Winters can be pretty bleak in the Capital Region. Day after day of blustery winds, cold temperatures, grey skies, and snow… So, it’s not unusual for local residents to take mid-winter getaway trips from all the bleakness.
Most go to warm and sunny places like Florida or one of the Caribbean islands.
Those who own their own Fiji island go there to play volleyball and frolic.
But not the Salzman women – Nancy and her two daughters, Lauren and Michelle.
They just want to go visit Nancy’s parents – who just happen to live three hours away from the Capital Region. No big deal, right?
Except when you’ve been charged with multiple criminal acts and you’re out on bail, you have to ask the presiding judge in your case for permission to travel outside your approved travel area – which, in their case, is the Northern District of New York.
So, Lauren and Nancy have each asked Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis for permission to travel to see Nancy’s parents, Lorraine and Milton Loshin.
According to the request submitted by Lauren’s lawyer, the primary purpose for her proposed trip is to “…provide them with any assistance they may need” (She describes them as elderly and disabled – and notes that Milton “…recently suffered a medical condition”).
In the request submitted by Nancy’s lawyers, it notes that Nancy wants to make the trip to belatedly celebrate Milton’s birthday (He turned 91 on January 16th).
Both Lauren and Nancy want to leave Albany on the morning of January 21st, spend the day with Lorraine and Milton, stay with them overnight, and then return home on the afternoon of January 22nd.
And guess who’s going to do all the driving?
None other than Michelle Myers, the wife of Ben Myers, the not-yet-indicted computer specialist that NXIVM used to hack into so many people’s computers (Michelle is probably doing the driving because she’s the only one of them who isn’t wearing an ankle monitor).
So, on its face, the proposed trip sounds like a perfectly reasonable proposal – which will most likely get approved by Judge Garaufis (It is not being opposed by the prosecution or the Pretrial Service Officers who supervise Lauren and Nancy).
But, could the trip have an ulterior motive?
Perhaps the Salzmans are making the trip to pick up the rest of the money that used to be stored in Nancy’s home in Clifton Park.
Although the feds did seize more than $500,000 from Nancy’s former home, there were insider reports indicating that there had been more than $2,000,000 stored there at one time.
And let’s not forget that Lorraine and Milton are both card-carrying members of NXIVM (Their low membership numbers would seem to indicate that they first got involved more than 15 years ago).
And Lorraine and Milton were also involved in one of NXIVM’s many tax evasion schemes. In their case, they “donated” their car to one of the numerous phony charitable organizations that were associated with NXIVM – and took a huge tax write-off for it.
So, as Ronald Reagan would undoubtedly suggest if he were around to provide advice to the prosecution: “Trust but verify”.
In other recent court filings, the team of attorneys representing Kathy Russell has pushed hard for all the charges against her to be dismissed. Those filings included a Motion To Dismiss, a Memorandum Of Law In Support Of The Motion To Dismiss, and a Declaration In Support Of The Motion To Dismiss.
Although this type of motion rarely gets approved in a federal criminal proceeding, it does provide a good excuse for defense attorneys to run up their billable hours.
And, depending on how the trial goes, it may provide one or more bases for a post-verdict appeal.
But looking over the filings that were submitted on behalf of Kathy, it does not appear very likely that she’s going to have all the pending charges against her dismissed anytime soon.
Unless, of course, she decides to become a witness for the prosecution – in which case she could probably talk herself into a plea deal that involved little or no prison time.
One other recent filing of interest involves Lauren Salzman’s recent request that she be allowed to make three trips to Phoenix, AZ to meet with her attorneys – and prepare for her upcoming trial.
The proposed trips would take place on January 20th–26th (which obviously conflicts with her proposed trip to see her maternal grandparents); February 10th–16th; and February 24th – March 2nd.
Since this request was submitted before Judge Garaufis granted the motion from Nancy Salzman, Kathy Russell, and Clare Bronfman to postpone the start of the trial until April 29th, Lauren will presumably be modifying it.
Regardless of what happens in terms of this particular travel request, it does raise the question as to why there are so many attorneys from Arizona involved in this case.
That is a topic that we’ll be exploring in depth in an upcoming post…