Part 1: Allison’s guilty plea hearing: The judge explained her rights; the prosecution laid out charges they would have proved at trial

The following is from the transcript of Allison Mack’s plea hearing.

On April 8, 2019, Allison Mack appeared before US District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis in Brooklyn Federal Courthouse to withdraw her plea of not guilty to Counts 1 and 2 of the second superseding indictment and plead guilty to those two counts.

She signed a 10-page plea agreement that almost certainly encompassed a cooperation agreement in the case against remaining defendants: Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman and Kathy Russell.

Though scheduled for 11:30 a.m., the hearing began at 12:03 pm.

Her lawyers, Sean Buckley and William McGovern appeared with Mack.

Assistant US Attorneys Moira Kim Penza, Tanya Hajjar, and Mark Lesko with the US Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York appeared for the prosecution.

Here are excerpts from the hearing:

THE COURT:  Okay. Ms. Mack, your attorney advises me that you wish to plead guilty to Counts 1 and 2 of the second superseding indictment in which you were charged. This is a serious decision, and I must be certain that you make it with a full understanding of your rights and the consequences of your plea, and I am going to explain certain rights to you and then ask questions. I want your answers to be under oath. The deputy clerk will swear you in, ma’am.

Allison Mack was duly sworn.

THE COURT: Keep your voice up, okay.


THE COURT: Thank you.

Ms. Mack, you understand that having been sworn to tell the truth, you must do so. If you were to deliberately lie in response to any question I ask you, you could face further criminal charges for perjury. Do you understand that?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.


Allison was asked and she answered that she is 36 years old, has a high school diploma from Los Alamitos High School in California, is a US citizen, and English is her primary language.

To determine she had a “clear head,”, the judge asked, and Allison answered, that she is not currently or recently been under the care of a doctor or psychiatrist, was never hospitalized or treated for any drug related problem, and in the past 24 hours had not taken pills, drugs or medicine.  She had one beer the night before.

THE COURT: Is your mind clear as you stand here today?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.


The judge asked the prosecution to explain the charges against Mack and the elements of the crimes the government would have to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict her of Counts 1 and 2 of the superseding indictment.

AUSA Penza explained the government would prove at trial:

PENZA: … [B]etween 2003 and March 2018… an enterprise existed….  an ongoing organization that operated in the Eastern District of New York and elsewhere, whose members functioned as a continuing unit for the common purpose of achieving the objectives of the enterprise, which included obtaining financial and personal benefits … for members of the enterprise, by promoting Keith Raniere and recruiting others into pyramid organizations he created….

[T]he enterprise engaged in … selling courses to individuals in Brooklyn, Queens, other states, and outside the United States, that promoted Raniere’s teachings and recruiting individuals… to join the pyramid organizations….

[T]he defendant was ….  a member of the enterprise.… [and] participated in the enterprise through … racketeering activity….

As to racketeering act 10, state law extortion… between January 2016 and June 2017 …. the defendant compelled and induced Jane Does 5 and 8 to deliver personal property by instilling in them a fear that if the property were not so delivered, one or more persons would, one, expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule. And, two, perform an act which … was calculated to harm other persons materially with respect to their health, safety, business, calling, career, financial condition, reputation, and personal relationships….

[T]he defendant obtained property, including nude photographs and other things of value, from her lower ranked DOS slaves, having instilled in them the fear that if they did not, she or others would release their collateral…. to harm …  their reputation and personal relationships.

As to racketeering act 13, forced labor… between January 2016 and June 2017…  the defendant provided or obtained the labor and services of Jane Does 5 and 8, by means of serious harm or threats of serious harm …  intended to cause Jane Does 5 and 8 to believe that if they did not perform such labor or services, they would suffer serious harm….

[T]he defendant required her DOS slaves… to perform labor and services, including tasks that would otherwise be compensable under threat of serious harm, including release of their collateral….

[B]etween January 2016 and June 2017…   there was a scheme or artifice to defraud and to obtain money and property from lower ranking DOS slaves by materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations or promise…. and with specific intent to defraud …  the defendant used or caused the use of interstate wires [wire fraud]….

[T]he defendant received property and other things of value from lower ranking DOS slaves by falsely representing that DOS was an organization comprised of women alone and by deliberately concealing Keith Raniere’s role in DOS, and that the scheme involved the sending of electronic messages over cell phones.

The judge asked, “Ms. Mack, do you understand the charges against you in Counts 1 and 2 of the superseding indictment S-2?

She answered, “Yes.”


The judge discussed Mack’s rights and asked if she understood them.

