On March 25, Lauren Salzman, 42, pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering and one count of racketeering conspiracy in the Nxivm case.
Although it appears she also signed a cooperation agreement with the feds, all the pertinent information concerning this was redacted from the published transcript of the court hearing.
What we do know is Lauren signed a 10-page agreement, plus a one-page Exhibit A attached to it. The agreement is not available to the public. It is dated March 25, 2019. Frank Report has been told by a source familiar with the proceedings that Lauren signed a “cooperation agreement.”
Present at her hearing before Judge Nicholas Garaufis were Moira Kim Penza and Tanya Hajjar, Assistant US Attorneys; Hector Diaz and Andrea Tazioli, of Quarles & Brady – attorneys for Lauren Salzman, and Lauren herself.
During the proceeding, the judge asked Lauren a series of questions concerning her understandings and competence. He explained the maximum term of imprisonment is 20 years for each of her two charges. There is no minimum term and the sentence imposed on each count may run consecutively, that is, one after the other.
The judge explained he would consult federal guidelines that provides sentencing ranges but that he was not bound by those guidelines.
The judge told Lauren that, “no one knows today what your exact guidelines range will be”. Then he made additional statements that were redacted from the official transcript of the hearing.
This might well be in reference to Lauren’s cooperation with the Feds, and that sentencing might be influenced downward by the nature of her cooperation and how well it is substantially accomplished.
After some additional advisories, the judge asked Lauren “how do you plead to the charge[s]”
Lauren responded, “I plead guilty.”
THE COURT: Are you pleading guilty voluntarily and of your own free will?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, your Honor I am.
THE COURT: Had gone anyone threatened or forced you to you plead guilty?
THE DEFENDANT: No, sir.
THE COURT: Other than the agreement with the Government, has anyone made you a promise that caused you to plead guilty?
THE DEFENDANT: No, sir.
THE COURT: Has anyone made you a promise about the sentence that you will receive?
THE DEFENDANT: No.
THE COURT: So, at this time, I would like you to tell me in your own words what you did to commit these crimes.
Lauren then read from a prepared statement.
Here is her complete allocution:
“I am pleading guilty today after a careful and thorough review of the criminal allegations against me. The conclusion of this review was acknowledging that I committed acts which I knew or should have known were absolutely wrong.
“Over the years, through my association with Nexium, I formed many relationships with members of this organization. Through these associations, I truly believed that I was helping to empower people to live their left lives.
“However, I and others engaged in criminal conduct, which I blindly followed and rationalized as furthering the underlying principles in which Nexium was formed. This rationalization led to my agreement to associate with an enterprise of individuals as alleged in the second superseding indictment.
“The common purpose of the enterprise included obtaining financial and personal benefits for its members for members of the enterprise including myself by furthering and promoting the objectives of Keith Raniere and recruiting others into organizations created by Keith Raniere.
“Between 1999 and 2017, I was aware of and participated in some of the criminal objectives of the enterprise and I conspired and agreed that others who were also part of our conspiracy would commit at least two acts of racketeering in furtherance of this enterprise.
“Between 1999 and 2017, I also knowingly and intentionally conducted and participated directly and indirectly in the conduct of the enterprise through a pattern of racketeering acts which affect interstate and foreign commerce.
“Specifically, I committed the following acts.
“On or about March 2010 through April 2012, I knowingly and intentionally harbored Jane Doe 4, a woman whose identity is known to me, in a room in the home in the Northern District of New York and threatened to deport Jane Doe 4 back to Mexico if she did not complete labor requested by myself and others.
“On or about January 2017 through June 2017, within the Northern District of New York and elsewhere, I was a member of a secret organization developed by Nexium members that has been identified in the indictment as DOS.
“Pursuant to my association in DOS, I knowingly and intentionally took and withheld property from Jane Doe 6 and Jane Doe 11, two women who are known to me and who were enrolled as lower-ranking DOS members.
“This property was referred to by members in DOS as “collateral” which consisted of material or information that belonged to these lower-ranking DOS members and which such lower-ranking DOS members would not want revealed because it could be personally damaging or ruinous.
“I induced Jane Doe 6 and Jane Doe 11 to deliver this collateral to me by instilling them a fear that if the property was not delivered, I could expose this collateral which could have been embarrassing and personally damaging to themselves or others if released.
“From January 2017 to June 2017, within the Northern District of New York and elsewhere, I knowingly and intentionally obtained the labor and services in the form of acts of care from Jane Doe 6 and Jane Doe 11 who were lower-ranking DOS members.
“Acts of care included having these women perform services for me that would have otherwise been compensable. I obtained these labor and services from Jane Doe 6 and Jane Doe 11 by causing them to believe that if they did not perform requested acts of care, then they could suffer serious harm. The serious harm in this case would be the threat of the release of their collateral.
