A multimillionaire liquor heiress was among four people arrested Tuesday on charges ranging from sex trafficking to extortion, in connection with the reported NXIVM sex slave cult that "Smallville" actress Allison Mack allegedly helped run.
Clare Bronfman, Kathy Russell, Lauren Salzman and Nancy Salzman were arrested on a superseding indictment charging them with racketeering conspiracy, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
The indictment also charges Mack and the alleged cult leader, Keith Raniere.
Bronfman, who is the heiress to the Seagram’s liquor fortune, will be arraigned in Brooklyn Federal Court Tuesday. She is allegedly one of NXIVM’s chief financial backers. Russell and the Salzmans will be arraigned afterwards in Albany. Nancy Salzman allegedly co-ran the NXIVM organization alongside Raniere.
The indictment, obtained by Fox News, alleges the group made up Raniere’s "inner circle" and helped him with various illicit activities such as conspiracy to commit crimes like identity theft, harboring of aliens for financial gain, extortion, forced labor, sex trafficking, money laundering, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.
According to the legal documents, members of Raniere's inner circle held high positions within the cult and had power in its "Pyramid Organizations," having served on the executive board of NXIVM. Because the group's activities were illegal and meant to defraud, the documents say they formed an organized crime "enterprise."
"The principal purpose of the Enterprise was to obtain financial and personal benefits for the members of the Enterprise by promoting the defendant Keith Raniere, also known as 'Vanguard,' and by recruiting new members into the Pyramid Organization," the indictment reads. "By promoting Raniere and recruiting others into the Pyramid Organizations, the members of the Enterprise expected to recieve financial opportunities and increased power and status within the Enterprise."
As previously reported, Allison Mack worked alongside Raniere and the four listed on the new indictment to recruit women as sex slaves under the guise of a women’s self-help organization. Members were allegedly branded with the organization's symbol and extorted with sensitive content including nude photos that they were asked to surrender to the organization as a kind of commitment.
Both Mack and Raniere were previously arrested for their involvement with NXIVM.