As TFTP has previously reported, billionaire heiress Clare Bronfman was indicted on racketeering charges in federal court in July. The indictment was connected to her involvement as Operations Director for the NXIVM sex cult which ensnared Smallville star Allison Mack as well. Now, prosecutors have come forward saying that this billionaire heir is protecting her fellow cronies with a massive amount of money in the form of a defense trust fund.
A federal judge in Brooklyn said he is planning on bringing all of the members of the alleged cult into court because he’s found “issues” with this defense fund set up by Bronfman.
Prosecutors have said Bronfman set up the irrevocable trust to keep her fellow cultists in line as they head to trial by paying for top-notch defense attorneys.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis held an initial hearing on the issue last month, where he ruled that documentation related to everyone contributing to the trust must be turned over.
The judge’s order noted that all defendants in the case must attend a court meeting “to address issues [the court] has identified in its review of the Trust’s indenture and the declaration that Defendants submitted,” according to the report.
For those who don’t recall, Bronfman is the heir to the multi-billion dollar liquor fortune of Edgar Bronfman Sr, the billionaire philanthropist who was formerly head of Seagram.
The Bronfman family has very close ties to the Rothschild banking dynasty as well, with members of both families belonging to many of the same companies, including their joint financial firm, Bronfman & Rothschild.
Additionally, at least three high-ranking members of the organization, including Nancy Salzman and both Bronfman sisters, are members of Bill Clinton’s foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative, which requires an annual $15,000 membership fee.
Salzman, her daughter Lauren and NXIVM bookkeeper Kathy Russell were also accused of a racketeering conspiracy in the superseding indictment in the case.
After her court appearance in July, Bronfman walked free after agreeing to wear an ankle monitor and posting $100 million in bail—illustrating just how deep her pockets go.
Although Bronfman is not accused of sex trafficking like the group’s leaders Keith Raniere and Allison Mack, Frank Parlato, a former NXIVM publicist-turned-whistleblower told the New York Post that Bronfman is among the harshest leaders in the organization.
She’s the enforcer—the brutal one. Clare’s running the [operation] now, and she’s the most ruthless of them. I’m issuing an absolute warning now. Clare Bronfman is a true fanatic, and if there’s a Jim Jones situation, everyone will commit suicide but her.” Parlato said last year.
The Daily Mail reported that “Bronfman has hired Susan R. Necheles, one of the top white-collar attorneys in the country, to handle her case.”
As TFTP reported on April 27, the majority of the funding for NXIVM, over a reported $150 million, came from the trust funds of Seagram heiresses, Sara and Clare Bronfman:
Their involvement with Raniere allegedly began in 2002 and has been very public and controversial, with other members of the Bronfman family distancing themselves from the sisters in the press.
Although this extremely important detail is being left out of most mainstream reports, one of the main charges in the criminal indictment against Raniere and Mack is sex trafficking of children.
Although Bronfman has not been accused in the alleged child sex trafficking case, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
Raniere and Bronfman conspired to commit identity theft arising out of a scheme to obtain the e-mail usernames and passwords of perceived enemies and critics of Raniere in order to monitor their electronic communications.
Raniere and Bronfman participated in an identity theft conspiracy involving the use of credit card and banking information belonging to one of Raniere’s sexual partners after her death in November 2016. Bronfman sent Raniere regular emails documenting expenses charged to the woman’s credit card for Raniere’s “review and approval.” Those expenses included payments to a chiropractor for Raniere’s benefit, as well as thousands of dollars’ worth of clothing and shoe purchases for the mother of Raniere’s child.
Bronfman encouraged and induced the illegal entry into the United States of an alien for Bronfman’s financial gain, engaging in international wire transfers to make it fraudulently appear that the victim had the financial resources to obtain an investor visa.
Raniere and his inner circle, including the defendants Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman and Kathy Russell also known as “Prefect,” and others known and unknown, comprised an organized criminal enterprise (the “Enterprise”).
The principal purpose of the Enterprise was to obtain financial and personal benefits for the members of the Enterprise by promoting the defendant Keith Raniere, also known as “Vanguard,” and by recruiting new members into the Pyramid Organizations.
By promoting Raniere and recruiting others into the Pytu-id Organizations, the members of the Enterprise expected to receive financial opportunities and increased power and status within the Enterprise.
On top of all the current charges faced by this cult leader, Raniere is also accused of having a history of pedophilia, with accusations that stretch back over 20 years, involving girls as young as 12.
In 2012, several women were interviewed by the Albany Times Union about the coercive sexual experiences that they had with Raniere when they were young girls. One of the women in the case was found dead of a gunshot wound before she was able to give the interview. Her death was ruled a suicide.
Clare Bronfman released a statement in December of 2017, regarding the allegations against NXIVM, denying any impropriety:
The past few months have been deeply painful for me, as I have seen my friends, associates, and the organization I care for come under fire. Some have asked me why I remain a member and why I still support NXIVM and Keith Raniere. The answer is simple: I’ve seen so much good come from both our programs and from Keith himself. It would be a tragedy to lose the innovative and transformational ideas and tools that continue to improve the lives of so many.
This defense of the NXIVM cult comes in spite of the countless women who have “escaped” the brutal organization with horrid tales of torture and rape. Bronfman seems overly confident that she and her group will beat the charges and this recent information on her fund may be an indicator that she will.
As TFTP has reported many times, billionaire sex offenders—like Jeffrey Epstein—all too often escape any form of actual punishment for their crimes against countless victims. Let’s hope that this situation plays out differently. TFTP will keep you updated as this case progresses. The alleged cult members are due back in court on April 29.