A former nurse who helped Keith Raniere launch the cult-like NXIVM group more than 20 years ago has become the latest high-ranking member to get a prison sentence. Nancy Salzman, a former president of the purported self-help group, was sentenced to 42 months in Brooklyn federal court Wednesday, though she won't be required to report to prison until January, NBC reports. The 67-year-old pleaded guilty to racketeering in 2019, admitting that she had hacked the email accounts of the group's critics. She was also fined $150,000 and has agreed to forfeit $500,000 in cash, several properties, and a Steinway grand piano, per the AP.
Other NXIVM members described Salzman as "Keith's enabler," though her lawyers said she was not aware of the group's all-female sect-within-a-sect, in which women were allegedly branded and coerced into having sex with Raniere, Rolling Stone reports. "Having trained as a psychiatric nurse, Salzman knew my condition yet did nothing to help," NXIVM victim Ivy Nevares said in a statement submitted to the court. "Instead, she leveraged my suffering against me, using it as further justification for her abuses and exploitation." Salzman "used her clout to build Raniere’s empire, knowingly and intentionally lying to do so," Nevares said.
Salzman's lawyers argued that she had been "fooled, controlled, humiliated, and ultimately led to engage in criminal conduct" by Raniere and should be considered one of his victims. "I know, your honor, that I put myself here," Salzman said at Wednesday's hearing. Her daughter, Lauren Salzman, testified against Raniere and was sentenced to five years' probation in July. Raniere received a 120-year sentence last year. (Read more NXIVM stories.)