“From January 2017 to June 2017, within the Eastern District of New York and elsewhere, I knowingly and intentionally worked with others and devised a scheme to make materially false representations and omissions regarding DOS in order to obtain property from lower-ranking DOS members. Specifically, I concealed Keith Raniere’s role as the head of DOS and characterized DOS as a women’s organization knowing that Keith Raniere was the head of this organization.
“The property obtained which was considered collateral included credit card authorizations, sexually explicit photos and videos, and rights to assets and property. Such property was transmitted in interstate and foreign commerce via e-mail, telephone, text messages and telegram.
“Your Honor, in light of reviewing all the discovery and having many months to reflect, I came to the conclusion that the most moral and the most just course of action for me was to take full responsibility for my conduct and that is why I am pleading guilty today and I’m very sorry for my poor decision-making and decisions that result in the harm to others and not the just victims in this case but to hundreds of members of our community and their friends and families as well.”
THE COURT: Thank you very much.
THE COURT: All right. Ms. Salzman, I find you were acting voluntarily. That you fully understand rights and consequences of your pleas. There is, moreover, a factual basis for your pleas. I, therefore, accept your pleas of guilty to Counts One and Two of the second superseding indictment.
The judge set a sentencing date for Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at 11:00 a.m.
Lauren Salzman has admitted she was in a criminal enterprise and she “blindly followed” Keith Raniere. She now says that the “moral” thing for her to do is plead guilty – and cooperate with the government.
It is a practical thing also. Without the cooperation agreement, the sentencing guidelines likely fall in the 5-7 range for her two felonies. With the cooperation agreement – and with her providing evidence and testimony against Raniere, Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, and Kathy Russell – the sentence could be as little as two years – and, who knows, maybe even that might be served under house arrest.
Those Salzman women are clever. Lauren and her mother Nancy were the first ones on the plea bargain bus, just as they were about the first on the original Nxivm train.
Nancy was a co-founder of Nxivm in 1998 and Lauren joined the year after in 1999.
Clare and Kathy Russell joined around 2002. Allison Mack joined around 2005.
As for Allison, the dunce who once said outside court in the restroom, “I’m used to taking one for the team,” it looks like she will be taking one for real.
She was seen crying outside court the last time she appeared. It might finally becoming real now for her, the realization may have hit her – she is going to prison.
Vanguard can’t save her. Clare Bronfman can’t save her. Even if Clare paid for her lawyers.
Her old friend, Lauren Salzman, is now actively working against her. Funny too: Allison was talking plea deals back in late April of 2018 before the Salzmans, Bronfman, and Russell were indicted. Chances are she would have been able to wangle a deal back then as good or better than the Salzmans have done now for themselves.
She is potentially facing life in prison and any plea deal she can make today will likely include some kind of sex trafficking – at least as a predicate act. This may mean that she will be on the sex registry, possibly for life – when she gets out of prison.
This is the harsh reality. Ironic too: The Salzmans were a far bigger part of the criminal organization than Allison Mack, and they have turned on her and Raniere too.
This leaves the
800-pound, the 80-pound gorilla, Clare Bronfman out there. She is completely flummoxed, astonished that her wealth can’t buy her out of this mess. She is heading toward trial. Jury selection is about to begin. There is no viable defense. She is going to be convicted. Her high price attorneys can’t save her – they can barely maybe save themselves.
Any plea deal available to her includes years in prison. How could this happen to her?
And her Vanguard, the one she gave up everything for – is in jail. He is as good as buried. He may never see freedom again.
Clare might be able to buy herself a plea deal in the 5-8 year prison range. If she acts promptly.
In the meantime, Lauren is telling all she knows and some of it is deadly – why else would the feds get Lauren signed up on a cooperation agreement except to bag Allison, Keith, and Clare?
In this respect, Lauren learned the lessons of the founder of Executive Success Programs. Looking out for number one. He always did.
[…] Lauren Salzman signs cooperation agreement with Feds; Admits she imprisoned Mexican woman & lied… […]
Kathy Russell’s motion to dismiss, and some motions from Bronfman to dismiss or sever, are now up at Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker.
I´ll be interested to see legal analysis of the move here. If the judge should grant the motion, can those or related charges still be filed, or would the authorities never again be able to go after her on the matters involved?
I’m guessing that this is a Hail Mary, and once it’s shot down by the no-nonsense judge (it’s not like she didn’t make adequate use of the 5th Amendment, apparently), Russell is likely to finalize a plea deal. Bronfman is likely to continue filing motions, until Seagram’s stops selling whiskey.
