Klaviger: Unanswered Questions…Part I – Why did the FBI only raid two of NXIVM’s properties?

FBI Special Agent Michael Lever (L) conducting a raid on Nancy Salzman's house.

By K.R. Klaviger

Although there is almost universal agreement among the many victims of NXIVM that the EDNY investigators and prosecutors deserve praise and commendations for the work they’ve done to try to put an end to the sex slaver cult, there are still some aspects of the case that have raised questions that may never be answered.

This is the first in a series of posts that will look at some of the “unanswered questions” concerning the ongoing criminal case against NXIVM and its leaders.

Why did the FBI only raid two of NXIVM properties?

Shortly after Raniere’s arrest on March 26th, the FBI showed up with search warrants at two of the many properties associated with NXIVM and two of its leaders, Nancy “Prefect” Salzman and Keith “Vanguard” Raniere. Those properties were the house that Salzman was living in at 3 Oregon Trail – and the townhouse that served as Raniere’s sex lair on 8 Hale Drive.

Based on numerous reports and court records, we now know that both of those locations produced a great deal of evidence that will likely be used by the prosecution in the upcoming trial of Salzman and Raniere – and their current co-defendants, Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, Kathy Russell, and Lauren Salzman.

Among the items that were confiscated at Salzman’s house were the following:
– $515,577 in cash – plus another $971.00 worth of Russian and Mexican currency
– Dozens of data-storage devices
– Cameras
– Mobile phones
– Blackberry devices

And among the items that were seized at Raniere’s sex lair were the following:
– Audio-Visual recording equipment
– A box of unidentified white pills
– Data-storage devices
– Binders
– VHS tapes
– A book entitled “History of Torture”

So, given how fruitful those two searches proved to be, why were similar raids not conducted at other NXIVM-related locations?

Some of the locations that it would have seemed logical and prudent to search include the following:
– NXIVM’s headquarters at 455 New Karner Road in Colonie, NY
– Clare Bronfman’s homes
– Lauren Salzman’s home
– Allison Mack’s apartment
– Kathy Russell’s home

By comparison, the New York State Police, under the command of Senior Investigator Rodger Kirsopp, simultaneously conducted a well-coordinated, pre-dawn raid on the residences of three people that were allegedly involved in illegally accessing NXIVM’s website: Toni Natalie, Joe O’Hara, and John Tighe. In conjunction with that effort, every computer in each of the three locations – and numerous boxes of what were believed to be NXIVM-related files and records – were confiscated by Kirsopp and his troopers.

No one is claiming the FBI is not competent in the EDNY. But it is curious that the FBI only raided two houses in the massive investigation into NXIVM. The New York State Police, however, raided three houses in the minuscule and ultimately dismissed computer trespassing case against Joe O’Hara, John Tighe, and Toni Natalie.


Even though Kirsopp was well aware that there was no jurisdictional basis for bringing any charges in Albany County against Natalie, O’Hara, and Tighe, he nevertheless put a lot of time and effort into planning and conducting the simultaneous raids on their houses. And he used the occasion to seize just about anything that might contain any incriminating information against NXIVM and its leaders.

So, why didn’t the FBI conduct more searches on NXIVM-related properties – especially after all the valuable evidence they found at Salzman’s home and Raniere’s sex lair?

At a minimum, one would have expected a search to be conducted at NXIVM’s corporate offices. That, of course, is where the cult stored all the paper records concerning its operations – and where all its accounting records were created and maintained.

And didn’t the Feds think there was at least a possibility of finding more cash, more electronic storage devices, and more incriminating documents and records in the residence of the head of the DOS operation, Allison Mack?

And how about one or more of the homes owned by Clare Bronfman, the chief financier for – and the Director of Operations for – NXIVM? Didn’t the Feds think they might find some interesting records in those places?

And what about Lauren Salzman? Wouldn’t it make sense for her Mom to have entrusted her with some of the other cash that NXIVM had hidden away and/or some of the numerous data storage devices that were used to keep track of the cult’s various operations?

And, of course, why not search the house of NXIVM’s original bookkeeper, Kathy Russell? Wouldn’t you think that she might have been entrusted to hold onto some of NXIVM’s multiple sets of financial records?


Although the victims of NXIVM are grateful to the EDNY investigators and prosecutors for their efforts to put an end to this vicious cult, the victims are also cognizant that until they are convicted, Raniere and his flying monkeys are “innocent until proven guilty.”

I would not wish to change that important due process right. And I am not a supporter of wholesale raids on the homes of private citizens.

However, with Bronfman money, high-priced lawyers and a vicious psychopath calling the shots, if some of the defendants get off with light sentences or are acquitted, they will be back and likely seeking vengeance.

Why didn’t the FBI raid the other NXIVM homes and offices? Hopefully, we’ll learn more about this as the case proceeds to trial.

About the author

K.R. Claviger


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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.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

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