It was Al Capone’s downfall when the feds could find nothing else. The recently unsealed federal complaint and FBI affidavit against Keith Raniere, unsealed upon his March 26, 2018 arrest in Mexico, raises questions about sexslave cult financier, Clare Bronfman, and her funding of Keith Raniere, aka “The Vanguard.” The federal complaint provides that Raniere formed NXIVM and other NXIVM-related entities as professional coaching service entities designed to “actualize human potential,” done through highly expensive courses, costing thousands of dollars and entailing strict, 500-800 calorie per day diets and sleep-deprivation. The federal complaint alleges that a five-day workshop for a Raniere-affiliated entity costs up to $5,000, and that many Nxians are required to go into debt to continue taking courses and pay off their debts, and, because of the great costs of the courses, Nxians become obligated to NXIVM. The complaint alleges that NXIVM has features of a pyramid scheme (a smaller pyramid scheme exists within that, DOS, the now-infamous sex-slave branding cult).

The complaint alleges Clare Bronfman, referred to as “Heiress,” is a well-known financial backer of Raniere and NXIVM, and sits on NXIVM’s Executive Board. In the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York’s letter to Judge Steven Gold opposing Raniere’s pretrial release, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Penza and Hajjar alleged that Raniere was discovered in Mexico, having “purposely concealed his location,” and staying in a $10,000 per week villa near Puerto Vallarta, with several women. Critically, the DOJ notes that Raniere “pretends to be a renunciate.” But in reality, Raniere “has spent his life profiting from pyramid schemes and has otherwise received financial backing from,” currently, Clare Bronfman. Bronfman has “financed” Raniere over the years, “providing him with millions of dollars and paying for private air travel, costing up to approximately $65,000 a flight. She has also paid for numerous lawyers to bring suits against Nxivm critics.”

Unpacking allegations in the complaint and combined with others, it boils down to issues arising from Raniere’s “renunciate” status, (which is well-known amongst followers, and further well-known that Raniere advocates that Nxians and others not pay taxes) and Clare Bronfman’s helping Raniere to (1) blow off his own taxes, and (2) financing Raniere’s pyramid schemes.

Generally, there are two kinds of tax evasion: willful attempt to evade or defeat a tax or wilfull failure to pay it. Somewhat lesser known is that the federal tax evasion statute, 26 U.S.C. § 7201, allows for prosecution of people that assist others in evading their taxes.

In other words, Clare Bronfman may have committed tax evasion by helping her Vanguard evade his own income taxes.

With Raniere as a self-proclaimed renunciate, financing of Raniere by Clare Bronfman will likely not be passed off on Raniere alone as a willful failure to file misdemeanor: failure to file taxes, in addition to an affirmative act to evade or conceal equals tax evasion (commonly referred to as a Spies evasion). Affirmative acts of evasion that Clare may have committed to assist Raniere would include keeping double sets of books, false invoices, destroying records, concealing sources of income, and anything else likely to conceal income. Clare also faces certain risks under federal conspiracy laws, such as conspiracy to commit tax evasion and other financial crimes (on this point, the Albany Times Union reports that NXIVM probe is broadening to investigate allegations of white collar crimes. The NY Attorney General is also investigating Clare Bronfman’s, non-profit Ethical Science Foundation.)

Upon the publication of the October 17, 2017 NY Times story exposing the sex-cult, Clare Bronfman issued a statement on ESP’s website, entitled “A note from Clare Bronfman.” Bronfman stated NXIVM has brought more financial success to her life than she had ever had before. Her note reads, in part — “I retired from a very successful career as a professional show-jumper because I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life. NXIVM is that. As I said, the programs help. I am happy,healthy and financially more successful than I have ever been.” Bronfman continued “I can say firmly that neither NXIVM nor Keith have abused or coerced anyone.”

The abundant success Clare speaks of, created by The Vanguard and his NXIVM for Clare, is likely a matter the Eastern District authorities will be looking into very closely, if they are not already.

If the feds can find nothing else on the sexslavecult financier, Clare’s lavish “financing” of the renunciate Vanguard may prove to be low-hanging, multi-million dollar fruit.

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George Frobisher


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  • From the Albany Times Union

    Allison Mack used deceit to kidnap a woman from Brooklyn and deliver her to Keith Raniere to be raped.

    During one of her trips to Halfmoon, the actress said Mack instructed her to meet Raniere in the middle of the night near his residence. He allegedly instructed the actress to remove her clothing, placed a blindfold over her eyes and drove her around. Once he stopped the vehicle, they walked through some woods to a shack where the actress said she was tied to a table and forced to engage in sex with an unidentified person who was in the room with Raniere.


    • I am really disgusted of myself to say this, but it might be very good news. If that sticks, the story of KR in Albany is over once and for all. Let us hope they find something on the Bronfmans as well as terror by litigation is not against the law itself.

