HALFMOON -- A court filing by the Eastern District of New York demands the seizure of two homes in Halfmoon that are alleged to be related to a sex trafficking case against Clifton Park-based NXIVM.
The U.S. Attorney's Office filed for the civil forfeiture of a home at 8 Hale Drive and a condo at 127 Grendadier Court. The town assessor on Wednesday said that the properties are assessed for tax purposes at $71,800 and $39,000, respectively.
Court documents indicate the U.S. attorney is particularly interested in evidence gathered from those homes related to the case against NXIVM ringleader Keith Raniere, who is alleged to be "a prolific writer who often documents his interactions with people, including sexual partners." The document also alleges sex slaves had regular encounters with Raniere at the 8 Hale property, which is believed to have been under his ownership since before he fled to Mexico.
Raniere's alleged co-conspirator, actress Allison Mack, is believed to be the owner of the Grenadier property.
The 8 Hale residence is owned by Executive Housing & Properties Inc., according to the Halfmoon assessor, and 224 Grenadier Court LLC owns the Grenadier property.
The U.S. Attorney's Office alleges federal crimes were committed at the residences, including coerced sexual acts.
Raniere allegedly called the Hale townhouse "The Library," where his sexual activity "most often" took place, according to court documents.
After The New York Times first reported on NXIVM, Raniere fled to Mexico. He has since returned and is in federal custody.
Raniere's attorney, Paul DerOhannesian, did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
In an indictment last month, Mack was revealed to be Raniere's alleged co-conspirator, with both facing multiple counts of sex trafficking and conspiracies to commit sex trafficking and forced labor.
Members of NXIVM were recruited in what prosecutors call a "pyramid scheme," wherein they were promised to be compensated according to the number of new members they could recruit. Court documents outline how members were forced to pay "collateral" in the form of damaging information about themselves, embarrassing photographs or videotaped testimonials and that they were branded with a cauterizing pen during a process that took between 20 and 30 minutes.
While the homes indicated in the seizure are believed to have been the location of many of these acts, prosecutors allege that branding ceremonies also took place in Brooklyn.