Prosecution responds – opposes Bronfman’s request to contact NXIVM members

Moira Penza makes the closing arguments for the prosecution.

On September 17th, Assistant US Attorneys Moira Penza and Tanya Hajjar for The U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney, Eastern District of New York, responded to Clare Bronfman’s recent request to be able to contact as many as 1000 NXIVM members as part of a modified bail condition.

Penza and Hajjar oppose the notion.

In a letter to the Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis, United States District Judge, United States District Court in Brooklyn, in the matter of the United States v. Bronfman, et al., they wrote:

Dear Judge Garaufis:

The government writes in opposition to the defendant Clare Bronfman’s September 7, 2018 letter [seeking] … to remove the limited prohibition on association currently in place …  and the defendant Kathy Russell’s letter in support of that motion. …. [T]he government respectfully requests that the Court deny the request.

At the August 21, 2018 hearing before the Court, the Court entered, among others, the following condition of pretrial release as to defendant Bronfman:

[Bronfman] may not directly or indirectly associate or have contact with—except in the presence of her attorneys—current or former employees of, or independent contractors for, NXIVM (including any and all affiliated entities), any individual that she knows to be a current or former member of DOS, or any individual who is currently, or was formerly, on the Stripe Path, subject to reasonable exceptions agreed upon by the parties….  The Court invited counsel for Bronfman to submit additional authority in support of her objection to the non-association provision. However, Bronfman’s September 7, 2018 letter simply reiterates the arguments the Court has already considered and rejected.

The defendant’s letter provides no additional support, in the form of case law or otherwise, that the narrowly-tailored non-association condition the Court has already imposed is overbroad. Such conditions are routinely imposed by courts in this District in similar cases…..

The defendants in this case are alleged to have committed criminal acts spanning fifteen years as members of a sophisticated criminal enterprise that is deeply entwined with Nxivm’s leadership. The Enterprise is alleged in the Superseding Indictment to have operated through coercive means and methods including, among other things “[obtaining sensitive information about members and associates of the Enterprise in order to maintain control over them,” “[u]sing harassment, coercion and abusive litigation to intimidate and attack perceived enemies and critics” and “[e]ncouraging associates and others to take expensive Nxivm courses, and incur debt to do so, as a means of exerting control over them.” …  The risk to victims is supported by the letter submitted on behalf of several of them by their attorney, which was provided to the Court under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act…

Additionally, as alleged in the Superseding Indictment, “[t]he defendants . . . acted in concert with other co-conspirators, both known and unknown, who were members and associates of the Enterprise, some of whose identities” were presented to the Grand Jury. Because there are members of the Enterprise who are still at liberty, and the government has a compelling interest in ensuring that the defendants do not collude with unindicted co-conspirators or interfere with witnesses—concerns which are addressed by the narrowly tailored condition that the Court has already imposed—the government respectfully submits that the condition should not be lifted or modified.

Read the entire letter here 

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Frank Parlato


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  • The government contacts anyone it damn pleases including me but Clare can’t contact me ? Of Kathy? These are my friends I like to be with them. They have not been convicted of anything. How would you like it if everyone one of your friends were removed from your life?

    • “The government contacts anyone it damn pleases including me”

      What did the government contact you about?
      Your involvement in the sex cult?
      The blackmail material you gave to Allison Mack to insure that you would be a compliant slave?
      Your potential involvement in money laundering and other financial crimes?

      And I have noticed that people ask you all kinds of intimate questions about your body and sex life and you never get “medieval” on them.
      You don’t cuss them out at all.
      Questions that are really quite rude and intrusive.

      Yet when I declare you of being Nicki Clyne and lay out the reasons for my conclusion, you bristle up like an angry porcupine with the quills out.
      Why are you so sensitive about your identity?
      Are you facing possible indictment?
      What does the government have on you?
      Might you and your wife Allison soon be performing episodes of “Smallville” and “Battlestar Galactica” for your fellow inmates?

    • Be quiet. You have no argument here. None of my current friends have broken the law, nor have they used deception, rape, and terrorist-like tactics to intimidate and control other human beings for their own (financial) gain. Clare knows she faces prison, and worse for her, she knows Vanguard will be imprisoned possibly for life. Yet, you are trying to say this manipulative harridan and bully/terrorist wants to contact you just to hang out with you and that she won’t ever use you or others to intimidate witnesses for her. Please… witnesses must be kept safe otherwise these evil people will go free.

  • For anyone with legal knowledge, when someone “flips” in a case with multiple defendants, is it made known way in advance that they have done so? Or is it kept secret until trial?

    I’m just thinking about the potential for harassment, etc. by other defendants if it is known way in advance who has changed loyalty.

    • All good questions. In the case of Nancy Salzman if she has flipped, is she or does she warrant witness protection?

      • It has to made known in most cases, so both sides can prepare/adjust their strategies as necessary.

        Salzman probably wouldn’t need or get witness protective services.

        If she did, Lauren would need them too, since logic would make her a prime target for retaliation/retribution.

        I’m more curious about the terms of the deal she’s making, and what her end of the bargain yields.

        If I was sick (cancer), I wouldn’t be too worried about a prison sentence for myself, if I was being tried in a case like this. By the time sentencing happens, I could be at death’s door anyway. But…I’d have a real hard time watching my daughter go to jail, and would do everything I could do, to get the court to show her some leniency.

  • Could it get any more standard than not being allowed to contact potential witnesses and co-defendants ?
    Dumb defence lawyers are racking up their billables and taking time away from the prosecutors being able to get them their precious discovery since they only want partial discovery instead of everything that was seized.

    • Agree. The prosecution’s letter even mentions Clare’s request is a reiteration with no new facts or evidence.

      Also seems they’re using the occasion to not only churn fees but play games like mud-sling at the Frank Report and manipulate Kathy Russell, though. What anyone who cares about these stooges should be requesting —apart from a plea deal — is deprogramming, psychological counseling. …Who’ll join in starting an independent legal defense fund for Kathy Russell?

    • Gah! I can’t possibly imagine a less ethical use of one’s wealth than mindlessly pissing it away on wacky investments and greedy lawyers. My grocery store round-ups have probably helped more people than any of her millions.

  • Take away their ability to “chat with one another” you take away their ability to create lying for one another, buying off or intimidation of witness. This is a slimy group who have been known to lie for each other in a court of law.

    Bronfman has people she used to show jump with and family members she can reach out to if she is so bored / lonely.

    Kathy Russell has old friends she can contact in Alaska, where she used to live before moving to NXVILLE. She had a good job before NXVILLE so why can’t she find some form of work? Hum…. all those who have left and their income was from NXVILLE are having to figure it out.

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.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

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 premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

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