Lauren Salzman to Be Sentenced July 28

Lauren Salzman

The key cooperating witness in the federal prosecution of Keith Alan Raniere, Lauren Salzman, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 28, 2021.

Here is the text of Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis’ order:

Full docket text:

ORDER: Defendant Lauren Salzman’s sentencing hearing is SCHEDULED for Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at 11:00 a.m.

The court DIRECTS the parties to adhere to the following schedule with respect to their pre-sentencing submissions:

Ms. Salzman shall file her objections, if any, to the Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”) by June 21, 2021; the Government and Probation Office shall file their responses to Ms. Salzman’s objections by July 2, 2021; Ms. Salzman may file a reply by July 9, 2021.

Additionally, the Government shall make its sentencing submission by no later than July 16, 2021; and Ms. Salzman shall make her sentencing submission by no later than July 23, 2021.

The Government shall submit any Victim Impact Statements by no later than July 16, 2021 and shall inform the court by July 23, 2021 whether any victims wish to attend the sentencing hearing and, if so, which of them wish to speak at the hearing.

Ordered by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on 5/28/2021. (Freund, Zachary)

***

Just as Allison Mack will have a busy June with the flurry of documents that need to be filed by the defense, prosecution and the Probation Department during the lead up to her sentencing, Lauren will be facing a similar July. Mack is scheduled to be sentenced on June 30.

If the judge continues to adhere to setting sentencing one month apart for the remaining two as yet unscheduled sentencings – of Kathy Russell’s and Nancy Salzman’s – we might see all six NXIVM defendants sentenced by the end of September.

It took more than two years for this sentencing date for Salzman to be set. She pleaded guilty to two felony counts — racketeering and racketeering conspiracy.

Her plea deal came on the heels of her mother’s, who fared on paper a little better than Lauren, walking away with a single felony – Racketeering Conspiracy.

In making her plea deal, Lauren chose to sign a cooperation agreement and testified for the prosecution during the Raniere trial which took place in May-June 2019.

In exchange for her “truthful testimony” against Raniere, the prosecution agreed to inform the sentencing judge that Lauren provided truthful testimony and assisted the prosecution of Raniere – and, perhaps most significantly, not to recommend a specific sentence.

Typically, prosecutors recommend sentences to the judge that are higher than they expect to get, as an antidote to the defense who argue for lighter sentences.

In Lauren’s case, the only recommendations the judge will get will come from the defense attorneys and the Probation Department. The Probation Department is technically under the judiciary and is supposed to be separate and distinct and acting independently from the prosecution.

The US Probation and Pretrial Services are located in every federal district and among its duties, it prepares a Pre-Sentencing Report for the judge to help him or her mete out a fair sentence.

When Lauren testified she told the jury about her cooperation agreement, informing them that she faced up to 20 years in prison for her charges. [Actually, she faces up to 40 years, for the judge could sentence her to consecutive sentences – both racketeering charges come with a 20 year maximum sentence.]

Lauren Salzman leaves court

It was on the witness stand that the public learned about Salzman’s story of her 20-year relationship with Raniere, starting in 2001.

She became one of Raniere’s closest women – and participated in numerous consensual sexual activities with him. She testified that this occurred sometimes with him alone and also with other women, notably the late Pamela Cafrirz, who has been described as the keeper of the harem.

Raniere nicknamed Lauren as “Forlorn” or “Lorn” because, he said, she had a self-indulgently sorrowful disposition.

During the trial, Lauren told a “forlorn” story of how Raniere kept promising to father a child with her – but only when she achieved the “ethical standard” approximating his, thereby demonstrating she was worthy.

Since Lauren believed Raniere had achieved a uniquely high ethical standard, he was the sole arbiter of whether she ever achieved the standard, which, she disclosed, he never felt she did.

Salzman came to work full-time for the company, then called Executive Success Programs, a few years after its inception. Her mother, Nancy, was the titular head, and Lauren soon became a teacher, recruiter and, in time, a member of the executive board.

