One of the office buildings to be seized by the U.S. government
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Government Moves To Seize NXIVM Headquarters And Other Real Estate – And Whatever The Vanguard May Own

One thing you have to acknowledge about the U.S. criminal justice system is that once it decides to go after someone, it can completely and utterly destroy them.

Overcharging Of Offenses
First, comes the over-charging of offenses – which can turn just about any minor crime into a potential 20-year sentence.

This usually involves the addition of related crimes like “Conspiracy To ____” – and the all-time favorites of federal prosecutors: Bank Fraud, Mail Fraud, and Wire Fraud.

The overcharging leads to plea deal offers that, given the alternative, many defendants accept regardless of their guilt or innocence.

Three years in a minimum security prison is a lot more doable than twenty years in a maximum security facility.

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Pre-Trial Incarceration
Next comes the pre-trial incarceration of the defendant – which usually cuts off all sources of their income and makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the person and their attorney to put together a decent defense.

This is especially effective where the defendant has a family – and even better when there are young children involved.

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Tactical Delays
Then we have the tried-and-true pre-trial delaying tactics: e.g., unnecessary motions; delays in turning over evidence; superseding indictments, etc.

These pretty much ensure that by the time a trial gets started, the defendant has been at least somewhat demoralized – if not totally traumatized – by the time spent in prison.

Usually, I rail at these tactics as being abusive and unfair.

And then along comes a case like Keith Alan Raniere AKA The Vanguard – and I think the system is just fine.

The reality, of course, is that the U.S. criminal justice system has become totally out-of-balance in favor of the prosecution.

Few defendants in criminal matters actually go to trial.

According to a 2012 New York Times article, 97% of federal criminal cases – and 94% of state criminal cases – end up in with a plea bargain.

The current case of the U.S. v. Raniere Et Al pretty much reflects how the U.S, criminal justice system works.

Five of the six co-defendants pleaded out rather than go to trial.

And those people had a $14.3 million Defense Trust Fund at their disposal.

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But now comes the fun part.

As the government is bringing its case to a close – and anticipating a guilty verdict for The Vanguard – it has unleashed another of its weapons: Criminal Asset Forfeiture.

According to filings that were made yesterday, here are some of the assets that the government plans to seize in conjunction with this case:
(1) The real property located at 8 Hale Drive, Halfmoon New York 12065, together with its respective buildings, appurtenances, improvements, fixtures, attachments, easements and furnishings;

(2) Fifteen thousand six hundred seventy dollars and zero cents ($15,670.00) in United States currency seized on or about March 27, 2018 from 3 Oregon Trail, Waterford, New York 12188;

(3) Three hundred ninety thousand one hundred eighty dollars and zero cents ($390,180.00) in United States currency seized on or about March 27, 2018 from 3 Oregon Trail, Waterford, New York 12188;

(4) One hundred nine thousand seven hundred twenty-seven dollars and zero cents ($109,727.00) in United States currency seized on or about March 27, 2018 from 3 Oregon Trail, Waterford, New York 12188;

(5) The real property located at 7 Generals Way, Clifton Park, New York 12065, together with its respective buildings, appurtenances, improvements, fixtures, attachments, easements and furnishings, and all proceeds traceable thereto;

(6) The real property located at 455 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205, together with its respective buildings, appurtenances, improvements, fixtures, attachments, easements and furnishings, and all proceeds traceable thereto;

(7) The real property located at 457 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205, together with its respective buildings, appurtenances, improvements, fixtures, attachments, easements and furnishings, and all proceeds traceable thereto; and

(8) The real property located at 449 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205, together with its respective buildings, appurtenances, improvements, fixtures, attachments, easements and furnishings, and all proceeds traceable thereto.

Keith Raniere maintained a private townhouse at 8 Hale Drive for mentoring female students. The townhouse, which is referred to as ‘The Library’, has a commodious hot tub which is said to relax the female students who Raniere consents to teach.

The New Karner Road properties were used by NXIVM for its various business operations.

8 Hale Drive was Raniere’s sex lair.

And the 7 Generals Way property has been previously described as a townhouse that was purchased by Allison Mack.

Allison Mack’s townhouse at 7 Generals Way

Lauren Salzman and Allison Mack have already agreed to the government’s seizure of all those assets.

