Whose Idea Was it to Try and Dupe Judge Garaufis – Nancy Salzman, Her Attorneys, or All of the Above?

As Frank Parlato has already reported, questions have arisen about several of the letters-of-support that were submitted on behalf of Nancy Salzman just prior to her sentencing on September 8th.

In all, 39 letters-of-support were submitted for Judge Garaufis to consider as he determined what would be an appropriate sentence for the second-in-command and the public face of the NXIVM/ESP criminal enterprise: 7 from members of Nancy’s family, 9 from a group of her friends, and 23 from former members of the NXIVM/ESP community.

Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis

Before we try to determine who was responsible for submitting so many questionable letters to the court, let’s step back and review some of the preceding events.

**********

Other Co-Defendants Submitted Letters-of-Support

All of Nancy’s co-defendants submitted letters-of-support as part of their individual Sentencing Memorandums. And in every case, the letters were submitted with few, if any, redactions.

Some letter writers had their names redacted. And no issues were raised about that being done.

*****

RE: Clare Bronfman

In Clare’s case, her Sentencing Memorandum included approximately 60 letters from family members, friends, former coaches, former teachers, former attorneys, people who were employed by her, and a smattering of fellow members of the NXIVM/ESP cult.

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

While, as I previously pointed out, many of the letters that were submitted on Clare’s behalf were not particularly helpful, her attorneys did not try to hide their contents by filing them “under seal” or by filing totally redacted versions of them.

*****

RE: Keith Raniere

Keith Raniere’s attorneys submitted 56 letters-of-support – only a few of which had the author’s name redacted. Once again, there were a few redactions in a couple of the letters but nothing that raised any issues or objections.

Keith Raniere

*****

RE: Allison Mack

Next up was Allison Mack whose attorneys proposed that rather than spending any time in prison, Allison simply be placed on probation or modified home confinement. In conjunction with that proposal, they submitted more than a dozen letters-of-support – all of which had the author’s name redacted and some of which had additional redactions or were filed “under seal”. Once again, no objections were raised by anyone concerning these letters-of-support.

Allison Mack

*****

RE: Lauren Salzman

Lauren Salzman’s attorneys filed more than two dozen letters-of-support on her behalf – almost all of which had the author’s name redacted (Many of those letters also had other sections redacted). And, once again, there was no hue and cry about any of the information that had been redacted.

Lauren Salzman 

**********

And Then Along Came Nancy

When it came time for Nancy’s attorneys to file their Sentencing Memorandum, there was a lot of speculation as to what would be included in that document.

Would Nancy follow in the footsteps of Allison and Lauren – and include her own letter to Judge Garaufis (Many courtroom observers believed that those personal letters were a significant factor in the judge’s decision to give both Allison and Lauren very lenient sentences)?

And how many letters-of-support would be submitted on behalf of Nancy (Chatter on the NXIVM/ESP grapevine indicated that Nancy had been pushing very hard to get more letters-of-support than any of her co-defendants had submitted)?

At long last, August 30th arrived – the deadline that Judge Garaufis had set for the filing of Nancy’s Sentencing Memorandum.

And then…nothing happened.

Or at least nothing showed up on PACER.

Not on August 30th, not on August 31st, not on September 1st, and not on September 2nd.

It wasn’t until September 3rd that we first got an inkling as to what was going on.

As it turns out, Nancy’s attorneys had, in fact,  filed her Sentencing Memorandum on August 30th.

They had just filed it “under seal” without asking for permission to do so.

On September 3rd, Nancy’s attorneys sent a letter to Judge Garaufis asking for permission to file a corrected version of their Sentencing Memorandum. As they explained in that letter, the corrections would allow them to rectify formatting errors in the original filing, to correct a typographical error, and to add one additional letter-of-support from one of her family members.

Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis

Once it became known that Nancy’s attorneys were trying to prevent her victims – and the general public – from finding out what was in her Sentencing Memorandum,  there was an immediate backlash and protest.

Representatives of several news organizations – including Frank Report – wrote to Judge Garaufis to request that he order her attorneys to openly re-file her Sentencing Memorandum so that it could be viewed by anyone who had access to PACER.

And on September 6th – which just happened to be Labor Day – Judge Garaufis did, in fact, issue a sua sponte order in which he directed Nancy’s attorneys to file a redacted version of her Sentencing Memorandum by 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, September 7th.

But Nancy and her attorneys were not yet finished in their attempt to keep her victims – and the general public – from finding out what was in her Sentencing Memorandum.

So, in addition to making appropriate redactions concerning any mention of the medical-related issues that Nancy had been dealing with for the past few months, they also fully redacted all her letters-of-support when they re-filed her Sentencing Memorandum on September 7th.