She was in charge of education for NXIVM.

The executive board of NXIVM at V-Week 2014: L-R Clare Bronfman, Karen Unterreiner, Lauren Salzman, Emiliano Salinas, Alejandro Betancourt, and Mark Vicente.

She bought a house and built a room for a nursery in it with the hope that she would be judged worthy to be the mother of Raniere’s child.

She lost the chance at motherhood with Raniere for several years, she testified, because she happened to roughhouse with another man at a volleyball game. The roughhousing involved her jumping on top of the other man on the volleyball court in a playful manner.

During her testimony, Salzman said that she was a member of Raniere’s “inner circle” which she noted included 25 people. She also testified that before they had engaged in any sexual activity, Raniere offered to help her evaluate what her perfect weight was – and, in order to do that, the scientifically minded Raniere required to see her in her underwear.

She also testified that when Raniere first started to pay attention to her, she was living at her mother’s house. Raniere advised her to move out of her mother’s house, but not to tell her mother it was his idea. At the same time, he advised her mother to push Lauren to move out of the house but to not tell Lauren it was his idea.

Soon after she had her own apartment, Raniere was able to persuade the bright, young attractive woman to abandon her earlier dream of seeking a husband and having children and instead, to be part of something much more rarefied – to be part of his harem – where it seems, he suggested, she would be his number one woman – since it was she that he proposed to have a child with.

The “Inner Circle” of NXIVM/ESP

In February 2017, Salzman became the last of the “first line” masters to be invited into DOS.  She soon became DOS’s top recruiter. In fact, it was one of her recruits, Sarah Edmondson, who was the first to break the vow of secrecy and tell the Frank Report of the existence of DOS.

DOS First-Line Slaves

Lauren was with Raniere when he was arrested in Mexico on March 26, 2018. On July 24 of that same year, she was arrested herself.

She also testified that she was with Raniere during the harrowing moments when several men, some of them in the uniform of the Mexican Federal Police, took Raniere in handcuffs from the Mexican seaside villa that he and several of his slaves were residing in.

It was an ironic change of fortune. On that very day, Salzman was to participate with four other women in a “recommitment ceremony” to relaunch DOS, which had ceased to brand women or recruit since Frank Report revealed its existence in June 2017.

As part of the ceremony – and indicative that DOS really was, at least in part, a sex cult – the five women recommitting were to jointly perform fellatio on Raniere, the leader of DOS.

MK10ART’s painting of the recommitment ceremony that was planned for Keith Raniere with his slaves. Lauren Salzman is portrayed kneeling to the left.

The upshot of the ruined ceremony is that instead of experiencing an event to ring in the rebirth of DOS, Raniere’s life of freedom and sexual encounters with women ended. He was expelled from Mexico, arrested in the US, failed to win the judge’s consent to be granted bail, was convicted at trial, and was sentenced to 120-years in federal prison.

His loyal financier, Clare Bronfman, was sentenced to 81 months for far less serious charges than Salzman pleaded guilty to.

Clare Bronfman: July 25, 2018. Photo by Mary Altaffer/AP

However, unlike Bronfman, Salzman was a cooperating witness and her role in the trial was powerful and emotional.

During her cross-examination by Raniere’s defense attorney, Marc Agnifilo, Salzman began to weep inconsolably and Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis chose to stop Agnifilo from questioning her further.

The weeping occurred after Agnifilo began a line of questioning that was clearly designed to impeach her by showing that the reason she pled guilty and was now testifying against Raniere was to get her out of the trial – and save her from a lengthy prison sentence and not because she or Raniere was guilty. He did this by attempting to elicit from her that she did not have criminal intent.

On the witness stand, as she wept and appeared to be near a breakdown into hysteria, Lauren was about to, and arguably did admit that she had no criminal intent. Intent is one of the elements needed to prove the crime of racketeering.

Her admission might have unhinged her cooperation agreement, which required her to admit she knowingly, willfully and intentionally committed racketeering acts as part of the criminal enterprise that was run by Raniere and his 25-member inner circle.

