Moira Penza: I Wanted Raniere Arrested and in Prison for Life

NXIVM prosecutor Moira Kim Penza spoke at her upstate New York college on November 1.
Penza, a Binghampton University alumna who graduated in 2005, gave a lecture on the man she prosecuted, Keith Alan Raniere.

Penza was an English and history major and was a member of the debate team on campus.
“Binghamton prepared me to succeed when measured against the best of the best and to do so with courage, kindness, integrity and a commitment to service,” Penza said.

In her talk, she spoke about how she prosecuted Raniere. She said investigators discovered 12 terabytes of electronic information, the equivalent of 12 library floors worth of data.
The prosecution used very little of that electronic information at trial.

The most significant was the 22 photos of Camila taken in 2005 when she was 15. The FBI accidentally found the alleged child porn on a hard drive 11 months after they seized it.

Penza was the lead prosecutor and, after winning a conviction, left the DOJ to take a position in private practice with the law firm of Wilkinson Stekloff LLP in NYC.

Penza appears prominently in HBO’s The Vow season #2.

She said of her time preparing and trying Raniere, “I wasn’t making a documentary. My job was first and foremost proving the crimes that we had charged Raniere with. What you have to do when you are putting together a trial is really engage in some editing.”

Penza’ said her goal was to ensure Raniere would be put away for life.

“To know that he is in prison for the rest of his life is very satisfying, because I know that he is unable to hurt anyone else ever again,” Penza said.

When publications began reporting on NXIVM – starting with the Frank Report – Raniere went to Mexico. Penza knew they had to act fast, she said.

“When you’re investigating a federal crime as a prosecutor, you typically want to keep your investigation covert for as long as possible, presuming no one is in immediate physical danger,”
Penza said. “By then, we had enough evidence to charge some crimes, so we couldn’t wait any longer.”

Penza said, “My biggest fear was, until we arrested him, that there were women and children in danger.”

Armed Mexican men, possibly from the Mexican federal police force, apprehended Raniere in an AirBNB villa on March 26, 2018.

Lamentably for Raniere and five other women, he was arrested on the day he planned a DOS recommitment ceremony, which included the women each sharing his flaccid member in a fellatio session.

Instead of women, armed men came and whisked him away to El Paso, where FBI agents awaited. He has not seen freedom since then.

During the trial, Penza said she played a recording of Raniere and Allison Mack, in which the
DOS grandmaster spoke of how he wanted his women branded.

After Frank Report revealed DOS, Raniere told followers he had nothing to do with DOS or the branding. He was shocked, shocked to find the brand contained his initials.

Penza said, “By the time we got to trial, he couldn’t maintain that lie anymore because we had so much evidence from his emails and recordings where his involvement was incontrovertible.”

In trying to explain how people get sucked into following a Vanguard-like psychopath, she said, No one really joins a cult. People think they’re joining something that will help themselves or others. When something doesn’t feel right to you, trust your instincts on that and make sure you are looking out for places where there is an intolerance for other ideas. That is where abuses happen.”

Penza had a year-long internship at the Broome County Public Defender’s Office and did intake interviews of those arrested.

She said of her role, “Prosecutors have an enormous amount of power within the system. They get to act affirmatively in many situations, as opposed to reactively, which is what you’re often doing if you’re a public defender. I realized that at some point in my career, I wanted to have the ability to build my own cases….

“The ultimate point is: Are you doing justice?” Having spent that year at the public defender’s office when I was at Binghamton became important once I was a prosecutor. It was something I never forgot….

“My favorite thing is to be in front of a jury and synthesizing a complex case — being respectful of them and maintaining your credibility first and foremost, and being able to tell a compelling narrative.”

Penza urged people to be wary of high control groups, such as NXIVM.

“You can have exploitation of people when people feel they are going to be ostracized if they do not say what everyone else is saying,” she said. “There’s a lot of danger in these situations.”


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  • Penza did good. She saw it in The NY Times and the Times saw it in Frank Report.

    Branding is what did Raniere in though branding wasn’t illegal.

    • Moira Penza and friends established a legal precedent where RICO can be used to tie you to crimes you did not commit, to crimes that were committed by a friend or associate before you ever met that person.

      Moira Penza, whose clients include big pharma, big tobacco, the NFL in its attempt to stiff brain damaged players, and who now supports Amber Heard. Who prosecuted NXIVM as a sex trafficking ring, but failed to prosecute two of the company’s top lieutenants, who counts one of them as a friend, who failed to prosecute the woman who committed the actual sex act that she used to justify the sex trafficking charge.

      Moira, who threatened people who tried to tell their stories if they did not support the prosecution. Who never once established that Allison received any benefit, financial or otherwise, for having trafficked people, one of whom testified that Allison was surprised to hear about the sex, and the other whom may have had a sexual relationship with Raniere prior to having met Allison.

      Moira Penza, who believes a grown woman volunteering to transcribe a memorial service for a friend who passed away from cancer constitutes forced labor, but who would never have the courage to prosecute major companies that use child labor and slave labor to make their products.