She answered “yes, that she understood she had a right to:

  1. Plead not guilty.
  2. A speedy and public trial before a jury with the assistance of her attorneys.
  3. At trial, she would be presumed to be innocent
  4. She would not have to prove she was innocent.
  5. The government must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that she is guilty.
  6. Witnesses for the government would have to testify in her presence.
  7. Her attorneys would have the right to cross-examine these witnesses
  8. Her attorneys could offer evidence on her behalf and compel witnesses to testify.
  9. She had the right to testify in her own behalf, but cannot be forced to be a witness at her trial.

“If you wish to go to trial and choose not to testify, I would instruct the jury that they could not hold that against you,” the judge told Mack.

The judge explained that, if she chose to plead guilty she would be giving up her right to a trial and an appeal on the question of whether she did or did not commit the crimes.

The judge asked, “Ms. Mack, are you willing to give up your right to a trial and all the other rights I have just discussed with you?”

Mack said, “Yes, Your Honor.”

The judge referred to a 10-page agreement, with an attached Exhibit A.  It was the same length as the cooperation agreement that Lauren Salzman signed on March 25.

The judge handed it to Mack and her attorneys and asked both if she signed and understood it.  They answered yes.

The judge asked Mack, “Is there any other promise that’s been made to get you to plead guilty that is not contained in this agreement?”

Mack said, “No, Your Honor.”

The judge explained the “statutory penalties” for Count 1 and 2, racketeering conspiracy and racketeering.

THE COURT: Maximum term of imprisonment is 20 years. There’s no minimum term of imprisonment. The maximum supervised release term is three years now to follow any term of imprisonment….

The maximum fine is the greater of $250,000, or twice the gross profits or other proceeds of the enterprise. Restitution …  is mandatory, and it would be in the full amount of each victim’s losses as determined by the Court. … In addition, the sentence imposed on each count may run consecutively, that is, one after the other. [That means a maximum of 40 years.]

The judge said he would explain how sentencing worked:

THE COURT: Ms. Mack, in sentencing you, I am required to take into consideration a number of things about you and the crimes to which you are pleading guilty. When I do that, I will be directed to a guideline that will provide a sentencing range. I am not required to sentence you within the range provided by the guideline, but I am required to carefully consider the guideline recommendation, among other things, in deciding what would constitute a reasonable sentence in your case.…  In determining an appropriate sentence for your case, I will consider possible departures from that range under the sentencing guidelines, as well as other statutory sentencing factors.

I may ultimately decide to impose a sentence that is more lenient or more severe than the one recommended by the guidelines. … Do you understand that?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Okay. It is important to understand that no one knows today what your exact guideline range will be. You understand that?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT: …. You must understand that no one can make any promise to you as to the sentence I will impose. Your attorneys or the prosecutors may have made predictions to you and may make recommendations to the Court concerning the sentence I should impose, and I listen carefully to whatever they say. But you must clearly understand that the final responsibility for sentencing you is mine alone.….

I may not impose the sentence that they have predicted or recommended. Even if I sentence you differently from what the attorneys or anyone else has estimated or predicted, you would still be bound by your guilty plea and you will not be allowed to withdraw. Do you understand that?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.


THE COURT: Okay. So do you have any questions you would like to ask me about the charges or rights, or anything else related to this matter that may not be clear?

THE DEFENDANT: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Mr. Buckley, is there anything you would like me to discuss with your client in further detail before I proceed to formal allocution?

BUCKLEY: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Do you know of any reason why your client should not enter pleas of guilty to these two charges?

BUCKLEY: I do not, Judge.

THE COURT: Are you aware of any viable legal defense to these charges?

BUCKLEY: No, Judge.

THE COURT: All right. Ms. Mack, are you ready to plead?

THE DEFENDANT:  I am, Judge.

THE COURT:    Okay.  How do you plead to the charge contained in Count 1 of the superseding indictment, charging you with racketeering conspiracy; guilty or not guilty?

THE DEFENDANT: Guilty, Your Honor.

THE COURT: How do you plead to the charge contained in Count 2 of the superseding indictment charging you with racketeering; guilty or not guilty?

THE DEFENDANT: Guilty, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Are you making these pleas of guilty voluntarily and of your own free will?

THE DEFENDANT: I am, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Has anyone threatened or forced you to plead guilty?

THE DEFENDANT: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Other than the agreement with the government, has anyone made you any promise that caused you to plead guilty?

THE DEFENDANT: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Has anyone made you any promise about the sentence that you will receive?

THE DEFENDANT: No, Your Honor.

What followed then was Allison’s allocution which will be contained in the next post.


