Nancy Salzman to Appeal Sentence; Might Stay Out of Prison Altogether

Nancy Salzman just prior to sentencing.

On Thursday, September 16th, Nancy Salzman’s attorney David Stern filed notice that his client intends to appeal her sentence.

Salzman was sentenced on September 8th by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis to 42 months for her conviction of one count of racketeering conspiracy.

In addition to filing notice of appeal of her sentence, Salzman asked Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis to recommend to the Federal Bureau of Prisons that she be permitted to serve her sentence at Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Danbury in Connecticut, a low to minimum security prison.

Her attorney wrote, “This letter is respectfully submitted seeking a recommendation from the Court to the Bureau of Prisons that Ms. Salzman serve her sentence at FCI Danbury in Danbury, Connecticut, so that Ms. Salzman can be close to her family in Albany and New Jersey. FCI Danbury is the closest correctional facility to that area that houses female inmates.”

The judge approved her request on Friday.

While federal judges do not determine the placement or designation of prisoners, the BOP, as an agency of the US Department of Justice, will certainly factor in the judge’s recommendation.

They will do this in part because it is assumed that the trial judge is knowledgeable about the character and propensities of the defendant, and has a desired input on the measure of punishment imposed by the BOP since he set the punishment and perhaps most significantly, the prosecutors from the DOJ, under which the BOP is managed, will be before this judge numerous times, seeking favorable rulings.

If the BOP did not approve the recommendation, it could conceivably be inviting a less congenial relationship with prosecutors.

According to attorney Alan Ellis, author of Federal Prison Guidebook, “Bureau statistics show that approximately 85 percent of the cases in which the defendant qualifies for the institution recommended by the judge, the court’s recommendation is honored.”

It is of course worth noting that the Bureau of Prison maintains statistics on the percentage of placing defendants where the judge recommends.

When sentencing Salzman, Judge Garaufis gave her four months to report to prison, citing her pressing obligation to care for her 90 plus year-old mother.

Salzman told the judge that she was the sole caretaker for her ailing mother, who lost her husband the month before.

The judge told Salzman that if she needed more time to make arrangements for her mother’s care,  to let the court know.

He also ordered that Salzman remain on home confinement as she has for the past three years since shortly after her arrest on July 23, 2018.

With the combination of an appeal of her sentence and the hardship of her mother, plus her own health conditions, it is possible that  Salzman might stay out of prison altogether.

Salzman, who suffered from breast cancer, resulting in two radical mastectomies, will likely ask the court to stay her sentence pending the appeal, her mother’s care and her own health needs.

The judge could postpone, or convert her sentence to home confinement or probation only.

If she does ultimately go to Danbury, located in southwestern Connecticut, she will either go to the low-security prison and be assigned to a prison cell or the minimum-security camp. If she gets the prison, she will join approximately 150 other women. Should she be placed in the camp, about 50 women will be her companions in a setting in an open dormitory setting.

Danbury also houses about 800 male inmates, who are segregated from the women.

In the past, Danbury housed high-profile inmates such as American retail businesswoman Martha Stewart, Grammy winner Lauryn Hill, Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice, and real estate investor Leona Helmsley.

It is also the prison where Piper Kerman served her sentence for money laundering. She wrote a book “Orange is the New Black,” and it is now a Netflix series.

Danbury Federal Women’s Prison

For 20 years, Salzman was the president of NXIVM, a purported self-help group in Albany, widely called a “cult,” and had the title of “Prefect” within the organization. She was widely viewed as the second-in-command to NXIVM co-founder Keith Raniere, who is serving a 120-year-sentence.

Nancy Salzman AKA Prefect often signed her emails to Keith Raniere “love and wet kisses.”

In the wake of revelations about a secret women’s group called DOS, a federal criminal investigation into Raniere and his associates began, leading to Raniere being apprehended in Mexico in March 2018.

Salzman, along with Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman, Smallville actress Allison Mack, her daughter Lauren Salzman, and NXIVM bookkeeper Kathy Russell were indicted as co-defendants on various charges.

Bronfman was sentenced in September 2020 to 81 months and is now serving her sentence at FDC Philadelphia.

Mack was sentenced in June 2021 to 36 months and began serving her sentence at FCI Dublin on Monday.

Raniere was sentenced in October 2020 and is serving his 120-year sentence at USP Tucson.

Lauren Salzman, who was a cooperating witness who testified against Raniere at his trial, was given probation.

