More of the government’s view of NXIVM:
Obstruction of Justice
Keith Raniere obstructed justice by altering videotapes that were to be produced in discovery in a federal lawsuit involving Nxivm in New Jersey.
In 2003, Nxivm and affiliated entities filed suit against Stephanie Franco, a former Nxivm student, and Rick Ross, a cult
“deprogrammer” who testified for the government at Raniere’s trial.
The lawsuit alleged copyright infringement and centered on a claim that Franco had violated a non-disclosure agreement by providing Nxivm course materials to Ross, who published the course materials on his website.
In around 2008, Franco’s attorneys requested the production of certain videotapes in support of their claim that the Nxivm curriculum contained false statements and violated certain state consumer protection laws.
In June 2008, Raniere tasked Mark Vicente (who testified for the government at trial), among others, to alter videotapes and to remove certain segments from them without having the videotapes appear altered. Vicente was provided with videotapes from which he was instructed to remove content, including segments in which Nancy Salzman made unsubstantiated health claims about Nxivm’s curriculum.
These altered videotapes were then produced in discovery by Nxivm’s attorneys with the false claim that they were
provided in “unedited fashion.”
Identity Theft Related to Tax Evasion
Between approximately November 2016 and March 2018, Raniere and Bronfman conspired to commit identity theft in connection with Raniere’s continued use of a credit card account number and bank account number belonging to Pamela Cafritz, knowing Cafritz was deceased. This scheme was part of a long-standing practice of deliberately keeping money and assets out of Raniere’s name. (explaining that Raniere expressed desire to be “bankruptcy remote”).
Bronfman facilitated the scheme by arranging for regular payment of Cafritz’s credit card bills after she died on November 7, 2016.
Among the charges on Cafritz’s credit card were charges to Amazon Marketplace, Restoration Hardware, a sock store in Brooklyn, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Direct. In total, approximately $135,000 was charged to Cafritz’s credit card from November 7, 2016, the date of her death, to February 8, 2018.
In addition, disbursements were made from Cafritz’s Key Bank account after she died. Approximately $320,305 in checks and $736,856 total disbursements were drawn from Cafritz’s account, which included payments to Kathy Russell.