03 Oct 2020: 81 months in jail for Clare Bronfman's multiple NXIVM crimes
United States District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis sentenced the 41-year-old at a Brooklyn federal court for conspiracy to conceal and harbor aliens for financial gain and fraudulent use of personal identification information.
She had pleaded guilty last year in April.
Context: Bronfman is first defendant to have been sentenced
Bronfman is the first defendant to have been sentenced in this years-long case against a multi-level marketing company named NXIVM that started as a self-help group for affluent women from all walks of life.
Founded by self-styled therapist Keith Raniere in 1998, the group pitched itself as one providing "Executive Success Programs" aimed at helping people experience more joy in their lives.
Sex slavery: Women participants were branded with initials, treated as sex slaves
Raniere and his cult comprising Bronfman, her sister Sara and even Smallville actor Allison Mack engaged in a secret society, also called 'The Vow', in which women participants were branded with the initials of Raniere and Mack, only to be treated as sex slaves.
The actor, who reportedly came up with the 'branding' idea, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering charges last April.
Charges: Bronfman also misused credit card information of a deceased person
It is alleged that apart from keeping NXIVM on bankroll, Bronfman also used credit card information of a deceased partner of Raniere (also called Vanguard), to keep the founder's name out of ownership of assets and evade tax payment in this way.
Bronfman wrote a letter to the judge, defending her actions as part of a senior executive of NXIVM, and was sentenced thereafter.
HBO: 'The Vow,' currently airing on HBO, shows the inside story
Raniere and Mack face their trials this month.
This comes at a time when a docuseries titled The Vow is currently airing on HBO and gives a detailed documentation of the exploitation each NXIVM member has faced.
Reports suggest that the members had to give away personally damaging information such as nude photos and ownership of properties as collateral for becoming Raniere's 'slaves'.