The arrests of Clare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman, her daughter Lauren Salzman, and NXIVM bookkeeper Kathy Russell are sure to have shaken up the already broken NXIVM cult and their subsequent blanket companies.
Clare Bronfman, daughter to the late former Seagram chairman and philanthropist, Edgar Bronfman Sr., is being charged with running a criminal enterprise that engaged in: money laundering, conspiracy to commit identity theft, attempted sex trafficking, encouraging and inducing illegal entry, trafficking and document servitude, state law extortion, sex trafficking, forced labor, wire fraud.
*It is important to note that during a court hearing in June for Keith Raniere (“Vanguard”), the judge rejected an attempt to have Raniere released on $10 million bail, that Clare Bronfman was ready and willing to put up to get NXIVM’s beloved leader set free.
The superseding indictment goes through each charge in detail and can be read in its entirety here:
In the superseding indictment, it names Raniere as the founder of several pyramid-structured organizations–not only NXIVM, but also Ultima, and the NXIVM’s inner organizations “DOS”, the “VOW” and “the sorority”.
Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, Kathy Russell, Lauren Salzman and Nancy Salzman (otherwise known as “Prefect”), are all named as part of Raniere’s inner circle within the indictment.
The indictment describes the “Enterprise”, which includes the above mentioned names as a group of individuals associated and engaged in the activities which affected interstate and foreign commerce. It goes on to explain that the Enterprise operated within the Eastern District of New York, the Northern District of New York and other locations, including overseas. The indictment alleges that the Enterprise, and those associated with participating promoted, enhanced, and protected the Enterprise by:
(a)“committing, attempting and conspiring to commit crimes, including but not limited to identity theft, harboring of aliens for financial gain, extortion, forced labor, sex trafficking, money laundering, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.”
(b) Demanding absolute commitment to RANIERE, including by
exalting RANIERE’s teachings and ideology, and not tolerating dissent;
(c) Inducing shame and guilt in order to influence and control
members and associates of the Enterprise;
(d) Obtaining sensitive information about members and associates of the Enterprise in order to maintain control over them;
(e) Recruiting and grooming sexual partners for RANIERE;
(f) Using harassment, coercion and abusive litigation to intimidate
and attack perceived enemies and critics of RANIERE; and
(g) Encouraging associates and others to take expensive Nxivm
courses, and incur debt to do so, as a means of exerting control over them and to obtain
financial benefits for the members of the Enterprise.
The indictment also states that the defendants charged in Counts Two, Four, Five and Six, that upon their conviction of any of these offenses the government will seek forfeiture in accordance with Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1594 (d) of any property, real or personal that was involved in, used or intended to be used to commit or facilitate the commissions of these crimes.
This, is what just boosted NXIVM member Clare Bronfman to the top of the list of those being targeted–why? Because she has the most assets available to be seized if she is convicted.
Need a quick run down of the charges? Frank Parlato with the Frank Report gives a good Cliffs Notes version here:
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 Lauren Salzman trafficked a victim, who was once a sexual partner of Raniere’s, for labor and services. The victim was confined to a room in Clifton Park, New York, for nearly two years as punishment for having romantic feelings for a man who was not Raniere. The victim was told that if she left the room she would be sent to Mexico without any identification documents. As threatened, she was driven to Mexico and her family was instructed by co-conspirators, including Lauren Salzman, not to send the victim her identification documents.
Raniere and Lauren Salzman obtained property and services from their slaves through fraud and extortion. After DOS was exposed, Salzman was one of the leaders of a disinformation campaign designed to spread lies about DOS and Nxivm members in order to discredit victims.
Nancy Salzman, in her role as second-in-command to Raniere within Nxivm, conspired with Raniere and others to obstruct justice by altering records in connection with a civil lawsuit initiated by Nxivm against a former Nxivm student. As part of the discovery in the former student’s countersuit, Nancy Salzman was ordered to turn over videos of courses the student had taken. Nancy Salzman engaged in a scheme to edit videos of courses she had taught to remove materials that she and her co-conspirators believed would have supported the former student’s claims.
Raniere and Russell conspired to commit identity theft as part of a scheme to smuggle an alien into the United States through Canada after the alien was denied entry. Russell provided the alien with an identification card bearing the last name and birthday of a dead woman.
FrankReport passage ends
The charges in the superseding indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years’ imprisonment for racketeering conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy charges, as well as a maximum of 15 years’ imprisonment for the identity theft conspiracy charge. In addition, Raniere and Mack each face mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment, and up to life imprisonment, on related charges of sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy.
Bronfman, both Salzmans, and Russell were all arraigned today and according to reporter Jake Lahut, US Magistrate David J. Stewart put conditions of release on Kathy Russell that included $25,000 bond and electronic surveillance.
Lauren Salzman is set to be released on $5 million bond under the condition that her grandparents post $50,000 cash in Brooklyn and surrender her passport.
Nancy Salzman is also pending release on $5 million bond.
The Salzmans are due in court in Brooklyn tomorrow at 2 p.m. and Russell will be in Albany Friday at 1 p.m.
As for Clare Bronfman, she has been released on $100 million bail and is will be on house arrest pending trial, as she is most definitely considered a flight risk.
This story is still developing.
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