K.R. Claviger is Frank Report’s legal correspondent. He is known for his erudite analysis of the law as it is pertinent in the cases under review in this publication and also known for his concise analysis of various matters legal and otherwise. Here is some of the latter.
K. R. Claviger
Allison Mack’s sentence of three years is at the low end of what I originally considered to be a fair range (3-5). And given the agreed-upon sentencing guidelines range – which, quite frankly, I’m still puzzled about – Allison should consider herself very fortunate.
Perhaps the biggest winners in her sentencing are Lauren Salzman and Nancy Salzman because, given Allison’s sentence of 3-years, it’s hard to believe that either of them will get a sentence longer than that.
Without knowing what the sentencing guidelines will be in either case, I would now estimate that they’ll each get 2-3 years – with Nancy possibly getting more than Lauren because of her lack of cooperation.
Although Allison’s sentence doe not guaranty that Lauren will just get probation, I think it certainly sets a ceiling on her prison sentence and the prison sentence of Nancy Salzman. It’s hard to imagine that either of them will get more than two years.
Nancy Should Do More Time Than Allison
However it is possible that Nancy may not get a more lenient sentence than Allison because, insofar as I know, Nancy never did anything to help the prosecutors convict Raniere. I’m sure her lawyers will argue that her health should be a major factor in determining how long a sentence she gets – and it’s possible that Judge Garaufis will do just that.
I happen to be personally aware of some of the havoc and pain that Nancy caused several people – and in my opinion, she should get a longer sentence than Clare. Without Nancy’s help and commitment, Keith could never have pulled off the NXIVM/ESP scam for as long as he did.
Both Keith and Nancy used the EMs [Exploration of Meaning ”therapy’] to gather extremely personal information about people – and, while they may not have referred to it as collateral, they used that info in much the same way.
Also, when they deemed someone an enemy, the first thing they usually did is try to get some “dirt” on the person – which they could then use as leverage.
I do not think NXIVM/ESP victims should feel OK unless Nancy gets at least a 5-year sentence.
Mack Prison & Probation
Allison will not be going to Danbury (I think that’s where Lauren and Nancy will likely end up — assuming, of course, that they get any prison time). instead, Allison will most likely end up at FCI Dublin or at Victorville FPC in California.
After serving her sentence, if Allison violates the terms of her probation by participating in some fraudulent activity, it’s quite possible that she will be sent back to prison to serve the portion of her sentence that was forgiven via any “good time” she earned while she was incarcerated.
Allison was already named as a defendant in the civil lawsuit that was filed in the EDNY by eighty claimants(
Getting Into Drug or Alcohol Rehab to Reduce 12 Months of Time Served
Getting into a federal alcohol/substance abuse program is no longer automatic – and you can only get a 12-month sentence reduction if you are enrolled in a residential program.
Unless there was evidence in her Pre-Sentence Report that Allison Mack had an alcohol or substance abuse problem, she will very likely not get into such a program.
Questions about alcohol and drug use are a routine part of the interview that The Department of Probation conducts with defendants who plead out, such as Allison and defendants who are found guilty at trial like Raniere.
That’s definitely the time to get such information into the record.
Technically, it does not have to be in the Pre-Sentencing Report. However unless there was such a reference in there, it would be hard, for example, for Allison to get approved for a residential alcohol/substance abuse program – which is the only type of program that results in any reduction of sentence.
And while any federal prisoner can sign up for an alcohol/substance abuse program, it is far from automatic that all of those get approved for residential programs.
I don’t know what the exact percentages are but based on my experience, I’d estimate that fewer than 10% of applicants get approved for residential programs.
Raniere and Cosby Appeals
I’m not so sure that Raniere’s appeal will get resolved as quickly as Bill Cosby’s did. To begin with, Raniere’s case is in Federal court – which is generally slower moving on appeals. Then, there’s the fact that multiple issues were raised in Raniere’s appeal whereas Cosby’s appeal was laser-focused on the one issue.