[…] if she cooperates against those still awaiting trial — a possibility that those who have been closely following the case are […]
[…] Doe 4 back to Mexico if she did not complete labor requested by myself and others,” Salzman said, reported Frank Report, a whistleblower who first broke the story about the group’s alleged […]
Would not be surprised if Lauren and Claire pull the pin before this all goes down.
Do former higher up, inner circle members like Mark Vicente and Sarah Edmondson have immunity? What if Nancy or Lauren implicate them. What is to prevent Clare from accusing Frank of knowing about and helping to facilitate and carry out crimes if she’s going down and wants to take others with her?
We don’t know who was given immunity or not. If anyone hasn’t been given immunity and any of the defendants rat on them, they could be prosecuted. Clare or anybody can accuse Frank or anybody of anything, but there has to be evidence a crime was committed beyond somebody making a claim.
So far the authorities are only going after the major crimes, that only the inner circle were deeply involved in.
I think the question is whether federal or state authorities are finally going to go after many of the lesser, but nonetheless often serious, crimes that quite a few others who were part of the Albany-area operations were involved in, as well. But unless Vicente and Edmondson participated in something like money laundering, I’m not sure what they would be implicated in that would have criminal ramifications. Some of what they did may seem reprehensible, but even pyramid schemes are rarely prosecuted for criminal fraud and instead dealt with administratively, as happened to Raniere with CBL.
I presume that at a minimum, the IRS and ICE will eventually use evidence revealed in the criminal case, to seek back taxes and fines from quite a few people, and probably also the corporate entities involved. One thing that I haven’t seen discussed, is whether NXIVM’s supposed intellectual property ultimately gets taken as an asset and dealt with; that could have implications for the ability of any remaining followers to continue to operate.
Stupid question : of course Sara amd Mark will have immunity. In fact, they are not accused of anything, and they won t be.
Allison Mack is beyond help.
You’re right, Natashka.
Had Raniere and his cohorts not been arrested Lauren would still be recruiting and disciplining slaves and Nancy would be planning V Week 2019.
Where is Pea Onyu to tell us that Lauren is a rat?
How has Karen Unterreiner avoided legal attention?
Full cooperation with the feds since the beggining?
That’s my guess too, Alex. Karen’s a lot cagier than anyone ever gave her credit for, IMO. Wouldn’t you bet she’s had her ass-ettes covered for decades?
My guess is she is acting as a “confidential informant”.
It’s the only plausible explanation unless Frank or Krclaviger have a better idea.
She either flipped immediately and/or has kept herself in the shadows, with little to no evidence that she was involved in the various illegal activities. This may change with the defendants flipping and telling the Feds more about her and other participants’ behaviors.
That’s been a question of mine. She seems to have disappeared after last spring. She was uniquely positioned to provide all sorts of information about the inner workings of NXIVM’s finances, with her long history with Keith, from Consumer’s Buyline and NXIVM.
Well done Lauren, at last, some communication that could actually count as ‘critical thinking’. Looking forward to you making similar efforts at ‘integrity’.
Keep it up!!
Definitely for practical reasons and not moral reasons, this woman is pleading guilty
You’re right, Natashka.
Had Raniere and his cohorts not been arrested Lauren would still be at DOS recruiting and disciplining slaves and Nancy would be planning V Week 2019.
You’re right Natashka.
Had Raniere and his cohorts not been arrested Lauren would still be recruiting and training new slaves and Nancy would be planning V Week 2019.
Quite frankly, to see these bitches who have sucked people dry at any expense to live a life of perceived ‘class and prestige’ is highly satisfying. What an embarrassment!!
Nancy’s lawyers specifically said that she had plead without an agreement to cooperate – though, of course, that doesn’t preclude her from cooperating and trying to get it taken into consideration at her sentencing. So it’s interesting that Lauren definitely is cooperating as part of her plea deal, and to an extent that they want to keep under wraps – do the attorneys for other defendants get to see the Agreement, or is it completely under seal?
I thought it interesting that she referred to a “moral” and “just” course of action and didn’t use “ethical,” the word Raniere re-defined and twisted to justify any means that served his and NXIVM’s ends – including what would commonly be understood as immorality (resulting in his being indicted for what used to be called “morals charges”) as well as manipulating and corrupting the justice system itself. Maybe just maybe she’s been doing some reflective deep thinking, and possibly even some reading.
I doubt the lawyers for the other defendants get to see w hat is under seal. However, their clients know what has been blacked out, and that’s all that matters right now.
The clients and the lawyers, plus the remaining defendants and perhaps others being investigated, are left guessing as to exactly what the cooperation entails, or else there’d be no point in redacting things, would there? I assume the point is that it puts the others in the position of having to figure that Lauren told all, and to come clean themselves about everything if they also want a deal.
