11:53 AM PDT, September 9, 2021
Nancy Salzman, leader and co-founder of Nxivm, was sentenced to 42 months, or three-and-a-half years, in prison. The 66-year-old former president of the sex cult will also pay a $150,000 fine and forfeit real estate properties, a Steinway grand piano and more than $500,000 in cash, the Department of Justice said in a press statement.
Two years ago, Salzman had pleaded guilty to a single charge of racketeering conspiracy, including predicate acts of conspiracy to commit identity fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice, and was sentenced at Brooklyn federal court Wednesday.
She has been ordered to turn herself into authorities on January 19, 2022.
“I know, your honor, that I put myself here,” Salzman said at her sentencing hearing, apologizing to those she hurt. “I don’t know that I can ever forgive myself.”
Ahead of her sentencing, a tearful Salzman, who was once known as the “Prefect” of the Albany, New York-based self-help group-turned-cult, claimed she, too, was the victim of cult leader Keith Raniere, who was sentenced to 120 years in prison last October.
Salzman had said she originally wanted to make a difference in peoples’ lives but became tangled in Raniere’s lies. She said she was “horrified and ashamed” she ever supported the “narcissistic sociopath.”
But prosecutors disagreed with her recount, calling her “Raniere’s right hand” and “essential to the Nxivm criminal enterprise,” according to a release by the Justice Department.
“The defendant engaged in a racketeering conspiracy designed to intimidate Nxivm’s detractors and that inflicted harm on Nxivm’s members,” Acting U.S. Attorney Kasulis said in the statement. “Today’s sentence holds the defendant accountable for her crimes and we hope that it brings some measure of closure to the vulnerable women who were victimized and abused.”
The sex cult, which also ran as a multi-level marketing company, recruited high-profile members, including Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman, who was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison, and “Smallville” star Allison Mack, who was sentenced to three years in prison.
While Salzman’s daughter, Lauren Salzman, avoided jailtime by testifying against her mom, she was sentenced in June to five years’ probation and ordered to perform 300 hours of community service for her role in Nxivm.