Given that she was scheduled to be sentenced on September 8th, Nancy and her attorneys were probably quite pleased with themselves – and thought that they had outsmarted Judge Garaufis by fully redacting all her letters-of-support in their September 7th filing.

But, as the saying goes, this was not Judge Garaufis’ first rodeo – and so, after sentencing  Nancy to 42 months in federal prison, he issued another sua sponte order in which he directed Nancy and her attorneys to explain the “legal rationale” for each redaction in their September 7th filing.

In response to Judge Garaufis’ order, Robert Soloway, one of the team of attorneys representing the former Prefect, explained that they had redacted all her letters-of-support in order to protect “…the privacy rights of innocent third parties who have come forward to support Ms. Salzman, but who wish their support to remain outside the public domain to prevent injury to their commercial interests and livelihoods, and to also avoid vexatious publicity and public scorn if their statements become public”.

Robert Soloway

Soloway went on to claim that the authors of the letters-of-support “…would suffer avoidable injury were their statements and identities revealed” – and noted how important it was that the names of the authors not be published in Frank Report:

“In this case, many of those who wrote letters on behalf of Ms. Salzman did so fearfully, not because of any reluctance whatsoever to support her, but because of the scandalous, hurtful uses to which their sentiments, if made public, would likely be put. As this Court is aware, the Frank Report weaponizes statements made in support of the Nxivm defendants, and exists for virtually no purpose other than to damage the reputation and fortunes of remaining “loyalists.” Revealing the identities and supportive views memorialized in letters to the Court will add little to the record that has not already been stated publicly by the Court and counsel, and will potentially result in harm to those whose aim was to furnish the Court with firsthand information about Ms. Salzman to facilitate a fully informed sentencing proceeding”.

Notwithstanding this emotional plea from Soloway, Judge Garaufis ordered that Nancy and her attorneys “…file a public version of her sentencing memorandum and supporting exhibits, with the exception of references to medical conditions, which will remain redacted, by Wednesday, October 6, 2021, at 12 pm.”

And so it was that Frank Report was finally able to publish the letters-of-support that had been submitted on behalf of Nancy – and the names of the authors of each of those letters.

*********

So, Who Deserves Credit for This Filing Fiasco: Nancy Salzman, Her Attorneys, or All of the Above?

The attempt to outsmart Judge Garaufis – and to keep Nancy’s victims and the general public from finding out who wrote letters-of-support on her behalf – is right out of the NXIVM/ESP playbook on litigation strategy.

But Soloway – and his colleagues at Rothman, Schneider, Soloway & Stern, LLP – also deserve credit/blame for the fiasco that developed with regard to the filing of Nancy’s Sentencing Memorandum.

Several individuals who supposedly authored a letter-of-support on behalf of Nancy have already come forward and indicated that the letter attributed to them was not written in conjunction with her sentencing – and that they had not authorized their letter to be used for that purpose.

Other letters – the most notable of which is the one authored by Jack Levy on March 13th, 2014, which just happens to be more than four years before Keith Raniere and his five co-defendants were arrested and Judge Garaufis was assigned to preside over their case – were dated years before Nancy’s sentencing hearing.

Jack Levy

And still other letters appear to have been written as a general tribute to Nancy (which was a common practice in NXIVM/ESP) – or altered to make it appear as though they were addressed to Judge Garaufis.

As more and more questions arise as to the authenticity of many of Nancy’s letters-of-support, it seems inevitable that Judge Garaufis is going to initiate some sort of action to find out exactly who is responsible for this fiasco.

Was it Nancy’s idea to file what amount to be falsified documents – which just happens to be one of the crimes she admitted committing in conjunction with her guilty plea?

Or was it Soloway and his colleagues who thought they could pull a fast-one on judge they consider past his prime?

Either way, it looks to me like all these ass-clowns “got some splainin to do”.

**********

Sidenotes

If/as time permits, it will be interesting to go back and look at several more aspects of Nancy’s letters-of-support. This would include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following  topics:

  • Why did Nancy not get a letter-of-support from her sister and her brother-in-law?
  • How was Nancy’s mother – who supposedly needs 24/7 care – able to write such a lucid letter on behalf of her daughter?
  • Where did Nancy get the money to help out Lauren financially (Nancy has not had any known source of income for more than 3½ years)?
  • How was Nancy able to provide so much care for her recently deceased father and her mother when court records indicate that she only visited them a few times after she was placed on home confinement back in July 2018?
  • Why was Nancy only able to get 23 letters of support from former NXIVM/ESP members (Given that she claims that the organization provided training sessions to 17,000 individuals that’s a pretty paltry percentage: i.e., .14% to be exact)?

