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Keith Raniere continues to face the consequences for his role in the NXIVM scandal.
On Tuesday, July 20, a federal judge ruled that 21 victims should receive a total of $3.46 million in restitution from the founder of the sex trafficking cult.
In court documents obtained by E! News, the judge also ordered Raniere to return the "collateral" that he still controlled or had access to once he had exhausted all of his appeals.
According to CNN, Raniere appeared at the restitution hearing by a video feed from a federal facility in Arizona. He told the court that he has "never handled the collateral" and didn't know who the victims were. As he shared with the judge, "I don't know what they are asking."
Raniere was accused of creating a secret all-female group known as DOS within the self-help company NXIVM. Back in June 2019, a federal jury in Brooklyn found Raniere guilty of all counts including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and attempted sex trafficking.
During the trial, group members came forward and alleged they were pressured to have sex with Raniere as part of the organization. Raniere, who pleaded not guilty, did not testify in the case and his defense attorney did not call any witnesses.
In October 2020, just days after a federal judge denied his second request for a new trial, Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison.
During an interview that aired on NBC Nightly News in that same month, Raniere spoke out from a New York prison and said he was "innocent" of the crimes he was convicted of.
"You know, one of the things that's most important in our country is the justice system," he stated. "And although, you know, people can hate me and, do, and think I'm an odious type of a character, you know, awful actually. Both the devil and a saint should be able to get the exact same treatment under our justice system."
Raniere later added, "There is a horrible injustice here. And whether you think I'm the devil or not, the justice process has to be examined."
At the same time, Raniere said he accepted responsibility for the part he played in the scandal, calling it a "horrible tragedy." As he explained, "I apologize for my participation in all of this pain and suffering. I've clearly participated. I've been the leader of the community."
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