  • After reading much of this site, as well as the Times Union expose from 2011, I get Keith Raniere and his motivation for NXIVM and the associated groups: even with his above-average IQ, he’s still awful at RPI and has to come up with some way to make money. So, he comes up with his Consumer’s Buyline scam but after watching it fail, he clearly needed another grift. The chubby little douche figured out through his failure that when you deal in product, you need some form of tangible commodity that the average person could hold in their hands. A pyramid scheme with physical product will always eventually fail – but a pyramid scheme where there was no physical product? Where it was only ‘knowledge’? Now THAT’S a grift!

    So he creates this ESP and acts as if the ‘knowledge’ he’s selling is some great spiritual realization that only ‘the smartest man in the world’ can come up with. After puking up a bunch of word salad, he gets a couple marks interested, sets himself up as a ‘guru’ and boom, he’s all set. He targets celebrities, just like Scientology and somehow ends up hooking the Bronfmans in.

    But this is the part I don’t understand, even a bit: how in the blue hell do you get these two to give up millions of their own cash with absolutely NO return on investment? He loses money on investment deals, a capella concerts, a week dedicated to his ugly ass and countless, countless frivolous lawsuits. Keith is happy: he’s getting revered like a god, he’s getting more sex than a dumpy, degenerate little loser could ever dream for, but his repugnant benefactors seem to be getting nothing out of all this except the bill.

    I hope we’ll someday get the full story, but I’m doubtful it will emerge. Keep up the good fight, Frank! Thanks!

    • “…but his repugnant benefactors seem to be getting nothing out of all this except the bill.”

      Meh. Occam’s Razor: Some people are just plain morons.

    • The Bronfman idiots gave the money easily because they didn’t work for it. Free Seagrams money. In exchange for the money, Keith transformed Claire from a lonely loser to one of the popular girls with power. Much more important to her than cash she didn’t earn.

      • If by “transformed”, you mean he knew how much money she had and so he “transformed” her by merely giving her the rank. How “popular” is a girl among a group of them who have just witnessed the girl be given something she didn’t earn to control them above those who thought they actually did earn something?

        “Much more important to her than cash she didn’t earn.”

        Irony. Since the power she earned was all due to the cash she didn’t earn.

    • $ has a completely different value when you never, ever have to work for it or do anything to earn it.
      That 100 million $ + gone… It is a dent in their trust funds / inheritance. It doesn’t affect their lifestyle in any way.
      It is no big deal to say to someone, sure, take my private jet. They didn’t pay for the plane through any hard work. They aren’t paying for the pilot or the fuel or anything else in any way that actually affects them.
      Even before they received the inheritance, they knew they could go play upon their father’s guilt for them being the outcasts of the family. He said he was going to cut them off, but never did.

      People who haven’t lived that way can’t fathom it.

      What is a big deal, if they gave him any funds as gifts, they are liable to report the gifts and pay tax on them, and we can all rest assured every financial record is being gone through even as we type.

  • Spot on. Legal analysis is right on the money. If Keith is receiving compensation of millions of dollars, and not reporting it, that is tax evasion. If the compensation is disguised as a gift, that is also tax evasion by the recipient and donor. If you receive gifts/compensation above a certain amount, that has to be reported to IRS.

    If they are creating shell corporations to hide the money transfers, that is money laundering.

    If they are working together to further the criminal enterprise, that is RICO – racketeering.

    And the question now is, since it was an MLM pyramid scheme, how much of the money from centers in LA, Tacoma, Van, Monterey, and Mexico City was sent back to Albany. And was it reported?

    Get ready for the asset seizures. Anything purchased with illicit funds can be seized by Feds as proceeds of criminal activities.

    • Former, are you a moron? You come across as if anybody in NXICN committed tax fraud.

      Every penny paid for courses went to Albany first. The next month commissions were paid out by the corporation to each independent contractor. They controlled 100 % of the money.

      All checks and credit cards (the only legal way to pay for a course which only Mexico appears to have paid in cash) were made to NXIVM Corporation and sent to Albany corporate office, not the satellite centers.

      Everyone was an independent contractor and responsible for their own taxes from their commissions.

      Not everybody who received commissions avoided taxes. For whatever reason, you want to make anybody who received a penny from NX out to be a criminal. Which once again makes me think that you’re a NX troll.

      • Hahaha! Are you Mark Hildreth? You sure seem to know alot about the money trail.

        Don’t worry Mark. The FBI and US Attorney’s Office has your number bro. And they are coming.

        It’s going to be hard to stay in the USA if your VISA gets revoked.

        And don’t worry. Every comment you make gets logged in and can be tracked by your IP address.

        I sure hope you reported these commissions on your taxes bro. Just because someone pays by credit card, doesn’t absolve you from reporting that income and paying taxes on it…

        Independent contractors that don’t report taxes. Sounds like an MLM scam to me.

        • It’s interesting how little focus has been placed on Mark Hildreth. He was involved with NXIVM for so many years, and involved past the point of really creepy stuff coming out.

          It truly is a function of celebrity. With the success of Hulu’s The Looming Tower, public focus may finally shift to him.

      • You’re being nasty and this is not the place for that. Be a decent human being or GTFO.