The prosecution in their sentencing memorandum recommended to the judge that he sentence Lauren leniently, writing, “She met with the government on dozens of occasions, both in proffers and in preparation for trial testimony, and answered all the government’s questions, including questions about crimes she committed, as well as criminal activity engaged in by her close friends and family members, including her mother.”

Russell is scheduled to be sentenced on October 6th.

The six NXIVM defendants, Upper Row: Kathy Russell, Keith Raniere, and Nancy Salzman. LowerRow: Allison Mack, Lauren Salzman, and Clare Bronfman

In her allocution to the court, Nancy Salzman described that she participated in criminal objectives including “illegal invasions of privacy against perceived critics,” “computer hacking… and other acts of improper prying,” and “to have others alter videotapes … we were required to turn over to our adversaries” in a civil case.

In Salzman’s sentencing memorandum, her attorney argued that “no legitimate sentencing goal will be served by imposing a prison sentence,” and that Salzman, being a 66-year-old woman “with serious health problems and pressing obligations to her ill and elderly parent” poses no danger to the public.

Unlike her daughter, who gave criminal evidence against her, Nancy Salzman did not provide criminal evidence against her daughter.

The prosecution recommended a harsh sentence for Salzman, asking the judge to sentence her at the upper range of the sentencing guidelines, which the judge did, handing her a 42 month sentence, which was one month more than the DOJ prosecutors asked for.

Salzman’s primary defense of her criminal conduct was that Raniere made her do it.

Despite her being six years older and the actual owner and president of NXIVM, she described her regrettable and illegal actions on her misguided faith and the coercive control of Raniere.

In her sentencing memorandum, Salzman’s attorneys wrote of her and Raniere, “Nancy Salzman is a 66 year old woman who for the most of the past twenty years has been fooled, controlled, humiliated, and ultimately led to engage in criminal conduct by an egotistical, self-important, sex fiend who told all who would listen about his (fake) solution for mankind’s problems.”

Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman when they were newly partnered in 1998.


Nancy Salzman and Keith Raniere


Keith Raniere [lower left] and Nancy Salzman were partners for 20 years, until their arrests in 2018.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • “ the second-in-command to NXIVM co-founder Keith Raniere, who is serving a 120-year-sentence.”

    His partner in crime, Nancy Salzman, got a mere 41-month sentence. Which she’s appealing!

    She should count her blessings. She ought to be serving 41 years, not 41 months.

    The reason her lawyers think she should get off scot-free? She’s old!

    She’s 66. Raniere’s 60.

    WTAF? Is this a joke?

    Salzman was up to her neck in this criminal conspiracy. For years. She planned it, she implemented it, she ran it. She was Raniere’s partner in crime. He couldn’t have done it without her.

    She’s guilty as hell. She’s a professional criminal. She had boxes stuffed full of cash in her house, for chrissake. Tell me again how that was all Raniere’s fault.

    Nxivm/DOS was not a one-man operation. The other people who planned, implemented, organized, and ran this criminal enterprise- for years- were not mere helpless automatons. They deserve serious prison time. And they are not receiving it.

    • So interesting how people refuse to see both sides of a topic. You make valid points in your post. I am capable of acknowledging this.

      I’d tell you again (like you’re asking), but you don’t care and you don’t pay attention. Your mind is made up. You’ve set up camp. You’ve gotten in line with your kind of sheep and you are never even going to consider anything other than what you continue to screech. So, screech on – just don’t ask me to (once again) give you something you have no intention of being open minded about.

  • Question for KRC:
    What would be the penalty for Nancy if she doesn’t show up at the prison at the date the court ordered and is arrested (as a fugitive) later?

  • I want to see her do her time. She’s got off very lightly with the sentence she’s been given, played games with her bail conditions, and is still playing games with the court.

  • Who is paying? Michelle Myers Salzman still runs coaching services, as well as Nancy. Nancy hid most of her money. Bronfman has millions. And Nancy’s rich brother-in-law supposedly is the CEO of a public company called Tofutti and I hear that he puts his money in life insurance policies and overseas bonds and spends cash galore. And let’s not forget all the nxivm ppl Nancy knows along the way who will pay her back.

  • Keith got 120 years. Nancy got 3.5 years. How can she say her sentence was too much? If anything, Keith has a right to complain over Nancy!