All you NXIVM members who thought the Salzmans, Lauren and Nancy, were your friends and mentors are about to learn how devious criminals can be.
But you NXIVM members should have known that when you threw in your lot with a criminal gang in the first place.
You NXIVM people forgot the old saying, “There is no honor among thieves.”
What stories will Lauren and Nancy have to tell about their former friends in NXIVM?
Get out your buttered popcorn.
What did NXIVM ever do but scheme to destroy innocent people through persecution and litigation?
And to assist in its terrorist schemes NXIVM was more than happy to corrupt local officials: police, prosecutors, lawyers and judges.
Who in their right mind would knowingly associate with the fiendish leaders of NXIVM?
Only people equally fiendish.
Every decent person who worked for NXIVM soon discovered the organization was run by sociopaths and left as soon as they could.
NXIVM is a terrorist gang engaged in slavery, sex trafficking, money laundering and extortion.
Foolish NXIVM followers knowingly worshiped a lazy, sybaritic man who loved to molest children.
And Clare Bronfman and Allison Mack, women of fortune and fame, were overjoyed to help this troll of a man Keith Raniere, steal girls’ childhoods from them.
Clare Bronfman thought that with her money she could buy NXIVM.
Clare forgot that Nancy Salzman has a long long memory.
Clare forgot that Nancy viewed NXIVM as her creation and that no interloper could steal Nancy’s show without dire consequences.
Allison Mack thought that she could curry favor with her Vanguard by pimping women and grooming girls for sex.
Allison forgot that her rival for leadership of DOS Lauren Salzman not only has a long memory but also has a sharp stiletto to plunge into Allison’s back.
So much for the sisterhood of Jness.
Keith Raniere has been a dead man walking since he was arrested last year in Puerto Vallarta.
The Vanguard can’t rescue his most servile servants Clare and Allison.
Clare has grown up thinking that her money can buy everything but unlike the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz she failed to buy a brain.
Clare did not even buy common human decency.
And in the Federal court system dealing with the FBI Clare is about to discover how worthless her money really is.
And Allison, a self-absorbed woman who lacks any empathy for her fellow women, is about to discover how little empathy people have for her after her evil has been exposed.
Allison talked a good game about female empowerment but only delivered torture and slavery to her fellow women.
On top of that Allison, working with the cruel Clare, groomed underage girls for sex with the Vanguard.
In this role Allison and Clare replaced the immoral Pam Cafritz and Barb Jeske, both of whom died prematurely under mysterious circumstances.
Allison and Clare should have taken Pam and Barb’s premature deaths as an ill omen of their own futures.
As for the ambitious Federal prosecutors they understand that wealthy heiress Clare and TV actress Allison are more attractive targets than Nancy and Lauren Who.
Clare’s money and Allison’s fame will actually work against them.
Clare thinks her money will shield her from prison.
Allison thinks her fame will protect her from doing time.
Clare and Allison are like that old song title “What a Fool Believes.”
Well here’s a new song title for Clare and Allison to ponder; “Nobody Mourns the Wicked.”
Wow. They are FUCKED! Nancy is slick, no cooperation agreement, she let Luaren throw the others under the bus.
I think Nancy got the better deal because Lauren was more involved with DOS which carries most of the sex charges. However, it still feels like she screwed her daughter….again! She created this beast and brought her children into it. What a mother.
Wow, how do you know? it is something that you do usually?
Frank, thanks for staying up late and keeping us abreast of the NXIVM legal proceedings.
It’s absolutely mind blowing that 2 of the most criminal members of NXIVM are getting the best deal.
I guess these legal proceedings in some way mirror the legal proceedings in RICO cases involving the mob.
Mobster Sammy the bull, John Gotti’s underboss admitted to killing 19 people in his plea bargain and was only sentenced to a 5 year prison sentence; after cooperating as a witness.
In the grand scheme of things, I am just happy Keith Raniere will definitely be going to prison.
Good point, Niceguy, about Sammy the Bull.
And I agree – convicting KAR in any way possible is more important to me that how the others plead or are sentenced. To me, it’s all secondary.
You wouldn’t be singing that tune if a woman were heading up NXIVM and a bunch of men were her underlings.
Yes, I would. This has nothing to do with gender. It has to do with whoever happens to be the evil sociopath at the top orchestrating the ruination of lives.
Yes, I would. It’s not about gender. It’s about the evil sociopath at the top who orchestrated the ruination of so many lives. But for him, I doubt any of this would have happened.
Yikes – double post. Sorry!
I agree completely. Keith is the one responsible for the rapes, child molestations,possibly for the suicides, and disappearance of one woman.
im relieved more girls will not be raped or held captive sheer entitled lunacy