The very last question she was asked on cross-examination was: “What was your intention when you were in DOS?”

Salzman said, “My intention was to prove to Keith that I was not so far below the ethical standard that he holds that I was – I don’t even how far below I am. I was trying to prove my self-worth, and salvage this string of hope of what I thought my relationship might some day be, and I put it above other people, helping them in their best interest. That’s what I did when I was in DOS.”

At this point, the judge interrupted and said “Okay, that’s it. We are done.”

Marc Agnifilo

After Lauren was excused, Agnifilo said to the judge, “I don’t know why Your Honor cut off my cross-examination.”

 

 

Judge GaraufisJudge Nicholas G. Garaufis responded:

“If you want to know, you went way over the line as far as I’m concerned with regard to this witness. You could have asked your questions and moved on to the next question, but you kept coming back, and I am not going to have someone have a nervous breakdown on the witness stand in front of – – excuse me, this is not DOS. This is not the allegations. This is a broken person, as far as I can tell.

“And whether she’s telling the truth, whether the jury believes her. I think it’s absolutely necessary that there be a certain level of consideration for someone’s condition And that’s really what this was. You had plenty of – if you have other things to say, you could have gone on and said them. But what I had here was, I had a crisis here. And not in my courtroom.

“I have to sentence this defendant and what you did was, basically, ask her to make legal judgments about whether what she did in pleading guilty was farcical that she took somebody else’s advice, some lawyer, so she could get out from under a trial. I thought that really went pretty far beyond the pale, frankly.”

Agnifilo: Your Honor, I –

Judge: I took her guilty plea, sir. All right?

Agnifilo: I am not trying to argue with you. I am not trying to argue with you.

Judge: Then don’t argue with me.

Agnifilo: No –

Judge: You can take your appeal if you should not be successful. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. I thought it was extremely excruciating. When I tried to cut off the line of questioning, you just went right back to the line of questioning. You could have gone on to something else. You could have. I may not get everything right up here, but I will tell you, as a human being, it was the right decision. Alright? And before I’m a judge, I’m a human being. And that goes for everybody in this room, and it includes you and the Government. And I am not going to allow someone to be placed in this circumstance and that let it continue. I am the one who is disappointed. I’m done.”

Keith Raniere’s appellate lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean.

According to Raniere’s appeal filed with the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the cutting off of Lauren Salzman’s testimony is a major issue that demands the reversal of Raniere’s convictions.

In that appeal, Raniere’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, wrote: “The district court’s abrupt termination of defense counsel’s cross-examination of Salzman before the jury interfered with Defendant’s right to a fair trial and his right to confront the government witness, including on the subject matter of whether Salzman pled guilty because she was actually guilty.

“Defense counsel promptly moved for a mistrial on account of the district court cutting off his cross-examination, identifying a number of areas of cross that Defendant was unable to confront the witness with including: (1) the impact of her potential jail term on her decision to cooperate; (2) certain other facts she learned in discovery that caused her in hindsight to view Defendant and DOS differently that she did at the relevant time; (3) certain specific portions of the tape recordings she heard of meetings between Defendant and other DOS members, and (4) other aspects of her plea agreement and her cooperation.”

Keith Raniere’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, quoted legal scholar John Henry Wigmore in her appeal. Wigmore said, “Cross-examination is beyond a doubt the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.”

Bonjean continued in the appeal, “Defense counsel’s line of questioning was appropriate and proper. Indeed, the court directed the witness to answer the question posed by defense counsel over the government’s objection prior to ending the examination. The district court judge later suggested that defense counsel had done something inappropriate by asking the witness questions probing whether she truly intended harm in connection with the charges to which she pled guilty. The court appeared overly concerned that the witness might answer defense counsel’s questions in a manner that contradicted her guilty plea and suggested that defense counsel should have shared that concern.

