New York, .- The president of the sect NXIVM, whose leaders are accused of sex trafficking and other crimes, pleaded guilty on Wednesday of conspiracy to organized crime, so it could be sentenced to 20 years, reported the Federal District Attorney East of New York.
According to a statement, Nancy Salzman also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to identity theft and alteration of documentation in a civil case against NXIVM.
The prosecution has requested between 33 and 41 months in prison to the judge, who will issue sentence on July 10.
According to the indictment, NXIVM is part of a pyramidal network formed by several entities and created and directed by the main accused, Keith Raniere, who surrounded himself with a small circle of people he trusted, among whom was Salzman, also known as the “prefect”
Among the crimes they are accused of are “identity theft, extortion, forced labor, sex trafficking, money laundering, fraud and obstruction of justice.”
Raniere demanded his close circle, among whom were also the actress Allison Mack, known for her role in the series “Smallville”, an absolute loyalty.
Other defendants are Clare Bronfman, one of the heirs of the liquor conglomerate formerly known as Seagram’s, Kathy Russel, and Salzman’s daughter, Lauren.
Raniere, 57, had been promoting self-help programs for two decades under an umbrella company called “NXIVM”, of which he was a founder and which included operating centers in the United States, Mexico, Canada and South America.
According to the prosecution, NXIVM, established in the north of New York, followed a scheme of pyramid scheme in which the assistants were forced to take additional classes at a higher price and to bring other people to “ascend” in rank and obtain privileges.
Raniere was arrested on March 27 in a luxury villa in Mexico, where he fled last year after The New York Times revealed the stories of women who had managed to leave the group, which is estimated to have captured some 16,000 people.
That same day Raniere was transferred to Texas from Mexico and was presented before a court in New York on April 13.
In 2015, Raniere formed a secret society within NXIVM called DOS, an acronym in Latin for “Master of obedient female companions” or “The vow”, where he was the only man and leader, while Mack was “one of the women in the first level of the pyramid, immediately after “him.
DOS operated with the ranks of “masters” and “slaves”, and the latter were expected to recruit new ones, which would be below and from which the rest of the superiors in the pyramid, headed by the founder, could take advantage. (EFEUSA)