The co-founder and former president of NXIVM was sentenced to 42 months in prison for her involvement in the alleged sex cult.
The United States Department of Justice announced the news Wednesday, about two years after Nancy Salzman pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge stemming from the organization. The 66-year-old created NXIVM alongside Keith Raniere, who was sentenced to 120 years prison last fall for federal sex trafficking, possession of child pornography, racketeering, and other charges.
“Serving as Raniere’s right hand for more than a decade, Nancy Salzman’s conduct supported Nxivm’s objectives to recruit victims, stave off critics and alter evidence connected to a federal lawsuit,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll said in a statement. “Today’s sentence does little to erase the suffering of Nxivm’s victims, but it serves as another reminder of the government’s commitment to seeing this case through to the end.”
According to the New York Times, NXIVM was founded in the late 1990s and was marketed as a self-improvement organization. The group claimed it had operations throughout North America and had worked with more than 16,000 people, including the children of high-profile figures and celebrities; one of those stars included actress Allison Mack, who was also sentenced to three years in prison for her role in NXIVM.
In the early 2000s, the organization began facing cult allegations, with members claiming to have endured both physical and mental abuse by its leaders. Some of the NVIXM members were allegedly forced into labor, ordered to have sex with Raniere, and have his initials branded near their crotch area.
Prosecutors say that between 2005 and 2008, Salzman helped Raniere unlawfully surveillance and investigate “perceived enemies” of the organization. A 2018 raid on Salzman’s home yielded a box containing “purported private banking information of many individuals perceived to be critics and enemies of Raniere, including journalists, judges and an expert on cults.”
“Salzman was essential to the NXIVM criminal enterprise, not merely a peripheral co-defendant. As the co-founder with Keith Raniere, Salzman had immense influence on NXIVM, which included conspiracy to commit identity theft and conspiracy to alter records,” said HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Fitzhugh. “HSI New York’s strong relationship with its federal partners allows for the seamless and effective investigations that lead to the arrest, prosecution, and sentencing of those involved.”
The DOJ says Salzman was also ordered to pay a $150,000 fine, and has agreed to forfeit more than $500,000 in cash, as well as several properties and a Steinway piano.