NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman released from halfway house

Longtime "Prefect" to cult leader Keith Raniere served less than 20 months of a 3½ year sentence before she was released from prison to an Albany location

Albany Times-Union/April 4, 2024

By Robert Gavin

ALBANY — NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman, who spent two decades as the top deputy to cult leader Keith Raniere, has been released from the Albany halfway house where she had been staying since September.

Salzman, 69, of Halfmoon, who was released from prison in September after serving less than 20 months of a 3½ year sentence for racketeering conspiracy, was released from its custody on March 19, the federal Bureau of Prisons website said.

The Cranford, N.J. native and one-time nurse was released under the 2018 First Step Act, which enables federal inmates to request compassionate release after they exhaust administrative requests through the prison system. Salzman will be on supervised release until March 18, 2027.

Salzman, once romantically involved with Raniere, now calls the convicted sex trafficker a predator and possible psychopath. Beginning in 1998, Salzman, known as “Prefect” among NXIVM members, had loyally served Raniere, known as “Vanguard,” atop a secretive personal growth company based in Colonie that is now widely considered a cult. She taught Raniere’s philosophies as NXIVM and its Executive Success Programs (ESP) spread to the West Coast, Mexico, Canada and Europe — and fell victim to his cruelty and manipulation, according to former members of the group.

In 2018, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged Raniere, Salzman, Salzman’s daughter, Lauren Salzman; Seagrams heiress Clare Bronfman, actress Allison Mack, and bookkeeper Kathy Russell in a sweeping racketeering case. Salzman first pleaded guilty, admitting she doctored tapes for a lawsuit in which NXIVM had sued cult expert Rick Ross and faced counterclaims. Salzman also admitted she conspired to commit identity theft when she attempted to obtain names and passwords of email accounts of Raniere’s perceived enemies.

Lauren Salzman, who pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges and testified for prosecutors, received five years of probation. She detailed the Raniere-controlled “master/slave” side group, Dominus Obsequious Sororium (DOS), in which sleep-deprived and calorie-starved women were at times branded with Raniere’s initials. Nancy Salzman was not involved with DOS.

In June 2019, a jury convicted Raniere of sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and racketeering counts. He is serving a 120-year prison sentence in Arizona.

Mack, who pleaded to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges, was released last July; Russell, who pleaded to visa fraud, received two years probation; and Bronfman, who pleaded to conspiring to conceal and harbor undocumented immigrants for financial gain, and fraudulent use of identification, is expected to be released from prison next June.

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