“Quite to the contrary. Defense counsel had every right, indeed an obligation, to test the veracity of Salzman’s testimony, including through bias and motive. The district court did not enjoy the discretion to curtail cross-examination so as to prevent the jury from hearing facts bearing on the witness’s credibility…

“The district court impermissibly intervened in the fact-finding process during a central line of cross-examination. The prejudice suffered by the Defendant was exacerbated where the jury was left with the false impression that defense counsel had done something so improper as to justify the draconian punishment of forfeiting his cross examination along with a tongue-lashing by the court. In reality, defense counsel was doing his job, cross-examining a cooperating witness in an attempt to discredit her.”

Keith Raniere now resides in the building behind this fence at USP Tucson.

Today, Raniere sits in USP Tucson, a sex offender prison. Clare Bronfman was last known to be residing at the Federal Detention Center in Center City, Philadelphia.

How severely or leniently the judge will mete out punishment for Lauren Salzman, a woman he said appears to be a “broken woman”, is something we shall likely have to wait until the end of July to learn.

The fact that the government is not going to weigh in on her sentencing probably means they will not be soliciting victims to speak at her sentencing hearing as they did for Raniere and Bronfman.

That might be most helpful to her. However, that does not mean purported victims are not permitted to speak. Any person who considers herself to be a victim of Salzman may request the right to speak at sentencing. And they can also write letters directly to judge Garaufis to express their experience with — and feelings about — Lauren.


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Frank Parlato

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  • If she is about 43, probably not much chance of ever having a child. Never let yourself be strung along with promises if that’s an aim.

  • Hey Frank, could you please run her complete testimony again? It was actually a really good read.

  • I thought— I guess I am remembering incorrectly, but I thought Lauren had the breakdown when Agnifilo questioned her about Daniella being shut in that room. And then Keith kept writing post-it’s and handing them to Agnifilo and then Lauren broke down. Does anyone remember this?

    At any rate, I have to say it sounds like they have a good point. The way Raniere’s new lawyer explained it — Jennifer — it does sound like it was unfair. But then why didn’t Ranieres lawyers pick it back up with Lauren afterward?

    I guess it might’ve looked bad to do that after the chewing out they got from Garaufis?

    Anyway, good article!

    • Although Agnifilo objected to being shut down for the day with regard to his cross-examination of Lauren, he did not attempt to recall her the next day. Instead, he filed a “Motion for Mistrial” that was promptly turned down by Judge Garaufis.

      I would be shocked if the prosecution doesn’t mention Agnifilo’s failure to recall Lauren in their response to Keith’s appellate brief (My understanding is that she was in the Witness Room the next morning — and ready to re-take the stand). In the end, I think that failure will result in the Second Circuit turning down this aspect of his appeal.

      BTW, 99% of the argument/discussion between Agnifilo and Judge Garaufis took place after the jury members had been excused for the day and left the courtroom. Thus, claiming that their argument/discussion negatively affected the jury is the kind of fact-stretching that really pisses off appellate judges.

      • K.R. Claviger-

        “Thus, claiming that their argument/discussion negatively affected the jury is — kind of fact-stretching.”

        Yep! Keith and his friends are in desperation mode, using the cliché: throwing shit on the wall hoping something will stick.

        Sadly, when you throw a lot of shit on a wall…

        ….You end up with a lot of shit on the wall.
        It’s a concept even a [redacted] like Bangkok can follow. 😉

        ….Which of the NXIVM 5 will give up first?

        • Re “Sadly, when you throw a lot of shit on a wall…

          ….You end up with a lot of shit on the wall.”

          The Science Times

          HOME > CHEMISTRY
          Scientists Found A Way to Make Bricks Out of Poop That Reduce Biosolid Material by 30%
          Staff Reporter May 04, 2020 06:34 AM EDT

          Scientists have found a way to address two economic problems: the overabundance of biosolid waste and the unfeasible soil evacuation needed for conventional building materials.

          They have discovered a way to turn human waste into bricks that can be utilized for building. Although the finished product would contain about 75% of clay and only 25% using feces, doing so would still cut down approximately 30% of the biosolid material being released into landfills.