  • Nancy is a liar. Steve Kass of Tofutti – which is based in Cranford NJ where Lorraine Loshin, Nancy’s mom lives – has his company in the same town of Lorraine, right down the road 5 mins away. And Nancy Salzman’s sister, Carole Kass, lives 30 mins away from Lorraine too. Is Carole a deadbeat daughter of Lorraine? Carole is retired and has plenty of time, albeit that Carole is a bit “aloof” mentally. And Lauren and Michelle also are free to take care of Lorraine. And how many other millions of sick elderly people get home health aides? And what about all the granddaughters and grandsons who live in NJ too? They visit Lorraine often.

    • Sounds like family drama BS. All I can say is I worked with said brother in law Mr. Kass and couldn’t wait to get away. He’d sell his own mother let alone m-i-l. What a boss from hell. No one ever has good ideas unless they’re his. He’s a nerdy guy who thinks no one knows as much as he does and tried to act like hes everyone’s hero. Creeped me out.

  • K.R. Claviger,

    What do you put the odds at of Nancy receiving a lighter sentence?

    Inquiring minds would like to know.


    • Agreed!
      Take responsibility
      Make the best of it
      Teach other inmates life skills, English or whatever necessary to help them

      • Nancy’s ‘skill’ is the EM which she should be prohibited from practicing on anyone ever. ‘Life skills’ – that’s a big fail for anyone involved in nxivm. Look where their patented ‘life skills’ got any one of them.

  • “high-profile inmates such as American retail businesswoman Martha Stewart”…..Stewart did her time in Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia. She was never in Danbury, CT

  • In the Scientology critic community, we’ve had no criminal indictments on the criminal leadership of Scientology since the late 1970’s when Hubbard’s wife and 11 others were sent to federal prison. With even more murders made to look like suicides since, and many other serious Scientology felonies whose victims have never seen justice, antiScientologists and the families of the victims burn for the day when law enforcement finally acts on David Miscavige and the others responsible.

    But reading over these comments, it’s clear that criminal indictments, criminal trials, criminal convictions and even imprisoning people for life doesn’t quell the lust for vengeance.

    I see no closure here.

    Even commenters who claim to be in the legal profession re-classify the civil rights of convicted felons as “privileges” and “long to piss on the graves” of those sentenced to prison.

    So many here seem to take thier situation for granted.

    I’ve learned a lot since delving into the world of NXIVM vs Anti-NXIVM, but this lesson hits closest to home for me personally:

    “When you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”


    • You are my shining star of spiritual guidance, Alanzo!

      Burn brightly in the sky and lead us to Enlightenment!!!

      • Mine too. Alonzo is the spiritual advisor we were all longing for. He speaks the truth. As Alonzo mentions:

        Nancy Salzman is just an innocent old lady. Many saw her as a mother figure. How could they forget all the mother-dear things they did with her. She was weighing Ivy early in the morning every day. She did not get paid for this. She did it to help poor women who were gaining weight and becoming fat. Nobody would have liked a fat Ivy. You are welcome, Ivy!

        She also helped Dani, Cami, and Mariana to learn better English in the US. Sure they were not paid for any of their work and they were repeatedly raped by Keith. But did you know that women orgasm with rape?? So they got sex, orgasms, better English skills … all for free.

        People are so vindictive and money-driven. They forget so easily the mother-dear deeds this little old lady, Nancy, did for them.

        I am glad we have Alonzo as our spiritual guide to show us the light.

    • The best data about Alazno is that he is never, ever self-righteous or condescending.

      Never. Ever.

      Not once has data showed him to think himself better than everyone else. Especially not on the Frank Report.

      Objective data is that he NEVER thinks he’s better than the “anti-cultists.” He’s a model of humility, that Alanzo is.

    • Alonzo,

      Are you so pious as to forgive a child rapist? Commenters have a right to voice their feelings, just as you have a right to virtue signal, my sanctimonious friend.

      —But reading over these comments, it’s clear that criminal indictments, criminal trials, criminal convictions and even imprisoning people for life don’t quell the lust for vengeance.

      Attributing a blanket statement like,
      “lust for vengeance”, to all commenters is totally absurd. We aren’t superstitious witch hunters and hate mongers! I’m sorry if we hate child rapists and the women who assist him.

      You, my dear friend, are quite the unflinching hypocrite.

      You have attacked cult haters but, at the same time, you have tried to profit off of former cult members!!!!

      Busted, my profiteering buddy. What a greedy Gus you are!!!! 😉

      Why wouldn’t you volunteer your free time to assist the victims of Scientology?

      We hate criminals and you, Alonzo, want to profit off of the victims.

      LMAO of at you Alonzo!

      • Nice Guy,

        Garbanzo is a lost cause. Dude has written demands for justice posts about people that he THINKS MAY have been harmed by L. Ron. Buttfuck’s cult.

