Nancy Salzman always longed to be in the limelight.
That’s one of the reasons she started lying about her credentials so that could she get higher-profile work than her 2-year nursing degree qualified her to do (She also liked the additional money she could earn by claiming credentials and experience she didn’t have).
And it’s the primary reason she agreed to join up with Keith Raniere – and become the public face of the NXIVM/ESP criminal enterprise.
While she was serving as The Prefect within NXIVM/ESP, Nancy loved being in front of a group of people teaching them a new module that she and Keith had dreamed up.
While she served as the President of NXIVM/ESP, Nancy also developed a taste for high-end designer outfits, high-priced birthday parties, nice cars, and expensive wine.
But most of all, she got hooked on the adulation and attention that she garnered from those who signed up to take NXIVM/ESP courses.
Things Changed Quickly for Her
Nancy’s life changed dramatically after Keith Raniere was kicked out of Mexico – and arrested by U.S. law enforcement officials back on March 26, 2018.
Just one day later, FBI agents showed up with a search warrant at her home at 3 Oregon Trail in Waterford, NY.
And before the day was over, those agents had seized more than $520,000 in cash as well numerous computers, cameras, data-storage devices, mobile phones, and documents.
After that, Nancy pretty much disappeared from sight until she was arrested on July 24, 2018 – and charged with one count of Racketeering Conspiracy.
Over the course of the next two years, rumors circulated that Nancy had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone a double radical mastectomy – which many found to be ironic given that Nancy used to preach that women developed breast cancer “as a result of low self-esteem” or “as a means of getting more attention”.
Nancy Was the First Defendant to Plead Guilty
While Keith’s other co-defendants generally appeared with him in person at various pre-trial hearings, Nancy was often allowed to appear by phone because of her ongoing medical treatments.
Perhaps not seeing Keith allowed Nancy to think more clearly than the other co-defendants – or perhaps she was, as usual, just looking out for herself.
Whatever the reason or reasons, Nancy was the first to plead guilty in the case – when on March 13, 2019, she stood before U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis and admitted that “…some of the things I did were not just wrong, but sometimes criminal”.
Unlike most of the others who eventually entered into some sort of plea deal agreement with the prosecution, Nancy simply pleaded guilty – and hoped that by being the first to do so, she would be treated leniently.
At the hearing at which she entered her guilty plea, Nancy was forced to make several admissions on the record. This included the fact that she had only earned an Associate’s Degree rather than the Master’s Degree that she previously claimed to have earned.
At the time Nancy pled guilty, the second superseding indictment in the case had not been unveiled. It was in that second superseding indictment that the predicate acts of Possession of Child Pornography and Sexual Exploitation of a Minor were added to the count of Racketeering against Keith.
In conjunction with her guilty plea, Nancy admitted to committing two racketeering acts: i.e., Conspiracy to Commit Identity Theft – and Conspiracy to Alter Records for Use in an Official Proceeding.
Moira Kim Penza, the lead prosecutor in the case, read into the record the specifics of what Nancy had done in conjunction with each of the predicate acts:
“As to Racketeering Act 2-A, conspiracy to commit identity theft, the government would prove at trial that in or about and between August 2005 and November 2008, in the Northern District of New York and elsewhere, the defendant agreed with one or more persons to possess and use, without lawful authority, and in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce, one or more means of identification of one or more persons by which – and here, that she agreed to obtain the user names and passwords for email accounts of various people who were perceived to be enemies of the enterprise or NXIVM using the Internet. And, second, that the defendant did so with the intent to commit and to aid and abet and in connection with the activity that constituted one or more violations of federal law and there that she intended to use the usernames and passwords to unlawfully surveil the email accounts of those enemies in violation of Title 18 United States Code Section 2511 and Title 18 United States Code Section 2701.
As to Racketeering Act 3, conspiracy to alter records for use in an official proceeding, the government would prove at trial that in or about and between February 2008 and March 2015, in the District of New Jersey and elsewhere, the defendant agreed with one or more persons to corruptly alter, destroy, mutilate and conceal one or more records, documents and other objects. Here, video recordings of Nancy Salzman teaching NXIVM classes and that the defendant did so with the intent to impair such object’s integrity and availability for use in an official proceeding, here so that it would alter the tapes for use that were to be provided in discovery in the NXIVM Corp. versus Ross Institute case.”
At the hearing, Judge Garaufis reviewed the “Plea Penalty Sheet” – which, among other things, listed the penalties that could be imposed on Nancy in conjunction with her guilty plea. These included a prison sentence of up to 20-years; a maximum fine of $250,000; a $100 special assessment; and restitution of each victims’ losses – and criminal forfeiture of assets – as determined by the court.
The “Plea Penalty Sheet” also indicated that per the applicable sentencing guidelines, Nancy could be imprisoned for 33-41 months. It was later determined that an error had been made in the original calculations – and that the correct sentencing range was 41-51 months.