          The study conducted by researchers from RMIT University in Australia was published in the journal Buildings.

          The Problem With Biosolids
          Biosolids are also commonly known as ‘sewage sludge’. In simple terms, it’s the gunk that comes from the sewage. The United States Environmental Protection Agency says that when properly treated and refined, sewage sludge becomes biosolids which are organic materials packed with nutrients produced from wastewater treatment institutions.

          Wastewater treatment facilities control and monitor incoming wastewater streams to secure their recyclability and compatibility with the treatment plant process.

          Furthermore, biosolids can be recycled and used as fertilizer to stimulate plant growth and improve and maintain productive soils. The EPA adds that the effective management of sewage sludge and biosolids help establish that useful materials are recycled on land and potentially damaging materials are not released into bodies of water.

          However, controversy has arisen as the waste management industry was caught increasingly using a money-making alternative with biosolids. Some have been found to repackage the sludge as fertilizer and injecting it into the nation’s food chain.

          Now the toxic routine is behind an increasing number of public health problems. Spreading out toxin-filled biosolids on farmland is causing people to get sick, contaminating drinking water and filling crops, livestock and humans with everything from pharmaceuticals to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

          Providing a Solution
          According to the study, 30% of biosolids are unused and stockpiled. To address the problem, scientists have made prototypes of the clay bricks mixed with feces. They later on compared the material with traditional building materials.

          The results of the test found that the bricks were durable and would hold up the most rigid global building settlement. The production of the bricks also uses less energy than common building materials. It was found that they are better for insulation as well.

          The study also revealed that adding this extra material would also cut down on the amount of clay and sand that is used for building.

          Hemp has also been proven as a tenable building material. Hempcrete has also been a popular building material, using hemp hurds, water, and lime. It comes with several benefits, such as high vapor permeability, passive self-regulation of temperature and humidity, and it acts as a great insulator. Additionally, the material is non-toxic, does not use off-gassing and solvents, and it has good resistance to mold.

          Professor Abbas Mohajerani, a civil engineer in RMIT’s School of Engineering and one of the lead researchers in the study, said that this new process could help lessen both the overabundance of biosolid waste and the unsustainable soil evacuation needed for traditional building materials.

          https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/25563/20200504/scientists-found-way-make-bricks-out-poop-reduce-biosolid-material.htm#:~:text=They%20have%20discovered%20a%20way,material%20being%20released%20into%20landfills.

          • Anonymous-

            That’s fascinating stuff! I am not shitting you. 😉

            Seriously, I am always interested in scientific “anything”. Thank you for sharing.
            I appreciate it.

      • Claviger, OK, thanks for clarifying about the jury! That makes sense and it doesn’t get mentioned much — that they didn’t even witness that exchange.

        Cool. Thank you!

  • I believe Lauren will get 3 to 4 years.

    ***
    Dear Bangkok of Six,

    In a short time, you’ll find out how long your (future) paramour will be away from you. Presently, I know you’re suffering from anticipatory angst. Hang in there!
    Unbeknownst to Lauren, she is blessed to have a guy like you, waiting for her till she gets out. It makes Frank want to cry. ❤️

    Take care buddy! 😉

      • Yes! New photos too, please, if you have them. So many v-weeks. There has to be tons of yet unseen footage & stills.

        How was V-week not the biggest red flag?

        What non megalomaniac ever orders, “clear your schedules for a week to ten days and pay up to celebrate me with your rehearsed performances and prostrating your self publicly to pay me homage”.

        Totally normal. So humble. Very generous of Keith to allow his “friends” this opportunity to pay for this excessive adulation of his porcine, furry, con artist self.

  • What did it take to alert Lauren to the fact that Raniere is a child molester?

    1.) Mexican Federales with machine guns pointed at her head.
    and
    2.) Pictures of Raniere with a 15 year old girl.

    What will it take to alert the American people to the fact that Joe Biden is a child molester?

