Allison Mack expected to plead guilty in Nxivm sex cult case

Bessie Dean
April 9, 2019

"I believed Keith Raniere's intentions were to help people. and I was wrong", Mack told a judge in federal court in Brooklyn as she pleaded guilty to racketeering charges.

Mack was arrested in April 2018 and charged for her alleged involvement with an organization called Nxivm, a group that claimed to be a self-help program but was, in reality, a pyramid scheme in which some recruits were exploited "both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants' benefit", according to USA attorney Richard P. Donoghue.

She was part of a secretive inner circle of female NXIVM members described by prosecutors as being "slaves" to Raniere, who is known in the group as "Vanguard". The minimum sentence is 15 years in prison, with the possibility of life in prison if convicted.

Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering charges on April 9, 2019 in a case involving a cult-like group based in upstate NY.

Fighting back tears in court, Mack said she had joined the organization, led by Raniere, a decade ago to find objective in life.

Prosecutors have accused Mack of recruiting sex slaves for Raniere and his cult-like organization called NXIVM.

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There was no mention at the plea hearing of any agreement by Mack to cooperate with prosecutors against Raniere, who is expected to go on trial later this month. She confirmed that members are required to give their "master", or recruiter, naked photos of themselves and other blackmail material before joining. The Justice Department began a federal investigation of NXIVM in 2017 when former member Sarah Edmondson filed a complaint, saying she was branded with Raniere's initials, "KR".

According to documents filed with the NY court last month, Mack was "engaged in negotiations with the government regarding a potential pretrial resolution of her case".

Raniere, 57, was arrested in March, 2018.

Last month, prosecutors unsealed new charges accusing Raniere of sexually exploiting a minor and coercing her to produce child pornography. Until the Salzmans' guilty pleas, officials and associates had repeatedly denied all wrongdoing and disputed allegations that it is a cult.

Clare Bronfman leaves Brooklyn federal court in NY on July 25, 2018. Seagram's liquor heiress Clare Bronfman faces charges for her alleged involvement.

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