April 21 (UPI) — Allison Mack, an actress on the TV show Smallville, has been indicted on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
Her arrest Friday is connected to alleged cult leader, NXIVM’s Keith Raniere, 57, who is known as Vanguard and also was charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
The group claimed to be a self-help program but actually was pyramid scheme where people were exploited “both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit,” according to U.S attorney Richard P. Donoghue.
Mack was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak.
“As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere,” Donoghue said. “The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit.”
Over the past two decades, Raniere established a series of purported self-help programs in the United States, Mexico, Canada and South America. NXIVM was based in Albany, N.Y.
It was a secret society called “DOS,” an acronym that stands for a Latin phrase that loosely translates to “Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions,” or “The Vow.”
They were told they were joining a “women-only organization that would empower them and eradicate purported weaknesses that the NXIVM curriculum taught were common in women,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
As a pre-condition to joining DOS, women were required to provide “collateral” — highly damaging information about friends and family members, nude photographs and/or rights to the recruit’s assets.
“As this pyramid scheme continues to unravel, we ask anyone who might have been a victim to reach out to us with information that may further our investigation,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney said in a statement.
Officials said Mack co-created a program within Nxivm called The Source, which targeted actors.
If convicted of the crimes, Raniere and Mack each face mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment and up to life imprisonment.
Mack played Chloe Sullivan on Smallville, which ran for 10 seasons until 2011. She had roles on FX’s Wilfred and NBC’s American Odyssey as well as films that included Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves and The Ant Bully. She also played a voice role in Amazon’s animated series Lost in Oz.