      Acknowledging that Moira is hot garbage, that she is a careerist, someone who is for sale to the highest bidder, is not an endorsement of Keith Raniere, ESP, DOS, or any of the people involved in this case. It’s an acknowledgement that the world is more complex than “good guy vs bad guy.”

      Wake up Aristotle. Wake up Frank Report readers. You all act like you’re in a cult or something. There’s no gold star to be won for supporting people who you know abuse their positions.

  • Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman, who bankrolled Keith Raniere’s NXIVM cult with her $500M fortune, wins bid to drop sex offender tag and will be transferred to ‘Club Fed’ low security prison where she could be released as soon as next year
    Clare Bronfman, 43, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison in September 2020 for her involvement in Keith Raniere’s sex cult NXIVM can reveal that she is eligible for release as early as next year after the federal Bureau of Prisons agreed to drop her sex offender designation
    She will now be transferred to less secure ‘Club Fed’ prison in Danbury, Connecticut, where she’ll serve the rest of her time
    Bronfman gave away millions of dollars to bankroll Raniere and his program of intense ‘brainwashing’ self-improvement classes
    She denied being a member of an abusive secret sorority within the cult
    But prosecutors argued that Raniere wouldn’t have been so powerful without her financial support

    • As a Buddhist it shocks me how angry I feel about these two ugly sisters. I almost feel sorry for Keith having to have sex with them. As someone who has spent a lot of time in McLeod ganj and my knowledge of the Tibetans living in exile there. The idea that one of these sisters actually had sex with someone to gain an opening to the Dalai Lama is shocking to me.
      But please, don’t for a second think these two are going to leave you alone. That won’t happen. Their chequebooks will be flapping the minute they breathe free air. Both of them are still in cahoots with Keith.
      The thing with crazy wealt/h like these two have. At some point your money becomes your personality. You are just money. Keith made them feel good in a way their lifestyle and cash could not. They will never give up on him.

      • These women are dolts, irrefutable evidence that some people should not be given large sums of money. Keith has proven time and again that he is a manipulative conman who cares only about himself, and for them to not see this despite the vast amounts of proof is proof that they are Dumb and Dumber. Anything he says or does is for only his own benefit. If these two Jewish sisters whose name only has clout for that reason (despite their gangster family past) ever lost their excessive wealth, he would toss them to the curb like a stick of gum someone was done chewing.

  • I finished the Vow season 2 last night. My heart absolutely broke for Nancy, it did the entire second season but man, it was especially rough. I can clearly see what a victim she is too. I think prison time was too much for not being involved in DOS or any of the sexual abuse.

    • It’s good that you have an empathetic heart but Nancy wasn’t charged for the things you say at the end of your comment. Nancy was charged for only the crimes she actually committed and Nancy admitted to her guilt.

      • You are right. Seeing how it played out for Nancy was tough. There are so many victims in this, so many victims who became perpetrators themselves, what a mess Raniere created.

    • Empathy is well deserved for some of Raniere’s true victims.
      Nancy Salzman is NOT one of them. She should count her lucky stars she wasn’t charged with more counts. She was in it for the money for over 20 years- she was only able to hide $500,000 says it all!

    • Without the prison time Nancy would not have woken up. So it is not punishing her, it is more like it is helping her. She would still be abusing others and pushing NXIVM.

      What she should be doing now is everything she can to get those still loyal out. As recently as a few months ago her daughter (Michelle) was still advertising on Kim Constable’s website about NXIVM ‘tech’. The Mexicans are still operating and still loyal. She has more power than anyone to bring it down and help wake people up, but it does not appear she has tried yet to do this.

    • Nancy promoted Raniere’s destructive ideas. There is video of a meeting she is leading, where she says there is nothing wrong with pedophilia if the child enjoys it.

    • Nancy Sleazeman is a fraud just like the fraud she served for so many years. She’s the self-serving “matriarch” of the organization (in line with what NXIVM taught), infatuated with the money, status, ego, etc., it brought, and whose crocodile tears only fool the gullible.

    • She was the president of 50 illegal shell companies that avoided tax and didn’t follow dept of labor standards. She’s guilty for that alone. No sympathy. She was the president of an organized criminal organization. With or without DOS…Nancy was still guilty of running a bad organization. But the vow completely ignored these points and only focused on dos and sexual abuse. There was a whole white collar criminal organization being run by Nancy.

  • Something that often gets overlooked on the audio (between Allison and Keith discussing branding) is the little nugget of gaslighting.

    Where Keith asks Allison “what is the most (paraphrasing) meaningful or impactful part of gething the brand?”

    This is during a discussion where they are walking and finalizing Keith’s demands on what the slaves will say while being branded.

    When Allison answers – Keith immediately berates her. Keith says he wasn’t talking about Allison specifically.

    Even though Keith just asked Allison in a way that anyone would interpret as asking her own opinion.

    And then Allison immediately gets sheepish and clarifies that she understands she’s not the only person involved. But did think Keith was asking her opinion.

    As most anyone listening would agree. Why wouldn’t Allison think Keith is asking for her opinion — she’s the only one there right? And it’s phrased in a question. Right?