It is expected that similar agreements will soon be forthcoming from Nancy Salzman, Clare Bronfman, and Kathy Russell.

After all, who wants to go to their sentencing hearing while they’re fighting over these assets with the government?

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And as for The Vanguard, the self-proclaimed renunciate who claimed not to own anything or have any assets.

Looks like he’s going to turn out to be correct on that claim.

Yesterday, the prosecution also filed another motion to have Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis be the one to determine the amount of the forfeiture money judgment that will be imposed on Raniere if he’s convicted on any of the seven counts he’s currently facing.

At a minimum, the government will seek to have Raniere stripped of any rights he may have in the above-listed assets.

And it’s possible that the government will seek to claim any other assets that, despite his claim of being a renunciate, Raniere has accumulated over the years.

That could include anything he may have been bequeathed by Pam Cafritz and Barbara Jeske.

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All of the seized real estate assets will be sold at auction by the U.S. government. The proceeds from those sales – plus all the seized cash – will be retained by the government.

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Well-played, Moira et al.. .well-played!

About the author

Artvoice

News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

13 Comments

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Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply

  • YES! Going after Nxivm assets can cripple this organization. Putting them out of business is job 1. It’s a criminal operation. RICO was breakthrough legislation, it goes after a criminal gang’s assets; there’s not much point putting the people in jail if the operation continues, waiting for them to get out and resume business as usual.

    In this case, pretrial incarceration was justified. Raniere fled to Mexico to evade arrest, he was a flight risk. Ditto Mack’s unusually strict bail requirements, she fled the country with him.

    • Agreed. And RICO was designed to target mafia mob bosses who “kept their hands clean” by verbally ordering others do all the dirty work on their behalf. And due to the stiff penalties available, prosecutors were able to break through “Omerta” (the code of silence that stymied convictions of the higher ups prior to that).

      Keith instructed others to do a host of horrible things on his behalf, including harassment, vandalism, extortion, money laundering, tax evasion, bribery and much more. So he richly deserves whatever he gets out of this, IMO.

  • What overcharging of offenses do you think the government did in the case of the 5 who pleaded out?

    Assuming someone like Allison Mack purchased her home with money she earned legally through her acting / appearance gigs, what justification does the government have for seizing her home?

    • I was talking in general terms about the U.S. criminal justice system, not this particular case. But I do think that based on the evidence presented to date, the Racketeering Conspiracy charge against Kathy Russell – and the Racketeering and Racketeering Conspiracy charges against Clare Bronfman – were a bit over the top. I’m not saying you can’t make a case for those charges based on other evidence. But based on what’s been introduced so far in this case, I think those charges were inflated.

  • Most Americans do not understand that according to a 2012 New York Times article, 97% of federal criminal cases – and 94% of state criminal cases – end up in with a plea bargain.

  • Krclaviger,

    A while back you and Frank both stated your beliefs that Raniere personally had millions, maybe as much as 16 to 20 million, stashed away

    Has there been any mention of Raniere’s millions by the DOJ?

    • I believe you and Frank are correct. Just eyeballing the prices of the houses and real estate leaves out millions.

      If I , a lay person can do the math I am sure the federal government has as well.

      Hence the question:

      Where are the millions?

  • I think this is bullshit. Remember they destroyed hundreds if not thousands of lives (and the only reason we don’t know is because those people are still too broken to speak).

    The criminal system is too easy on criminals. It’s typical that someone who steals 20M would get a 2M fine. Crime is beneficial and that’s why so many smart people do it.

    As for pretrial incarceration, it only happens when the criminal is going to flee (Keith) or is rampaging in the community (also Keith).

  • I note that the Apropos facility is not on the list. Wonder why that’s not mentioned. It’s probably worth more than any of the residential real estate they’re intending to take.

  • So… Keith Raniere’s “punishment” is to be reduced to being average like me.

    What was my crime?

    On top of that, the people with the power to seize his assets keep them!

    If the allegations that NXIVM were trafficking children are true, the whole gang deserve life in prison—. Just to be sure they don’t start doing it all over again!!!

    The US Public asks if we’ve lost control. I wonder if we’ve ever had it.

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