        Garbanzo is obsessed with the paranoid fantasies he harbors about Mike Rinder.

        But Garbanzo is judgey AF about others and quick with the overused quotes.

        When Garbanzo wants vengeance it’s righteous. If others desire accountability for proven lifetime criminals he mocks them.

        Bottom line…it’s like reasoning with a walnut.

    • It’s not a quest for vengeance, Alonzo.

      It’s a desire to keep innocent people safe from those who selfishly manipulate others and commit criminal and abusive acts in the process.

      If someone manipulated and abused your loved one, I’m sure you’d want that person kept from harm and wouldn’t wish the abuser just moved on to abuse a different person.

      Or would you?

      Should people not go to jail when they abuse and manipulate others to the point of breaking the law?

      • Yes. Of course they should.

        My point is that, for anticultists, even a 120 year prison sentence isn’t enough.

        It reminds me of a point made in a book by Roman Polanski’s victim of child rape. She says that nothing outside of you will ever give you closure.

        Besides the extremely dangerous bookkeeper, Kathy Russell, these guys are almost all “off the streets”.

        But is anyone here done?

        No. We’ll need to distribute hot pokers next, so everyone can stab Nancy with them through the bars of her jail cell.

        Do you think that’ll finally give the anticultists here closure?


        Very little of this is about justice.

        • You, as a non-victim, do not have the right to determine what is closure for a victim.

          Past inflicted pain is not something that just dies once some kind of external justice is served. A rape does not magically disappear, wasted time and youth do not reappear, trauma does not heal, etc., right when the sentence is doled out or a perpetrator goes to prison. There is no timeline for healing, and forgiveness may never be granted.

        • It’s interesting that Garbonzo quotes with agreement about one child rape victim – but mocks another (Cami).

          And why so much interest in female victims of a pedophile?

          Does Creeplanzo have a pedophile victim library? Why?

          What makes him the barometer of which little girl handled being raped by an old man “the best”? Or in a way Creeplanzo approves?

  • No matter how long, where or under what conditions her prison presents her, I think we can all agree that our Prefect really started her sentence with her first strip and cavity searches.

  • 42 months was less than I had hoped for but more than I was willing to accept as “OK”. Best of all, I know that with her attitude and personality, Nancy will suffer miserably every day she is incarcerated.

    I also think that Nancy may have made a mistake is asking to be assigned to Danbury. The fact that it’s close to Albany also means that it’s close to New York City – which means that lots of Nancy’s sister inmates – especially all the Chicana ones – will know all about her.

    In any event, another grave that I hope to live enough to piss on!

    • Joe-

      Just mail some letters to Nancy explaining who she is — the guards will read through them for security purposes— then share the information with the inmates as what usually happens. 😉

  • Almost everyone appeals.

    Who has been paying Nancy’s legal bills?

    Has the money been coming out of Clare Bronfman’s Nxivm legal fund thus far?

    • You’re correct, Sonorlax: except for the right to appeal a sentence that does not conform with the applicable law. Example: If Judge Garaufis sentenced Nancy to 21-years of imprisonment, that would be an improper sentence because, per the applicable statute, the maximum sentence for the crime to which she pled guilty is 20 years.

      In this case, Nancy is appealing her 42-month sentence – which is only one month more than the lowest figure in the correct Sentencing Guidelines for her case (i.e., 41-51 months). As a result, her appeal will undoubtedly be denied – albeit after she has spent another $250,000-$500.000 on legal fees and wasted a lot of other people’s time.

      Such are the privileges of being The Prefect…

  • Shouldn’t she get more time for communicating with Nxians a mere 4 hours after her sentencing? The judge let it go while she was on home incarnation. You’d think she’d watch herself. She’s got some set of elephant balls.

  • The story seems to not be totally accurate.

    Is Nancy Salzman the only one who can take care of her mother? She has a sister & brother-in-law who live in the New Jersey area.

    They have spent more time with Nancy’s mother while Nancy was playing Prefect for 20 years. But Nancy never mentions in court that they can look after their mother. Why is that, Nancy?

    The Judge told Nancy’s attorney Nancy had four months to figure out how best to deal with her mom’s situation.

    It was her health situation the Judge was willing to consider giving her more time, not her mom.

    What is known about Salzman’s health is she had foot surgery that didn’t go so well and wants to have it redone before going to prison as this was planned.

    John Tighe from the Saratoga in Decline blog who NXIVM sent to prison, he had cancer and still went to prison. Sick people go to prison all the time.