    ‘I love those barrettes in your hair.. she looks like she’s 19 years old.. with her legs crossed.’

  • Lauren was so young when her mother, Madam Nancy Salzman, the old salt, hauled her into this entire lifestyle.

    Essentially waiting on Raniere, as well as serving her mother, has encompassed Lauren Salzman’s entire adulthood, whatever that is and never was.

    Considering that aspect of the circumstances always as a factor, Lauren has already lived a life in HELL.

    Yet, how could Lauren Salzman submit to it? She could not be so dense as to have completely ignored the inherent wrongness of so many of her own actions, words and/or thoughts and emotions.

    Did she not hear her conscience, for twenty years or so?

    Does one deny feeling some sense of compassion for Lauren Salzman, who lived and worked her life away in vain?

    What about her mother? Madam Nancy Salzman, ah yes. What about Mommy Dearest?

    She conjures up every imagining of what it would be, what it TAKES, to be the very opposite of a true and a loving mama of any sustenance at all to anyone, ever.

  • There are many manipulative reasons why Raniere was never going to have a baby with Lauren. Never. Ever.

    One big reason was Nancy. No matter how much nefarious activity Nancy let slide or turned a blind eye to with her adult daughter, a newborn grandchild may have been a different story.

    Keith would never have risked it.

    But mostly Keith could not jeopardize any of these enslaved women leaving him because of a child (like K.K. did).

    Abused women will often put up with an enormous amount of personal abuse, but get a backbone when it comes to how the abusive relationship will affect their child. And then they will find the courage and will to leave their abuser.

    Keith also could not tolerate if he was not the very most number 1 important person. A child would change the level of devotion and time given to Keith by his slaves.

    Why wasn’t Marianna a front-line slave btw?

    Plus. Fat. Can’t have the harem girls put on pregnancy pounds. And how do you explain to a doctor why you are pregnant and also so malnourished?

    Better to just string ’em all along. The timing was never going to be right to start a family with DOS slaves.

    • And further along similar lines, Nancy Salzman fucked Keithy-Weethie before he ever got his schlong into Nancy’s daughter, Lauren, or maybe even onto or into Nancy’s other daughter. The one who was not arrested and is still stuck, deep in the sheep shit.

      Bah bah bah. Who’s a sucker and who is just all busy living down and dirty as if it were scripture?

      How weird is that? Stuck together in their very own self-made utopia at last!

      Who can forget
      Kissy-face? Liquid breakfasts never ended for Keith and Nancy, huh?
      He had habits to maintain, vaginas to see.

      Where are the barf bags? Oh my goodness.

    • Very interesting point, that having a child that was also Nancy Salzman’s grandchild, probably would have lead to the sort of complexities Raniere wanted to avoid, and so there was never any chance of it happening.

      Among his few actual, psychopathic, skills, Raniere seems to have been rather adept at juggling the dynamics of his harem, and pitting the women against one another – though perhaps until nearly the end, he relied on Pam Cafritz to orchestrate a lot of the nuanced manipulation (and then was hamstrung after she was gone). I wonder how much he relied on maintaining a particular dynamic between, and with, the Salzmans.

  • Lauren Salzman’s sentencing will be interesting. She is guilty of two serious felonies and was a top recruiter for DOS. It was the heinous criminality of the DOS sex cult that brought down Raniere and earned him a 120 year prison term.

    Clare Bronfman got seven years for relatively minor offenses. Well above what anyone expected. I can’t see Salzman getting a lighter sentence than Bronfman’s. Bronfman had no direct involvement with DOS and is only guilty of identity theft and harboring an illegal alien.

    In spite of Salzman’s cooperation, she might get sentenced to 10 or 12 years in prison. Which is a lot less than the 40 year maximum.

About Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato Investigates

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 featured prominently on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and acted as lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” 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 has 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, which was ironic since many credit Parlato as being one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

If the whole world stands against you sword in hand, would you still dare to do what you think is right?

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