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Frank Parlato


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  • “racketeering act 13, forced labor, the government would show that in or about and between January 2016 and June 2017, in the Northern District and elsewhere” — pp. 9, line 6 – 8, Mack allocation Transcript.

    Did AUSA Penza misspeak saying Northern District and does it matter?

    • I don’t think so. The Northern District of New York contains Albany and Clifton Parks. So I do think she meant to say the Northern District. But I’m still not sure I understand why this is being tried in the Eastern District because so much of it took place upstate near NXIVM headquarters. If anyone knows I’d love to hear because I’m confused.

      • For purposes of proving that a “criminal enterprise” exists, it’s OK to cite criminal acts that occur in other jurisdictions (e.g., the NYC drug dealer who also sells his wares in New Jersey). If the act itself is being charged as a crime, it will – absent a waiver from the defendant – have to be tried in the jurisdiction where it occurred.

  • Well she really made a mess of her life.

    I remember back when Smallville was still airing hearing about this bizarre NXIVM connection. It was obvious from the first that it stank to heaven, and she was gonna get burned. Never thought she’d end up pleading guilty to two felony counts, admitting to profiting from a criminal organization, extortion, wire fraud, and all those other crimes the prosecution listed above. She’s screwed. And she has forfeited the right to appeal.

    From what I understand from this, they’ve got her under the RICO laws. Which means the government will seize everything she gained through her association with NXIUM. By the government’s accounting. Likely more than her total assets– which means a lien against her future earnings. Plus, I expect she’ll serve a prison term. As Judge Garaufis made clear to her, her confession is no get out of jail card. From what I’ve read of the sentencing guidelines, racketeering with no prior convictions earns nineteen “points”, which translates into 30-37 months prison time. Per count.

    Another interesting thing about this session in court was the terms of her bond continue unchanged until sentencing in five months’ time. House arrest, ankle bracelet, $5m bond. She’s already been confined like that for over a year. Better than a jail cell, sure, but it’s still a year and a half cooped up. This judge is not being lenient towards her. And her ultimate sentence is up to his discretion. I don’t envy her sweating it out for the next five months, with the nightmare of a possible 40 year jail term hanging over her head.

    • I’m overcommenting today but there are so few on this thread I’ll chime in on yours, Actaeon…

      I agree and am a bit baffled, too, how many view Allison’s potential sentencing as radically “light.” I wouldn’t last a week in prison myself (ergo wouldn’t intentionally do anything to put myself there). The, at least, 3 years Allison’s realistically liable to get at minimum is not a picnic.

      Plus what Allison’s already lost of her life — her best child bearing years, her once hot acting career, the humility and stigma of the ordeal, etc.

      Granted, Gina saw fewer free years than she all told, with far less “joy” in them in part bc of being raped so young by the same monster but neither, no one, deserved the ultimate misfortune of ever crossing paths with KAR, Nancy Salzman or their serious “students” of depravity in it for their own monetary gain.

      And some of those demons who suffered less if at all and selfishly gained far more than Allison will go entirely unpunished if the State and/or NDNY does not prosecute — which would make this, maybe any, prison time for Allison unjustly heavy not too light by comparison.

      IDK what these savages want…blood?

      • Agree fully…As far as what can be gathered, the only Reason they want this is that she was an actor.

        It’s a case of “she owe us everything”.

        I feel like acting was her passion at first but she didn’t like what was coming with it (which could explain why she prefered theater)

        She was supposed to go to London to study theater but cross the path of the beast…

  • I just want to add that I realize her crimes are monstrous and that she spent soooooooo long roaming the foam, debasing women.

    But I do reserve a soft spot for a canuck girl who pounds a beer instead of a Tom Collins or a sugar sweet shot or worse yet a “flight.”

  • One beer huh? Hell, that explains a lot. If she is drinking beer after weathering the clinically insane nxivm diet, she must be busting out of her pants like The Hulk when he feels angry.

    Plumping up indeed!

  • Wrong as usual shadow dissociated with reality state. As you now have read, Allison Mack plead guilty contradicting your obsessive comments months ago.

    • Hey lowlife, she didn’t plead guilty to anything sexual…This was in conjunction with AUSA so keep your perverted fantasm for yourself…old man.

    • considering that you have no evidence of that beyond what was published by Frank himself in this blog or what has been released by the feds, which mainly fulfills the purpose of creating a game board to his benefit in a trial, I must Cir shadow that you do not have anything at that point if they really had Allison and did not need some kind of agreement with her would not have ended up ceding the charges of sexual abuse.

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.

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