A rich benefactor of Keith Raniere, the disgraced chief of a self-improvement group in upstate New York convicted of turning girls into intercourse slaves who have been branded along with his initials, was sentenced Wednesday to nearly seven years in jail in a federal conspiracy case.
Seagram’s liquor fortune inheritor Clare Bronfman was taken into custody to start her 81-month sentence instantly after her look in federal courtroom in Brooklyn.
Bronfman, 41, admitted in a responsible plea final 12 months that she harbored somebody who was dwelling within the US illegally for unpaid “labor and companies” and that she dedicated bank card fraud on behalf of Raniere, chief of the group referred to as NXIVM.
In a letter to the courtroom final month, Bronfman wrote that she “by no means meant to harm anybody, nonetheless, I’ve and for this I’m deeply sorry”. Nonetheless, she stated that she couldn’t disavow Raniere as a result of “NXIVM and Keith vastly modified my life for the higher”.
At trial, prosecutors informed jurors the 60-year-old Raniere’s group, NXIVM – pronounced NEHK-see-uhm – operated like a cult whose members referred to as him Vanguard. To honor him, the group fashioned a secret sorority comprised of brainwashed feminine “slaves” who have been branded along with his initials and compelled to have intercourse with him, the prosecutors stated.
Bronfman’s attorneys argued she deserved leniency as a result of she had no direct involvement in essentially the most disturbing allegations and has a well being situation that would put her at better threat for a coronavirus an infection if incarcerated. However in courtroom papers, prosecutors argued she deserved a severe punishment since, “There will be little doubt that Raniere wouldn’t have been in a position to commit the crimes with which he was convicted have been it not for highly effective allies like Bronfman.”
The defendant had lengthy been affiliated with NXIVM, freely giving tens of million of to bankroll Raniere and his program of intense self-improvement lessons. She additionally paid for attorneys to defend the group in opposition to a lawsuit introduced by its critics.
Together with Bronfman, Raniere’s teachings received him the devotion of Hollywood actresses like Allison Mack of TV’s Smallville. Mack additionally has pleaded responsible and is awaiting sentencing.
As a part of a plea settlement, Bronfman agreed to forfeit $6m from a fortune prosecutors have stated is value $200m. Additionally they are looking for a $500,000 wonderful.