Yesterday was a day of infamy – both for justice and for the mainstream media.
First, the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) prosecution team sold out the numerous victims of the NXIVM criminal enterprise by allowing Clare Bronfman to plead guilty to two relatively minor felonies – and agreeing to a sentence that amounts to nothing more than a slap-on-the-wrist.
Then, the mainstream media aided and abetted this miscarriage of justice by writing stories that covered up what really happened.
Let’s start by revisiting Clare Bronfman’s plea deal.
Before yesterday, Clare was facing the following charges in the EDNY: one count of Racketeering – and one count of Racketeering Conspiracy. Each of those charges carried a maximum sentence of 20 years.
In addition, Clare was also facing the likelihood that she would be charged with at least one count of Conspiracy to Commit Identity Theft in the Northern District of New York (NDNY).
She also could have been charged with at least two other crimes in the NDNY – i.e., Identity Theft, Money Laundering – both of which were listed as predicate acts in the EDNY case (If the NDNY ever did a thorough investigation of the NXIVM criminal enterprise – which now seems less and less likely – she probably could have been charged with many more crimes).
Instead, Clare walks away from all those problems with two relatively low-level convictions: one for harboring an illegal alien – and one for enabling credit card fraud.
She also got a sweetheart deal in terms of her punishment:
• A prison sentence of 21-27 months;
• Restitution of less than $100,000; and
• No requirement that she agree to cooperate against the remaining defendant in the case, Keith Raniere.
We also believe it’s highly likely that Clare’s deal included a “Non-Prosecution Agreement” from the NDNY (We are seeking confirmation of this – and will provide an update when we have more information)
And why did Clare get such a good deal?
For one reason only: she agreed to pay a $6 million fine to the U.S. government.
A great outcome for Clare.
A career-boosting outcome for the lead prosecutor, Moira Kim Penza – and the other members of the prosecution team.
And a totally shit deal for all the people that Clare harmed over the years,
And while it’s bad enough that Clare Bronfman was able to buy her wait out of her legal problems, it’s even worse that the mainstream media – and, for that matter, even the non-mainstream media – did not print one word about this travesty.
Rather than acknowledging that the U.S. criminal justice system had just failed miserably, other media sources focused on the fact that Clare had pleaded guilty in a case that included charges of sex-related crimes.
Let’s take a look at the headlines from several other media sources:
“Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman to plead guilty in Nxivm sex cult case” – New York Post
“Seagram’s liquor heiress Clare Bronfman pleads guilty in NXIVM cult prosecution, to pay $6 million forfeiture” – New York Daily News
“Clare Bronfman Pleads Guilty in Nxivm ‘Sex Cult’ Case, Leaving Leader to Stand Trial Alone” – New York Times
“Seagram’s Heiress pleads guilty in NXIVM sex slave case” – CBS News
“Heiress pleads guilty in NXIVM sex slave case” – The Daily Mail
“Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman pleads guilty in New York sex cult case” – New Hampshire Union Leader
“Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman becomes latest to plead guilty in connection with NXIVM sex cult” – The Georgia Straight
“Billionaire heiress Clare Bronfman pleads guilty in NXIVM sex cult case” – Courier Mail“Seagram liquor heiress Clare Bronfman pleads guilty in NXIVM sex cult case” – Business Insider
“US Liquor heiress pleads guilty in sex cult case” – Hindustan Times
“Heiress pleads guilty in sex cult case” – The Canberra Times
Even the few media sites that did not use the words “sex” or “cult” in their headlines failed to include any mention of the fact that the EDNY had just sold out the victims of Bronfman’s mean-spiritedness and vindictiveness for $6 million that will go into the government’s coffers:
“Bronfman, Russell plead guilty in NXIVM case” – The Times Union
I understand that headlines are often used to attract attention or “clicks”.
What I don’t understand is how no other news organization besides Frank Report recognized the huge injustice that was done yesterday.
Other may have forgotten about all the lives that were shattered by the power that Clare Bronfman’s money gave to Keith Raniere.
We have not.
Before Clare, Raniere was a punk con-man who had to weasel his way into the hearts and minds of people.
But with the money that Clare (and her sister, Sara) provided – and with Clare directing all aspects of the NXIVM operation – Raniere became a powerful and intimidating force.
Clare Bronfman is the equivalent of the North Korean scientists who provided nuclear weapons to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
She transformed Raniere from a pudgy little mad-man into a diabolical force.
I fully expect that after she’s sentenced, Clare will come back with a vengeance to continue her attempt to destroy Frank Parlato.
She will likely do the same to anyone else who has been willing to stand up to her and Raniere.
The EDNY sold out all the victims of NXIVM for the proverbial “few pieces of silver”.
How appropriate that they did that on Good Friday!