About the author

K.R. Claviger

43 Comments

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  • Is it really an attempt at fraud if you leave the original dates on the letters?

    There’s a fairly benign answer to every concern raised.

    The case of Nicki Clyne committing immigration fraud is much stronger.

    Y’all just hate Nancy (I get it!)

    This is a clear example of making a bigger fuss because it is your “enemy” and not your “friend”.

    Pretty much all of Frank Report’s new “investigative journalists” have lied. Done really unethical and questionable deeds. Broken the law. Acted the fool.

    Speaking of no principles… Clare Bronfman judged her own father worthy of spying on and cutting out of her life. But she sure took that family money.

    And Nxivm spent that money. Pretty disgusting. It’s such a taint on everything Clare financed.

    I am no Nancy fan. But this is more a fun story (probably) than a big legal misstep.

    But Nicki Clyne is an immigration cheat. And a criminal. You can’t just “my opinion” all the evidence proving that away. Because you like her. Now.

  • Muck Rack reveals that Suneel is in business with a guy named Dan Heimerle at a company he founded, Simply Fractal . Was he involved with NXIVM?

    Is Simply Fractal a NXIVM front business?

  • This is my prediction: there will be no substantial consequences for Nancy or her attorney for this letter writing fraud.

    Garaufis is a beta-boy White Knight who refuses to hold women fully responsible for their actions.

  • The answer to side note 1 is easy. “Why did Nancy not get a letter-of-support from her sister and her brother-in-law?” The brother-in-law has been running his mouth off about this at work for years. He actually thinks people at work care and are interested in his crap. He’s holier than thou, revoltingly egocentric and just a jerk. He said he would never allow his family to be associated publicly lest they lose their jobs and positions of stature and respect (say what??? ). He treats people with such disrespect – his wife big time on that one; brags that he totally controls her and says unkind things. He is a true piece of sh-work.

    • I’ve heard the same thing….I hear that SK the brother in law is a narcissistic hot head control freak. CK the sister is the polar opposite of Nancy. It’s crazy to think that Milton and Lorraine made two different daughters….one the smart crazy controlling Nancy, and the other a bafoon of a sheep sister who follows thy every command of her husband SK. The entire family is sick and warped and manipulative. The apple never fell far from the tree. History will repeat itself for generations to come. Although we can’t stop the brother in law family from pro creating, hopefully Michelle’s kid is the last of the crazy lineage and won’t follow in mom’s Sculpted Vegan Kim Constable coaching scam.

        • Yes, innocent nieces. Blame their old man for that one. He’s been using this as his anonymous soap box of his family complaints The narcissist must be jealous of the attention his sis in law gets.

  • Muck Rack

    Four Simple Steps To Get Your Organization Started With Data Science
    3 YEARS AGO | By Suneel Chakravorty | Forbes
    Our company leads corporate trainings in Python and data science for organizations ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. What we’ve noticed lately is that many of them want to use data science to advance their businesses. They recognize the need to stay competitive and make use of their data, but many of them are unsure of how to get started and don’t even have a data scientist on staff.

    https://muckrack.com/suneel-chakravorty

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    Suneel Chakravorty is the co-founder of Joint. Prior to that, he worked as a software engineer at Yipit. He earned his undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Harvard, and is fluent in Mandarin, used to competitively ballroom dance, and doesn’t know how to ride a bicycle.

    Reviews of Suneel Chakravorty

    [ … ]

    https://coursehorse.com/nyc/teachers/tech/suneel-chakravorty

    • Times Union

      Unsealed letters show Keith Raniere’s cruelty to top NXIVM ally
      Robert Gavin, Oct. 12, 2021

      [ … ]

      At Nancy Salzman’s sentencing, victims described the NXIVM president as Raniere’s fiercely loyal enabler and enforcer. They said she turned a blind eye to his worst atrocities and parroted his theories, including his claims that children are “perfectly happy” having sex with adults and that women experience “freedom” during rape.

      But many of the unsealed letters depicted Nancy Salzman as another of Raniere’s victims. Some described her as jittery around Raniere, who carried a God-like reputation in their ranks, and that she constantly tried to please the NXIVM leader only to be subjected to his ridicule. Some letters said Raniere kept Nancy Salzman in the dark about his secret “master/slave” group, Dominus Obsequious Sororium (DOS), in which women were blackmailed, sleep-deprived, physically branded with his initials and given assignments to “seduce” him.

