October 22, 2022

NEW YORK –  A former jailmate of NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, who duped investors into pouring millions of dollars into non-existent film projects, is facing more legal trouble after prosecutors said he tried to repeat the scam using a would-be documentary about NXIVM.

James David Williams, 60, a southern California fraudster who violated conditions of his supervised release in connection with his 2017 conviction on six counts in the Manhattan-based Southern District of  New York, will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood on Friday.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan highlighted Williams’ connection to Raniere in a Dec. 14 pre-sentencing recommendation memo to the judge. The Miami Herald first reported the story on Williams, who had worked in the film industry and resided in Calabasas, Calif., a lavish Los Angeles suburb.

Raniere, 61, known by followers as “Vanguard,” was convicted at trial in 2019 of sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy and racketeering charges that included underlying acts of possessing child pornography, extortion and identity theft. Raniere is serving 120 years in federal prison in Arizona. 

For two decades, the former Halfmoon man commanded the cult-like NXIVM personal growth organization rooted in Colonie, where students paid thousands of dollars to take intensive courses in what critics and federal prosecutors later described as a pyramid scheme. Now, the prosecutors’ sentencing…

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