Clare Bronfman, heir to Seagram and NXIVM financier, was sentenced to 81 months in prison on Wednesday She pleaded guilty last year to charges of immigration fraud and identity theft , following his arrest in 2018 in connection with Keith Raniere’s infamous sexual abuse and racketeering ring
At the sentencing hearing in a federal courtroom in Brooklyn, Bronfman sat silently as nine women spoke about the horrors she and Raniere had inflicted, reported the New York Daily News The New York Times noted this week that the hearing was the first chance for many victims and former NXIVM members to speak to US District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis, and that it was the first major hearing at the courthouse since the start of the coronavirus pandemic
In my opinion, you are a predator, â ???? said Susan Dones, a former member of NXIVM, as she was in tears You should feel shame, self-loathing You should understand that there are lives that you have destroyedâ ????
– As long as you support KR [Keith Raniere], there is no forgiveness for you, â ???? another former member, Sally Brink, said – You are not going to heal with KR in your life You have to take back your power You have no sense of yourself without himâ ????
Bronfman had been involved with NXIVM, a self-help group, since 2003.She left her equestrian career to join the organization’s headquarters in upstate New York Prosecutors had asked Garaufis to sentence Bronfman to five years in prison, according to NBC News, saying his tens of millions of dollars in financial support was crucial to NXIVM’s existence The group became more commonly referred to as a cult and pyramid system last year when Raniere was convicted on charges of sex trafficking, racketeering, and possession of child pornography, and it emerged that some women from the organization bore his initialsÂ
– There is no doubt that Raniere would not have been able to commit the crimes for which he was convicted without powerful allies like Bronfman, – prosecutors have said in court documents, according to NBCÂ
Bronfman’s sister Sara was also involved in NXIVM but has not been the subject of criminal charges and is still allowed to profit from the Albany property that she owns and which was used by organization In 2010, Vanity Fair reported that up to $ 150 million had been taken from the Bronfman sisters. trusts and bank accounts to support Raniere and NXIVM
The Times noted that many NXIVM victims were upset with Bronfman’s guilty plea because the charges downplayed his organizational role Prosecutors said she used fraudulently obtained visas to get young Mexican women to work for NXIVM and helped Raniere maneuver financially using her deceased girlfriend’s credit card and bank account.
Bronfman’s lawyers had argued for probation only, saying she was not directly involved in NXIVM’s most disturbing crimes and that her health conditions meant that the coronavirus would put her at increased risk in prison Bronfman wrote in a letter to the judge last month that she never meant to hurt anyone, as I did and for that I am deeply sorry ????
But she also continued to pledge her loyalty « A lot of people, including most of my own family, believe that I should disown Keith and NXIVM, and what I haven’t is difficult for them to understand and to accept, ”Bronfman wrote, according to The Times. However, for me, NXIVM and Keith have greatly changed my life for the better…
Bronfman has already lost $ 6 million in his plea deal, and prosecutors have said the heir’s fortune is worth $ 200 million She is the first accused convicted in connection with NXIVM Raniere is currently awaiting sentencing, as did Smallville actor Allison Mack, who pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering after recruiting women for NXIVM
As The Times noted, Raniere asked about Bronfman in November during a phone call with a woman he has a son with – I don’t think his view of me has changed at all, – Raniere said If anything, he became more fortunate ???? During the coronavirus pandemic, some of his supporters organized dance parties outside the Brooklyn prison where he is being held
But in the courtroom on Wednesday, some former NXIVM members expressed what they had come to see about the group Barbara Bouchey said much of her life’s work was totally stripped of her because of Bronfman and Raniere, â ???? according to News10
Toni Natalie, who had previously dated Raniere, said: “Clare Bronfman was instrumental in trying to destroy my lifeat ????
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NXIVM, Clare Bronfman, Keith Raniere, Allison Mack, Sentence, Cult, Seagram
News from around the world – United States – Clare Bronfman was instrumental in the destruction attempt My life: Seagram Heir sentenced to 81 months in prison
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