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Sentencing delay for some Nxivm defendants: What does it mean?

[Prosecutors roll in evidence during the Nxivm trial. Photo: Dianne Lipson]

On July 1, Judge Nicholas Garaufis adjourned the sentencing hearings for Nxivm defendants Nancy Salzman (July 10), Clare Bronfman (July 25), and Kathy Russell (July 31). He didn’t give any explanation, and didn’t set any new dates for the sentencings.

Meanwhile, there is no change in the sentencing dates in September for Keith Raniere, Lauren Salzman, and Allison Mack.

What’s going on?

One speculation is that more charges are coming for the three co-defendants whose sentencing is postponed. Perhaps other NXIVM members will be indicted as well. But it is also speculated that the reason for the postponement is that the co-defendants’ Probation Officers have not yet completed their pre-sentencing reports.

There was a huge amount of evidence seized from Nxivm members’ residences. On May 17, New York State Police Investigator Charles Fontanelli testified that in a search of Nancy Salzman’s house, “that canine dog [a dog trained to sniff out electronics] that we brought in was going crazy.” An article from the Albany Times Union states:


Federal prosecutors estimate the computer devices [found in properties used by Salzman and Raniere] contain up to 12 terabytes of data, and have noted that a U.S. Circuit Court in Manhattan has characterized one terabyte of data as being the equivalent of “12 library floors’ worth of books.”

What do you think is the reason for the sentencing being put off? Is it delay in the Probation Officers’ filing of paperwork? Or is the government sifting through that mountain of evidence and preparing new charges?


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 3, 2019 at 15:15

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Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He’s written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology’s harassment of Paulette Cooper titled ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely,’ and more recently a compilation of his stories, ‘Battlefield Scientology.’ He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world, as well as other subjects at The Underground Bunker. You can reach him by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT (Drop him a line if you’d like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.)


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