      Lauren Salzman said Raniere had entered her mother’s life when her mother was at her most vulnerable, presented himself as invaluable and conned her into leveraging her life savings. When ranking NXIVM members defected, Lauren Salzman added, they were labeled enemies to be shunned while members loyal to Raniere were considered the good guys.

      “Behind the scenes, Keith fired most of the executive board blaming us for not handling things better and we believed not only that we had destroyed his organization because of our shortcomings but that we owed it to him to fix it,” Lauren Salzman said.

      She said Raniere closed her mother out of NXIVM operations and installed a new executive board headed by deep-pocketed Seagrams’ heiress Clare Bronfman — and scolded her if she informed her mother about it.

      If her mother showed up at meetings, Raniere refused to look at her and disciplined her for interrupting him, she said.

      “He constantly humiliated her in front of others and made her feel that she was stupid,” Lauren Salzman said. “My mother was often exhausted because of how hard she worked, but Keith insisted that her need for rest was out of weakness or an indulgence.”

      She said: “My mom is a good person. That also cannot be said of Keith.”

      Kim Constable, a Belfast-based professional bodybuilder and former longtime NXIVM member, echoed Lauren Salzman’s sentiments. Constable runs a fitness-related company, Sculpted Vegan, which employs Michelle Myers as a coach and hired Nancy Salzman as a consultant, the judge was told at Salzman’s sentencing.

      “When Keith was in the room, Nancy turned from a strong and comforting presence, to a nervous, jittery woman trying her hardest to please him,” Constable told the judge. “She would bring him food, tend to him and make him comfortable. If a smoothie or drink was brought to him with the incorrect ingredients it would be sent back. He never seemed particularly grateful, only that he was getting exactly what he was due. This kind of servitude just didn’t sit well with me.”

      “When Keith was in the room, Nancy turned from a strong and comforting presence, to a nervous, jittery woman trying her hardest to please him,” Constable told the judge. “She would bring him food, tend to him and make him comfortable. If a smoothie or drink was brought to him with the incorrect ingredients it would be sent back. He never seemed particularly grateful, only that he was getting exactly what he was due. This kind of servitude just didn’t sit well with me.”

      Constable said Nancy Salzman’s home on Oregon Trail was more like a NXIVM center than her home. She said it was not until she witnessed Raniere publicly discredit and shame Nancy Salzman as a “joke” that she realized why she had been so nervous.

      “She worked like a dog around the clock, day and night, coaching, mentoring and running the company while Keith swanned about being driven around by his various women friends, and playing volleyball at odd hours of the night,” Constable said. “Nancy was treated more like his high-level PA than his business partner.”

      Steven G. Messing, an Albany periodontist and longtime friend of Salzman, told the judge that Raniere seemed to control all of her time.

      “It was as though she needed to ask his permission even to have coffee with a friend,” Messing, of Clifton Park, told the judge. “She was nervous in his presence and not herself. It was my impression she was afraid of him.”

      [ … ]

      https://www.timesunion.com/nxivm/article/Unsealed-letters-show-Keith-Raniere-s-cruelty-to-16527112.php

  • A few weeks ago I referred in the Frank Report to San Francisco as San Fransicko and was attacked for maligning a great city.

    Here is what San Franciscans think.

    Poll: 56% of San Francisco Bay Area Residents Plan to Leave in ‘Next Few Years’
    A new poll suggests that the majority of San Francisco Bay Area residents are unhappy with life in the liberal bastion and want to leave soon, with 56% of respondents saying that they plan to leave in “the next few years.”

    According to SFGate, the poll, conducted among 1,610 registered voters across five Bay Area counties by Joint Venture Silicon Valley for the Bay Area News Group, found:
    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/10/13/poll-56-of-san-francisco-bay-area-residents-plan-to-leave-in-next-few-years/

  • Most judges are clever enough to read between the lines and regard letters of support with a grain of salt.

    Why did Allison Mack get so few letters of support and most came from her friends and family?
    Because she is a despicable person who committed violent egregious acts.

    And members of organized crime can get friends and family to publicly support them no matter how many people they have killed or how many rackets they are involved in.

    I’ll wager that mobster Sam Giancana attended church every week.

  • Re “Why was Nancy only able to get 23 letters of support from former NXIVM/ESP members (Given that she claims that the organization provided training sessions to 17,000 individuals that’s a pretty paltry percentage: i.e., .14% to be exact)?”

    It is exactly 0.135294117%. You have rounded up.

  • Muck Rack is a news aggregate and pr platform. Claviger’s name being mentioned, no offense to Claviger, is not surprising. Anybody who’s somebody is on Muck Rack. ‘Mucky’ bills itself as a “Googles’ Google”.

