Federal Law Enforcement said to be investigating Raniere/Bronfman probe of judges

Clare Bronfman may be on the hook criminally for ordering financial probes of US judges involved in lawsuits she was/is funding.

One topic that may be gaining traction with federal law enforcement officials is Keith Raniere and Clare Bronfman’s alleged accessing of the bank accounts of federal judges involved in their cases.

Ex NXIVM members have been contacted by federal law enforcement officials seeking copies of documents that may evidence criminality.

judge gary sharpe
Was US District Chief Judge Gary L. Sharpe’s finances illegally probed by Clare Bronfman and Kieth Raniere?

NXIVM inner circle member, Kristin Keeffe, claims that Clare Bronfman paid a Canadian investigative firm, Canaprobe Group, close to $1 million to uncover financial records of several perceived NXIVM enemies including six judges who presided over cases involving NXIVM or its critics: U.S. District Chief Judge Gary L. Sharpe; U.S. Magistrate Randolph F. Treece; U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert E. Littlefield Jr., U.S. Senior Judge Thomas J. McAvoy, U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh and U.S. Magistrate Mark Falk.

Cavagnaugh Dennis 06_ppsm
Kristin Keeffe says Clare Bronfman illegally probed U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh’s financial records.

The other individuals Keeffe claims Bronfman paid to investigate are: U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Clare Bronfman’s father, the late Edgar Bronfman, George R. Hearst III, publisher of the Albany Times Union; Rex Smith, the newspaper’s editor and a former reporter James Odato, who wrote a series of stories on NXIVM, plus longtime NXIVM enemies, Barbara Bouchey, Toni Natalie and Joseph O’Hara.

judge mark fask
US Magistrate Judge Mark Falk presided in a Raniere lawsuit against cult tracker Rick Ross .

In a taped telephone conversation earlier this year with former NXIVM inner circle member, Barbara Bouchey, Keeffe spoke about the probes of judges and other Raniere enemies.

Keeffe said, “ultimately (Bronfman/Raniere) went ahead and got financial information on you, on Toni (Natalie), on Joe (O’Hara), on Jim Odato, George Hearst, Rex Smith, every Judge in every case that they were involved in. Now, when this comes out, it’s going to be a shit storm. They’re never going to be able to civil litigate a case ever again. Now, what we were told at the time was that because it was in Canada it was totally legal. And, if my emails were ever subpoenaed, I have records from Harris Beach saying this is totally legit. I learned later that there’s no fucking way this is totally legit. Even if it wasn’t criminal, it goes to, it’s certainly a civil, it’s civil damages. But, from a credibility standpoint, it’s the fucking death note. Because, they’re getting information on fucking judges and the press. Obviously they got information on you, too, but the thing that makes it headline worthy and completely will discredit them. ….

Keith Raniere would decide who would be probed, according to his longtime legal liaison, Kristin Keeffe. Keeffe later fled from the NXIVM cult and is said to be in hiding.

“What, what the process was – was Keith would decide what was ordered,” Keeffe told Bouchey. “I would call Canaprobe and tell them what they wanted. The invoices, and what they would do is fax the results, they would fax the financial information, and the invoices to the myfax account, which was also in the same email account and the same email address, in other words when you sign up for myfax, you sign up using an email.”

Whether federal law enforcement officials now investigating this matter will pursue it and whether this will lead down other criminal ‘avenues’ is unclear at this time.

According to one ex- NXIVM source –  federal law enforcement officials visited him to get documents on Clare Bronfman and Keith Raniere’s role in connection with their probe of federal judge’s financial records.

Another ex-NXIVM source told me that Raniere said the probe he ordered Clare Bronfman to pay for and oversee was undertaken to find out if any of the judges involved in their numerous cases had received any sudden infusions of money – which might indicate they had taken bribes from NXIVM opponents.

During my tenure at NXIVM, the inner circle attributed their constant losing of cases to bribery and political animus and not to the wrongfulness or lack of merit of their lawsuits.

When I tried to persuade Raniere that his lawsuits were wrongful, vengeful, unjust and counter productive, I was met with sullen rejection by him and anger from certain members of his inner circle who were deeply involved in the litigation.

Former Albany Times Union reporter James Odato wrote a series about NXIVM. Keeffe said his finances were probed by a Canadian company at Raniere’s behest.

Clare Bronfman seemed to hardly understood any of the finer points of the litigation she funded. When I asked her, for instance, why she was funding a certain protracted lawsuit, spending far more in legal fees than they were seeking in damages, she stammered out an “upholding justice” answer.

When I pressed her as to how she was upholding justice by continuing to sue when she had already completely bankrupted the individual in question and he had already turned over all his assets, she said, “I have to ask Keith and get back to you.”






About the author

Frank Parlato

Frank Report’s founder and lead writer Frank Parlato is one of the internet’s most acclaimed investigative journalists. His writing and investigations have helped expose major criminal organizations and scandals.

Frank’s work has been cited in major publications all over the world, including The New York Times, New York Post, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CNN, Rolling Stone, and more.

He is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of Artvoice, The Niagara Falls Reporter, Front Page and the South Buffalo News.

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About Frank Parlato

About Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in major publications all over the world, including The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CNN, Fox News, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, and more.

Frank Parlato was the lead investigator and coordinating producer of Investigation Discovery's 2 hour blockbuster special 'The Lost Women of NXIVM.'

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