    But Allison’s apologetic and submissive response is not enough for Keith. He keeps berating and mocking Allison. And ultimately calls her a narcissist.

    What gets lost n the horror of what The Branding tape is actually discussing just how awful Keith is to these women.

    There’s an audio that’s played in “Seduced” that’s tone is similar where Keith’s telling the front line slaves, ” This is not a democracy” and run run get him something to write with at one of those slave meetings where they’re all sitting naked at Keith’s disgusting feet.

  • Some questions for Frank and his readers to consider:

    Why wasn’t the woman who performed oral sex on Nicole arrested and prosecuted if this act constituted sex trafficking?

    How did the prosecution prove that Allison trafficked Nicole in exchange for her spot in Keith’s acting company, when no evidence in the form of a text message, e-mail, or recorded conversation exists proving that this happened?

    Allison, a professional actress who could have opened her own school. Who could have returned to acting, to conventions, or anything else.

    Allison, who according to Nicole’s own testimony, was surprised when learning that Nicole and Keith had sexual contact. Allison, who according to e-mails provided by Michelle H, remained friends with Nicole after Nicole left the group.

    E-mails in which Nicole requests to remain with The Source, and asks if Allison would like to meet her brother at an upcoming pride event.

    Why wasn’t India required to testify in this case, but permitted to read a victim impact statement, in which she was not under oath and not subjected to cross examination?

    Can Marc Elliot and the Dossier Project women verify that Moira Penza’s legal team threatened to prosecute or punish them in some way if they testified or spoke out on behalf of their friends or the company’s programs?

    Did India have a pre-existing relationship with Keith before DOS and before meeting Allison? Entries on this blog dating back five years indicate that India’s then boyfriend introduced her to Keith years before meeting Allison and being invited into DOS.

    These entries are completely at odds with the story that’s been told for the last three years.

    If Keith had sex with a girl when she was 15, why wasn’t he charged with statutory rape? Or was he?

    Legal question, can a person, in this case Allison, be tied to that rape, or child pornography, using RICO if the rape/child porn happened in 2005, and Allison didn’t meet Keith until 2006?

    If Nicole is a plaintiff in the civil suit, how many of the people who were present during the sex incident are listed as defendants?

    How many of those who were present are co-plaintiffs?

    How many defendants had nothing to do with it?

    How many women did Sarah recruit into DOS?

    How many were her direct slaves?

    If Lauren was Sarah’s Master, and Sarah did all of this because of the brand, and Lauren was the one who lied about the brand or neglected to tell Sarah about it, why does Sarah forgive Lauren? Why was Lauren removed from the civil suit?

    Why didn’t Sarah take the stand during the criminal trial?

    How many cult-like groups have Sarah and Mark belonged to?

    Some of these questions are mine, but many were raised by those pesky bad women, those savvy villains, who make up The Dossier Project, who have the nerve (!) to stand up for themselves and their friends. Who have the nerve to be the tough, smart women that we supposedly celebrate…except when they go against society’s narrative.

    And even if it turns out that Keith is a bad guy, and if it turns out that they’re wrong about some things, why is it that the more they speak up, the more I believe them and trust them?

    Because I’m a gullible idiot?

    Because they’re telling me partially what I want to hear, which is that Allison was railroaded?

    Or is it because our media and Government are utterly full of shit, because Vicente and Edmondson are full of shit, and these women who’ve lost their reputations and livelihoods, even if I disagree with them on some of their positions, genuinely believe in what they’re saying?

    I pick door number three.

    • Is this very tedious way of making multiple statements phrased as fake questions part of your ridiculous Nxivm cult “tech” dead-ender?

    • Kevin🤡

      I was wondering, for the next group, could we increase the cal intake from 500 to 1000cal/day? Or would it be more difficult to coerce / control our bad ass babes if they had more energy ?

      I am opening spots for the new DOS and looking for girls who have some success but are willing to give up everything in the name of a sisterhood (with a male leader). Let’s change the world !

  • Newwweek

    Nicki Clyne on What Happened to Keith Raniere Since Jail: ‘Very Concerning’
    BY MOLLI MITCHELL ON 11/22/22 AT 12:39 PM EST

    [ … ]
    Clyne told Newsweek, Raniere’s case, DOS and the issue of branding have been “completely misconstrued” and she has expressed countless reasons why Raniere is innocent and should be released from prison.
    [ … ]

  • Distractify

    What Sentences Did Keith Raniere, Nancy Salzman, and Other NXIVM Members Receive?
    NOV. 22 2022, PUBLISHED 12:30 P.M. ET

    [ … ]

    Allison Mack: 3 years in prison
    After pleading guilty to racketeering and conspiracy charges in April 2019, Allison Mack was sentenced to three years in prison in June 2021, and she got an early start on that sentence in September, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
    Per CNN, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis called the former Smallville actress “an essential accomplice” and a “willing and proactive ally” of Raniere, but the judge said he “[didn’t] doubt that [Mack was] manipulated and also felt captive.”

    [ … ]

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.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

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 premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

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