Sentencing Day Brings a Few Surprises
Following a series of delays that were necessitated because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nancy was finally scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Garaufis on September 8, 2021.
In the run-up to that date in court, her attorneys attempted to keep the public from knowing what they had recommended for her sentence by filing their entire “Sentencing Memorandum” under seal.
But Judge Garaufis ordered them to file a redacted copy of that document – which they did just the day before she was sentenced (They still redacted large portions of the document – as well all of the letters-of-support that had been submitted by her family members, her friends, and some former NXIVM/ESP students).
Following Nancy’s sentencing, Judge Garaufis ordered her attorneys to file an explanation for every redaction they had made in her Sentencing Memorandum. Following his review of those explanations, Judge Garaufis has now order Nancy’s attorneys to “unredact” large portions of their prior filing – and to file the revised document by Wednesday, October 6th.
As it turns out, Nancy’s attorneys had asked Judge Garaufis to sentence Nancy to two years of home confinement in lieu of any time in prison.
In justifying that recommendation, her attorneys basically blamed Keith for everything that Nancy may have done wrong while she headed up the NXIVM/ESP criminal enterprise for almost two decades.
According to them, Nancy was “…fooled, controlled, humiliated, and ultimately led to engage in criminal conduct” by Keith – whom they described as “…an egotistical, self-important sex fiend”.
And while many expected that Nancy’s sentence would likely not include any prison time – especially after her daughter, Lauren, only received 5-years of probation in conjunction with her guilty plea to one count of Racketeering and one count of Racketeering Conspiracy – Judge Garaufis ordered her to be incarcerated for 42-months.
In addition, he also imposed a $150,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and 3-years of post-release supervision. And while he did not impose any restitution requirements on her, Judge Garaufis did require Nancy to forfeit all of her ownership interest in several properties, the $520,000 in cash that was seized from her home, and the companies that owned the assets of NXIVM/ESP.
More Surprises May Be on the Way
During her sentencing hearing, Judge Garaufis asked Nancy whether she had violated her original bail conditions by, among things, staying in touch with known members of NXIVM/ESP – or continuing to provide counseling services and conducting Explorations of Meaning (EMs).
And while Nancy denied committing any such violations, it appears that Judge Garaufis may not have believed her.
In the final judgment that he filed on September 28, 2021, Judge Garaufis set the following “Special Conditions” for Nancy while she is under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Department:
- THE DEFENDANT SHALL NOT ATTEMPT TO CONTACT IN PERSON, OR COMMUNICATE WITH BY LETTER, TELEPHONE, ELECTRONIC MEANS, OR THROUGH A THIRD PARTY, ANY INDIVIDUAL (OTHER THAN IMMEDIATE FAMILY) WITH AN AFFILIATION TO EXECUTIVE SUCCESS PROGRAMS, NXIVM, DOS OR ANY OTHER NXIVM-AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS; NOR SHALL THE DEFENDANT FREQUENT ANY ESTABLISHMENT, OR OTHER LOCALE WHERE THESE GROUPS MAY MEET PURSUANT, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, A PROHIBITION LIST PROVIDED BY THE PROBATION DEPARTMENT; and
- THE DEFENDANT SHALL COOPERATE WITH THE U.S. PROBATION DEPARTMENT IN THE INVESTIGATION AND APPROVAL OF ANY POSITION OF SELF-EMPLOYMENT, INCLUDING ANY INDEPENDENT, ENTREPRENEURIAL, OR FREELANCE EMPLOYMENT OR BUSINESS ACTIVITY. IF APPROVED FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT, THE DEFENDANT SHALL PROVIDE THE U.S. PROBATION DEPARTMENT WITH FULL DISCLOSURE OF HER SELF-EMPLOYMENT AND OTHER BUSINESS RECORDS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ALL OF THE RECORDS IDENTIFIED IN THE PROBATION FORM 48F (REQUEST FOR SELF EMPLOYMENT RECORDS), OR AS OTHERWISE REQUESTED BY THE U.S. PROBATION DEPARTMENT.
According to multiple eyewitnesses, Nancy was already violating at least one of those “Special Conditions” within hours after her sentencing (This involved a meeting with several known members of NXIVM/ESP).
The Frank Report has also heard rumors that Nancy has been carrying on her counseling and EM business both before – and after – her sentencing – and we are currently attempting to get eyewitnesses to verify whether those rumors are true.
Based on her sense of self-importance, it is almost inconceivable that Nancy will actually follow either of Judge Garaufis’ “Special Conditions” – both during the period of time before she reports to prison and during the 3-year period after she is released.
She is, after all, The Prefect…
Note: Nancy’s attorneys have already filed notice that they intend to appeal her 42-month sentence to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Exactly what they think is inappropriate about a sentence that is well within the applicable guidelines remains to be seen but it is one more indication that Nancy Salzman still thinks she’s “Special”…