Has the Plea Deal Bus made its last stop? – Part I

On Tuesday, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis approved Nancy Salzman’s request to be allowed out of her home for a limited period of time three times per week “…for exercise, and shopping for food and other necessities”: i.e., twice for 90 minutes each – and once for 120 minutes. The request had been submitted last Friday by Robert Soloway, one of her attorneys.

There are two ways of looking at this newest development in Nancy’s case.

On the one hand, it may be that the judge is simply giving Nancy the same accommodation that he had already granted to Clare Bronfman, one of her co-defendants in the case.

On the other hand, it may be yet another indication that Nancy has already entered into some sort of plea deal – or is close to doing just that.

This is a slide from Vanguard Week.  Now, the best way for Nancy Salzman to help people is for her to testify against Keith Raniere – which, by the way, is also the best way for her to help herself and her daughters.

Another recent indication that Nancy has moved from the Stripe Path to the Save-My-Ass Path is the fact that she also agreed to allow the prosecution to turn over forensic copies of the various electronic devices that were seized by the FBI last March from her then-home immediately after Keith Raniere was arrested by federal officials.

Had she not done that, it’s quite possible that the prosecution would not have been able to meet the established deadline for turning over copies of all the materials it may use at trial – which means that it would have forfeited its right to use those materials as evidence.

So, assuming that Nancy is now safely ensconced on the Plea Deal Bus, the question arises as to who else, if anyone, might also get a seat on it.

Let’s look at some of the possibilities with respect to Nancy’s current co-defendants…

Keith Raniere– no deal in sight for him.

Keith Raniere: The odds of Vanguard getting a seat are about the same as Buffalo not getting any snow this winter. To begin with, he’s the “highest-value target” in this case – and, thus, is not someone the prosecution is likely going to allow to get any type of reduced sentence via a plea deal. The most they’ll do is allow him to plead guilty to all charges and take whatever sentence the judge hands down – which would likely be a minimum of 20 years.


Allison Mack – high headline value

Allison Mack: Given all the evidence that the prosecution has already accumulated against Allison – and all the witnesses it has already lined up to testify against her – it’s also extremely unlikely that it will accept any type of reduced-sentenced plea deal from her. Her only chance was to cut such a deal right after she was arrested – and she stupidly failed to do that. She’s also a “high-value target” in this case.

Clare Bronfman – plenty of assets to seize

Clare Bronfman: Because she financed – and served as Director of Operations for – the entire NXIVM criminal enterprise, it’s also extremely unlikely that Clare is going to get any type of reduced-sentence plea deal. About her only hope would be to entirely flip on Raniere – which, at this stage, she does not appear to be ready to do. She’s also a “high-value target” in this case.

Lauren Salzman – what can Mama do to get her out  [since Mama got her in]?
Lauren Salzman: Because most of the information that Lauren might provide can also be provided by others, she’s probably going to need her Mom to buy her a ticket on the bus. But, given that she’s not a “high-value target”, the prosecution might be willing to take a reduced-sentence plea deal from Lauren if Nancy makes that part of her deal. So, Lauren may get a seat on the Plea Deal Bus, but she’ll have to sit in Nancy’s lap.

Hapless Kathy Russell – what’s she got to offer?

Kathy Russell: The “bad news” for Kathy is that all she likely has to trade is information about NXIVM’s various financial-related crimes. The “good news” is that she’s definitely not a “high-value target” – and, therefore, is not someone that the prosecution has all that much interest in. She’s also so pathetic that the prosecution might actually be willing to give her a minimum-sentence plea deal if she can help them sort out the myriad of shell companies that Raniere and Clare had set up – and verify all the money that was funneled across the borders from Canada and Mexico. The biggest problem for Kathy is that she likely still believes in the NXIVM “mission” – and has yet to comprehend the seriousness of the situation she’s in.

To sum up, it looks like Nancy has secured a seat on the Plea Deal Bus – and that she may be able to get Lauren on as well. Other than those two, the only other member of the current group of defendants who has any chance of getting a reduced-sentence plea deal is Kathy Russell.

So, that takes care of all the current defendants in the case. In a future post, we’ll take a look at some of the yet-to-be indicted members of the NXIVM cult and some of its non-member aiders-and-abettors.

About the author


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

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