    Bill O’Reilly and Anderson Cooper are both mentioned. So Claviger is a somebody. Do you know who is not on Muck Rack? You and me.

  • It seems to me that the whole point of a criminal trial is the sentencing phase. The entire expensive ordeal, with jurors’ lives disrupted and all those rigorous rules of evidence, boils down to the sentences meted out at the end.

    And yet it appears from this case that the sentencing is subjective, based on things like how many letters of support flow in from friends and relatives and business associates of the miscreant in the dock. These letters evidently are not subject to even the most basic rules of evidence.

    Apologies from the convicted person are used to determine sentences. Tears shed in court apparently can take years off a criminal’s prison time. Their gender. Their being nice to dogs (Lauren Salzman).

    The actual meat and potatoes of a criminal trial, the sentencing phase, appears to be based on whether the judge subjectively thinks the convicted criminal is a nice person. Based on things like what the convicted’s sister and mom say. And the letters need not even be genuine.

    These letters aren’t considered actual evidence so faking them isn’t perjury. And yet they have as much, if not more, influence on the actual punishment for crime as actual physical evidence and sworn testimony at trial.

    In this case, we have people guilty of both racketeering and conspiracy sentenced to 36 months in prison. The racket in question being a sex-trafficking criminal enterprise. Getting off for saying “sorry” and nice letters from sis and mom.

    Sentences should be based on objective guidelines (we have these) and on the actual crimes committed. Not on notes from mommy.

    • This is especially evident when the judge almost completely ignores the underlying facts and circumstances and imposes lenient sentences that cannot be justified by anything. The result that ensues in the case of Allison Mack, Lauren Salzman and Kathy Russel is a farce.

  • Nancy Salzman should finally get used to her registration number [Register number: 25533-052].

    How long will this drag on until she is where she belongs?

  • On Salzman’s relative dearth of real-time support letters – she was reportedly out of favor with KR and Clare, and the first to plea out. Just speculation on my part, but might not NXIVM shunning still be running true to form? Up against the head lunatic and the money purse, Nancy may not have had much real support. And since she didn’t try for much in the way of reformation/rehabilitation, she didn’t have anyone to praise her new endeavors either. Sometimes the life lessons are really hard to learn, and Judge Garaufis may possibly be holding another lecture and issuing homework on that lesson soon. Maybe Nancy needs to EM herself on all this.

  • KR Claviger, do you know that you are represented at MUCK RACK?

    MUCK Rack

    K.R. Claviger
    As seen in: Art Voice, Frank Report

    https://muckrack.com/kr-claviger/articles

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  • As for the identities of NXIVM/DOS members, I am fully aware of them. I have all the information about them. No one needs to keep anything from me that I don’t already know or can find in my files. I have already collected everything I want to know. If I can get more of it, I will thank you for it.

    • There’s an old saying about Federal District Court Judges being able to do anything they want — unless and until they get overruled on appeal. But in reality, Judge Garaufis will only increase Nancy’s prison time if she’s convicted of another crime. What he could do, however, is hold a hearing, revoke her bail, and have her summarily hauled off to prison to start serving her 42 months.

  • Nancy Salzman was going for the “I’m the only one who can take care of my mother, so please don’t send me to prison” defense.

    Most likely that is why she doesn’t have letters from her sister & brother-in-law.

    If records don’t indicate she visited her parents for an extended period of time, then either her father lied in his letter or whoever wrote it for him, lied in an attempt to make Nurse Nancy look better for the Judge.

    Lauren Salzman, in her letter of support, spins a story that her grandmother doesn’t even recall who members of the family are to her.

    That begs to question who wrote that crystal clear letter of support from Grandma Salzman to the Judge.

    Lies are horrible things to keep track of. The Salzman family hasn’t done a very good job of keeping theirs in order as they try to pull the family lies off together.

    Good thing they are not a sports team.

  • Hey, Bobby Soloway, here’s a newsflash: looks to me like you’re about to have a face-to-face meeting with Judge Garaufis. And my guess is that you’re going to end up regretting the fact that you tried to scam your way past him with all those bullshit filings.

    Cue the music: When will they ever learn?… When will they ever learn?

    • There should indeed be repercussions from their lawyerly unprofessionalism handlings. The judge (and the bar) have every right to an explanation or a called meeting to further examine their questionable actions.

      • RE The Bar of New York….

        It has to be proved the attorney knew about the letters.

        He most likely pulled the old attorney,
        “Hint Game.

        Hint Game Example:

        Attorney says to Nancy, “it’s so unfortunate the courts don’t check the authenticity of support letters at sentencing.”

        *****
        Attorneys have been that since they were called barristers. 😉

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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