really weird. So, it’s not surprising to me that Hollywood has issues with the casting couch, what initiated the #metoo movement, pedophilia, and, of course, having one of their own help lead pimp out for this sex cult.

    • “looser morals than the rest of society. Hence, the term liberal”

      Yeah, no. Liberalism is a political view based on LIBERTY. Which you hate, I guess? Maybe you’re a fascist. Fascists hate liberty.

      Used generally, the word “liberal” derives from “generous, tolerant, or suitable to one of noble or superior status, thus “liberal arts” and “liberal education.”” Nothing noble about you, huh, FML?

      Don’t feel bad. Lack of nobility is common in conservatives. The moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the Republican Party: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/dec/04/the-moral-and-intellectual-bankruptcy-of-the-republican-party

      • I see you used Wiki.

        Liberal as a label can mean different things in different contexts depending upon what the range is being represented. In this case, I was speaking of morality and it typically stands in opposition to conservative values.

        “generous, tolerant, or suitable to one of noble or superior status, thus “liberal arts” and “liberal education.””

        Many liberals are tolerant of only their own views. If your views contradict theirs, then they become intolerant. Many conservatives are the same way.

        Define what is tolerance and intolerance?

        “Lack of nobility is common in conservatives”

        Where is this “nobility” that you speak of derived from? Keith Raniere, NXIVM, et al, used the term “noble civilization” frequently. Where was his “nobility” derived from?

        I’m neither a Republican nor a Democrat.

      • Liberty also requires that people engage in a responsible manner towards their fellow human beings.

        Liberty is not a license to torture and abuse people.

        Unfortunately Ms. Mack did not understand that.

  • Why do so many people go into acting and why so many actors/actresses whore themselves to producers/directors? One gig on a hit show and you are set for life. $70,000 a year in residuals and $10,000 a year for doing a couple cons. Life is good. Except you have too much time on your hands and get too deep in a crappy cult that you take too serious. Dummy.

  • Why do actresses/actors whore themselves to Producers, directors, etc…. One successful acting gig on a hit show and you are set for life. $70,000 a year in residuals and $10,000 a year from doing a couple comic cons. Life is good, unless you have too much time on your hands and become a cult monger pimp. Dummy.

  • It seems that Allison started making plans the minute Raniere was arrested in Mexico and I’m sure her weekend spent in lockup helped her realize that she didn’t want to go to jail for this man or his cult. I hope she gets the plea deal and tells everything she knows–that will be the first step in making amends to all the women she helped hurt.

    • Please understand that Ms. Mack is by no means “reformed.”

      If the whole scheme had not collapsed, Ms. Mack would be back in Upstate New York torturing, branding and enslaving women.
      Ms. Mack is a seriously disturbed woman.

      • Oh believe me, I know that Allison Mack hurt a lot of people and if the cult hadn’t been exposed, it would have continued. I do think she is taking the right step in telling authorities everything she knows and hopefully being away from their influence will help her see and realize all of the horrible things she’s done. She needs therapy–without a doubt–and jail time, which is deserved.

  • At this point (reading the transcript only), it does not indicate that Allie Mack is going to plea.

    Of course, it is in her best interest to plea and the affidavit for arrest from Special Agent Michael Lever is really descriptive of the evidence.

    I think she will plea. But, it’s not readily apparent from this transcript.

    • It doesn’t indicate a plea because it was very early in the process. The main focus was getting her out of jail over the weekend.

      • But she didn’t get out for the weekend because the court wasn’t willing to let her out on her own recognizance and she didn’t have enough certified collateral for the $5 million bond. You’re correct that the agreed-upon delay in triggering the “speedy trial” start date doesn’t guaranty that she’ll do a plea deal. But the Feds have now shown her attorneys some of the evidence they’ve gathered against her – which should certainly push her to consider such a deal.

    • Mack doesn’t have the money for an OJ defense team. And her lawyers want to win, it does their record no good to lose. With funds limited, how do you proceed. That first conversation between the lawyers and Mack must have been interesting, and involved candid conversation.

    • Much of the discussion in the press presupposes active negotiations and reports frequently characterize her as “singing like a canary.” Moments of clarity to a normal person are not necessarily moments of clarity to someone who has been in the grips of cult for a decade. She could still be undergoing exit counseling and the prosecution may even be waiting on it. I guess that my point is that there are too many unknowns and I would not expect game theory to offer any insight on someone in emotional/psychological free fall.

    • Arraignments are supposed to be merely a reading of the charges to make sure the defendant understands what is happening.
      Ms. Mack could have pled guilty and she could still plead guilty in the future.
      But she now has the bitter choice of cooperating with the prosecutors and ratting out her friends or taking the fall for her criminal conduct.

      This dilemna is the result of Ms. Mack making bad choices for years.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato


Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com