        We are great fans of FormerNexian, who is far stronger and more awesome than you will ever be, and shares insights and first-hand knowledge that we hugely appreciate.

        So STFU unless you’re able to be decent.

        • Wow, Hey. Thank you for the encouragement and support. I appreciate it. It’s been difficult, because when the story about the branding broke, I didn’t want to believe it.

          I started making excuses, blaming Sarah, it was just a little mark, etc. But the more I analyzed the information, the more I was able to think clearly and then the dam broke.

          Years later, I still had to break out of the indoctrination and get my mind back. These cults are so sinister, because they indoctrinate you. At the same time, they cut you off from the outside world. At the same time, they provide you with a new family. Everyone accepts you, everyone loves each other, but outsiders are parasites.

          What really broke the spell for me was comparing NXIVM to other 20th century cults. That was eye-opening.

          I place alot of blame on Mark Hildreth, because he set the whole thing in motion. And guess what, none of us like paying taxes, but that is how government provides services. And if you are going to come to my country, commit financial crimes and recruit women for a cult, I think your VISA should be revoked and your ass should be shipped back to Canada or South Africa, or whatever country you are from.

          And another thing, the US Attorney’s Office reported that Keith’s GPA at Rensselaer was 2.26. 2.26!!!!! Does that sound like a genius???

          And I’m going to contact that company, the one that administers the so-called test that Keith claims certified him as a High Level Genius. And we’re gonna find out if Vanguard actually took the test…

          We’re going to find OUT. And I don’t care if I have to subpoena someone or file a lawsuit, BUT WE WILL FIND OUT!

      • Hey anonymous – Your contribution, is it intentionally cretinous?
        Whats NXICN? are you sure you’re in the right place?

      • Hey anonymous, your contribution, is it intentionally cretinous?
        What’s NXICN?- Are you sure you’re in the right place?

      • Well, so don’t wait until the vultures are circling around you and regularize your situation ! You can prove your goodwill by preparing a tax due payback plan with your accountant. You may even avoid a hypothetical fine doing so ! If you’re Mark Hildreth, that would be nice to tell this to your former/yet girlfriend/fiancee ! There is always a solution. It’s up to you to figure out how to plan it. IMHO, if you were able to burn that money to NXIVM, you may be able to sponsor such a plan !

        Well, this is what I found after a 2 min. search on Google : https://www.irs.gov/payments/online-payment-agreement-application

        • <>

          “were unable to meet” : I might be an idiot, but psychological pressure and alienation shall enter in that category !..

          There must be a possible agreement, seriously. That would be smart to offer former NEXians some kind of “immunity” in exchange for informations.

        • Okay ! HTML tags support destroyed the first line, so : You may qualify for relief from penalties if you made an effort to comply with the requirements of the law, but were unable to meet your tax obligations, due to circumstances beyond your control.

  • If you want to take down Keith (for good) and end all of this cult madness, you have to bring down Clare. She has a lot of money and can hire the best lawyers to protect herself and Keith. If anyone knows of any Clare crimes, they need to be reported to the authorities. Or this nightmare may continue – never underestimate the ability of great lawyers to manipulate the legal system. By the way, I don’t believe she’s brainwashed. I legitimately think she’s an awful person like Keith and Allison Mack. I’ve heard from numerous people Clare was involved heavily (or in charge of) tax evasion and immigration schemes for Nxivm.

  • Does anyone know at what age Clare joined this cult? Is it possible she too is brainwashed? At this level of wealth, one typically has L&P always retained. Did she conceal her financial dealings with Vantard from her own attorneys and accountants? Or were they cult members too and helped her conceal these financial crimes. Her indictment should be an interesting read although I’m sure she’ll never see the inside of a cell. She can buy her way out of those chains. This all will just be another extremely expensive lesson learned for her.

  • Great post, thank you!

    The linked 2011 NY Post story by Jeane MacIntosh was also interesting, and included this information:

    “Raniere considered himself a “higher power” and wanted to start “his own country,” possibly by courting Native Americans. “For many years, we were collecting the names of people that had Indian in their heritage [with the idea] that if we had enough … we could then buy enough land [that] could be considered its own sovereignty.” NXIVM had a similar plan for Australia.”

    What a megalomaniac. And a key factor about cults is godlike status of the guru. That most certainly includes KR.

    • Ethical Science Foundation is all Clare. And ESF is illegal human experiments and Rainbow Cultural Gardens and the latter encompasses immigration fraud and money laundering. And happily the Feds and IRS appear very determined and capable in their pursuit of justice.

      • Check out the Wikipedia page on Jim Jones. They did a lot of community outreach with peaceful sounding group names.

        Keith loved that. Benign, generic sounding names. With really dark objectives. Almost like, the more flowery the name, the more dangerous the group.

        Now, the dark vision crashes. A Tower of Tears and Blood, that impales the powerful and makes the mighty weak.

        • Yes. ‘In Lach’ek’ or whatever its called, sounds like french/scots for ‘in the shit’, made my blood run cold.
          Preying on youth affected by gang violence, unbearable.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato


Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com