    Why should Nancy Salzman be any different? Prisons have medical care. If Nancy was really concerned, why not choose a prison that had better medical coverage if she is really that sick?

    • Carole Kass is Nancy’s sister – and she lives about 30 minutes away from grandma Lorraine, who btw, was also a nxivm member!!!! How is an Albany NY resident named Nancy need to drive the 3 hours to her mom Lorraine’s house in Cranford NJ, when her sister lives just 30 mins away in Central NJ? And Steve Kass, Carole’s husband, works at Tofutti, a company based in Cranford NJ that is only 5 mins away?

  • Bahahahahahaha…

    Get real, an appeal will take a long time.

    Nancy Salzman will start doing her time before her appeal even starts to be heard.

  • What a shoddy cloth such a woman is cut from, to go as low as using her mother’s age and health needs as a “get out of jail” card for over twenty years of her own misdeeds. None of Ms. Sleazeman’s current situation can serve as an excuse for her history with this cult.

    • Good intentions? We have so many good intentions that we can throw them away. There is no shortage of bad intentions in this situation.

      • “Good” was in quotes. This suggests not to take it literally, but facetiously. Words like “good” and “evil” only mean something within the context of an absolute, i.e., a criterion. Moral relativism is irrelevant since it is self-defeating.

        Thomas Aquinas asserted and argued for the idea that every human being chooses to do what is “good” and avoid “evil” for themselves. This is the fundamental precept of Natural Law ethics. However, that people do this does not necessarily qualify their actions with the objective meaning of those concepts (due to what was said previously), and because of the possibility of human error, i.e., sin, and free will.

        In Christian (and the other Abrahamic and some non-Abrahamic faiths) theology, God is the highest good. Even the superficial similarity of the two English words suggest their close conceptual association. If you choose a terrible standard for your measure, e.g., Vanfraud, Preject, etc., effectively as your “god”(s), then your “good” will likewise actually be terrible, your choices in life and treatment of others will reflect that, and so will your ultimate result.

        • I think you’ll find it’s the ROAD to hell that is paved with good intentions — hell is merely a fiery pit of some sort.

    • Nancy Salzman has forgotten her pets, whose needs she cares about as much as her elderly mother.
      That will really impress the appellate judges and spare her from prison.

      • You forgot about her plants. Now that she no longer has Kathy Russell around to tend to her garden for free, The Prefect has been getting her own hands dirty.

          • I do not believe Nancy’s appeal is any more “serious” than Keith’s appeal regarding the denial of a Preliminary Injunction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Just because you have the wherewithal to file an appeal does mean it has any merit.

        • Comment on: [ Because the reply button to the comment is missing].
          K.R. Claviger, September 19, 2021 at 7:53 am

          “I do not believe Nancy’s appeal is any more “serious” than Keith’s appeal regarding the denial of a Preliminary Injunction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Just because you have the wherewithal to file an appeal does mean it has any merit.”

          Nancy Salzman fights for the sake of fighting. Not necessarily because she believes she will be successful. It’s about her claim to follow her maxims. Never to give up. And never to give in. Relentless, just the way she is.

  • A possibility of no jail time? Theoretically perhaps. But there is also a possibility that the appeals court sentences her to more time.
    Justice matters……

    • Can an appeals court do that? Give Nancy Salzman more time because she is following the Legal Justice system.

      Salzman is filing her right to say the Judge was a big mean man doing his job and not giving her “time served”.

      So what if she has egg on her face. A little humble pie is good for the queen of NXIVM. It will get her ready for prison

      • “To StevenJ”
        Can an appeals court do that (increase the time)?

        No, I think they can’t in the States. But they can in my country. I mixed things up due to the whiskey I had last night. I’m sorry…..

      • The appellate court will simply affirm that the sentence was proper. It will not add on time for being arrogant and pompous. If it did take those aspects of Nancy’s personality into account, she might get a sentence as long as Keith’s.

        • The data of Alanzo’s posts prove that it is not a crime to be arrogant or pompous. Otherwise he’d be serving a life sentence in ADX Florence.

        • Claviger, do they have appellate waivers in federal court?

          If yes, did Nancy sign one as part of her plea deal?

          I know they are used in state court to foreclose excessive sentence claims, among others..

          And, although defendants still raise that claim on appeal, if the waiver is valid, the appellate court will not entertain the claim.

        • One could only wish Nancy’s personality would come into play regarding her sentencing.

          She would have gotten life without parole

          We can only dream

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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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083