By Frank Parlato
According to multiple sources – and as reported by Brendan Lyons in the Albany Times Union – numerous people involved with NXIVM have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in Brooklyn.
Artvoice has heard the number of NXIVM members subpoenaed is 10 – who will testify this week.
Based on who reportedly has been subpoenaed, it indicates the criminal investigation of NXIVM is expanding beyond sex trafficking and forced labor.
NXIVM leader Keith Raniere was arrested on March 25 in Mexico by Mexican federal police. He was living with several ‘slave’ women including Allison Mack, Nicki Clyne, Loreta Garza and others in a luxury villa in Puerto Vallarta.
Raniere fled to Monterrey, Mexico last November shortly after news of his branding and blackmailing women made worldwide news.
Artvoice broke the story that Raniere left the country and provided stealth photos for readers. Reportedly Raniere told NXIVM members he received death threats in Albany that necessitated his hasty departure from the USA.
Following his arrest last Sunday, Raniere was extradited to the US and is being held without bail in a federal prison in Oklahoma.
The expanding investigation by the DOJ Eastern District of NY appears to be focusing on NXIVM finances, including allegations of money laundering, bulk cash smuggling, tax fraud and other crimes all of which were originally brought to the feds in the Western District of New York by this writer in 2015 and ignored.
This has prompted some to wonder how many sex trafficking victims would have been spared had the Western District of New York been as competent as the Eastern District. The human branding and blackmailing occurred after this writer brought the Western District of New York substantial evidence of Raniere crimes in 2015.
Investigators with the Internal Revenue Service assigned in the Eastern District have now reportedly joined the probe.
Among those subpoenaed are brothers Justin, Marc and Brian Elliot.
Justin was a known lover of high rank NXIVM board member Alejandro ‘Alex’ Betancourt and is rumored to have aided Betancourt smuggle cash to Raniere from Mexico.
NXIVM encouraged Mexican students to pay cash for their programs and would reportedly mark the students as having gotten a scholarship in order to evade taxes.
NXIVM members Clare Bronfman, Karen Unterriener, Lauren Salzman and Nancy Salzman facilitated the cash transactions, according to multiple eyewitnesses, and used various code words for cash to disguise the income from authorities.
Marc Elliot claims to have been cured of Tourette’s Syndrome by NXIVM programs and recruited members by claiming NXIVM cures Tourette’s.
All three brothers recruit members for NXIVM which has been described as a pyramid scheme.
Last week, the FBI raided the home of NXIVM president Nancy Salzman. Agents came at about 7:30 am and remained until early evening, carrying away boxes of items, neighbors told Artvoice.
Following the raid, Salzman moved from her home taking her remaining possessions not seized by authorities. She is living at an undisclosed location and it is not known if she is in hiding. As of last week, she met with remaining NXIVM members to accuse this writer of being behind much of the latest ‘false charges’ against Raniere.
Raniere has not been arraigned and it is not known if he has been indicted by a grand jury – a formal – largely procedural step required for Raniere to stand trial.
Raniere is expected to appear before a U.S. magistrate in Brooklyn within the next two weeks for arraignment and a hearing over whether he should be allowed to post bail.
It is expected that Raniere’s attorneys will seek his released on bail pending his trial which may take more than a year. The U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York opposes bail and filed a detailed motion seeking to detain Raniere.
The DOJ argues that Raniere is dangerous, and a flight risk – an argument bolstered by his hiding in Mexico for months.
Other people believed to have been subpoenaed or expected to be subpoenaed are Kathy Russell, Karen Abney, Ben Meyers, Angel Smith, Shelly Tarzia, James Del Negro, and Esther Chiappone Carlson.
Mack was with Raniere in Mexico when he was arrested. It is not known if she has returned to the US. She is expected to be charged as a co-conspirator in the Raniere case.
Calls to Nancy Salzman and Mack went unanswered.
Raniere could not be reached by phone at the federal prison where he is being held.