A federal judge in New Jersey delivered Nxivm sex cult leader Keith Raniere an unwelcome birthday gift on Monday when he ordered the group to cough up more than $1 million it owes to an investigative firm previously hired to fend off a civil lawsuit brought in New Jersey, according to reports.
US District Judge for the District of New Jersey Katharine Hayden ruled in favor of the New York-based firm Interfor on Monday — the 59th birthday of Raniere who was found guilty back in June on all charges, including sex-trafficking, for running the upstate sex cult, Radar Online reported.
The judge ordered Nxivm to dole out a total of $1,369,157 in back pay to Interfor, which the sect recruited back in 2004 to investigate cult expert Rick Ross, according to the Albany Times Union.
Ross, the leader of the Cult Education Institute, was previously sued by Nxivm, the Times Union reported.
The judge on Monday noted that before Interfor agreed to work for Nxivm, the company required the so-called self-empowerment group to abide by a contractual indemnity clause requiring it to foot the bill for Interfor in the event of “any claim, lawsuit, obligation, action, cause of action or cost or expense, of any amount and nature whatsoever be incurred by or imposed upon Interfor,” the news outlet reported.
Nxivm had initially complied with the agreement, but in 2007, a lawyer for the cult notified the firm that Nxivm would no longer comply, arguing that Interfor’s work “went beyond what the parties intended would be done, and beyond what NXIVM authorized Interfor to do,” the judge said, according to the Times Union.
Raniere is currently awaiting sentencing in the case.
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