FILE PHOTO: Clare Bronfman, an heiress of the Seagram’s liquor empire, arrives at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse, for her trail regarding sex trafficking and racketeering related to the Nxivm cult in the Brooklyn borough of New York
Clare Bronfman, a member of the multi-level marketing scheme and alleged sex cult NXIVM, has been sentenced to 81 months in prison for immigration and ID theft.
Bronfman, 41, and her sister Sara are heiresses to their father’s multimillion-dollar Seagram’s liquor fortune.
Bronfman used her fortune to fund NXIVM lawsuits against people who chose to leave the organization and speak out about its manipulation tactics.
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Top-ranking NXIVM member and Seagram’s liquor heiress Clare Bronfman was sentenced to 81 months in prison on Wednesday, on charges of concealing immigrants and ID fraud.
During her Brooklyn court appearance, she was also issued a fine of more than $500,000 and ordered to pay more than $96,000 to a migrant she brought to the US from Mexico, according to court documents obtained by Insider.
Bronfman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conceal and harbor illegal aliens for financial gain after the prosecution cited evidence that she had smuggled and harbored six undocumented NXIVM members for monetary gain, promising pay and work visas but providing neither to these members.
In an August letter to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, Bronfman said she was sorry for harming others, but that she still believed in NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, who was convicted last year of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor.
“Many people, including most of my own family, believe I should disavow Keith and NXIVM, and that I have not is hard for them to understand and accept,” Bronfman wrote. “However, for me, NXIVM and Keith greatly changed my life for the better.”
Bronfman joined NXIVM, an alleged sex cult billed as a multi-level marketing company for self-improvement courses, in 2003 and rose to the top of its ranks as an executive board member 15 years later.
Before her prison sentence, Bronfman spent nearly $50 million on lawsuits on behalf of NXIVM. When former NXIVM members left the organization and spoke about the manipulation tactics its leaders used, they were often bombarded with lawsuits.
The prosecution said Bronfman promised one of the migrants $3,600 a month for her work, but the woman, identified as Jane Doe, only received $4,195 total of the $96,000 she was promised.
“[It was very difficult to] keep up the pace [of my work] with no income and with the uncertainty of not knowing how I will live each day,” Doe said in an interview with the prosecution.
Bronfman was also charged with ID fraud after pleading guilty for using the credit card and bank information of someone who had been dead for 15 months, racking up $135,000 in bills.
Bronfman was previously charged with racketeering, which she denied, in 2018. After posting bail for $100 million, she was released on house arrest.
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