Judge ‘Considering’ Longer Sentence for Clare Bronfman!

Clare Bronfman, 40, may be going to prison for a lot longer than she thought!

According to an order released today, Judge Nicholas Garaufis is “considering an above Guidelines” sentence for Clare Bronfman.

The Seagrams heiress and top leader of Nxivm is set to be sentenced on Jan. 8, 2020.

Her sentencing guidelines are in the 21-27 months range for charges she was convicted of – the result of a plea bargain made with the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in April 2019.

She could face as much as 25 years if he chose to give Bronfman consecutive sentences on her two felony counts, which is unlikely. Her two counts come with a maximum a maximum of 10 and 15 years.

Here is the judge’s exact order:

ORDER as to Clare Bronfman: In advance of Clare Bronfman’s sentencing hearing scheduled for January 8, 2020, Ms. Bronfman may make a sentencing submission by no later than December 30, 2019, the Government may respond by no later than January 3, 2020, and Ms. Bronfman may reply by no later than January 6, 2020. The court advises the parties that it is considering an above Guidelines sentence. Ordered by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on 12/17/2019. (Davis, Eleanor)

This is bad news for Bronfman who paid $6 million in fines – in part to limit her exposure to a more lengthy prison sentence.

Now, it seems she is likely to get a longer sentence anyway.

Bronfman, an heiress of the Seagram’s fortune and the Director of Operations for Nxivm, pleaded guilty on April 19, 2019, on Good Friday, in Brooklyn Federal Court. Celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos, along with attorney Kate Cassidy, represented her.

Bronfman, a high school dropout, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conceal and harbor an illegal aliens for financial gain and fraudulent use of identification.

Clare Bronfman

Her charges essentially arose from:

Count 1: Between October 2015 and January 2018, there was an agreement between Clare Bronfman and others to conceal or harbor Sylvie, an illegal alien, for financial gain. Sylvie obtained a work visa procured through false statements made by Bronfman – and Bronfman’s housing of Sylvie facilitated her ability to remain in the United States. Sylvie provided labor and services for Bronfman, DOS and NXIVM.

Count 2: Between November 2016 and March 2018, Bronfman, with others, transferred, possessed and/or used without lawful authority the identification and credit card of the late Pamela Cafritz in violation of federal law.

By facilitating Keith Raniere’s use of Cafritz’s credit card, Bronfman aided and abetted tax evasion by Raniere, as part of a scheme to allow him to falsely portray himself as a renunciate and not pay taxes on his income and assets.

Bronfman signed an 11-page plea agreement on April 19th, 2019.

Here is what the judge said at her hearing where she pleaded guilty on Good Friday 2109:

“As to Count One, conspiracy to conceal and harbor aliens for financial gain, the maximum term of imprisonment is ten years…. there is no minimum term of imprisonment….

“With regard to Count Two, fraudulent use of identification, the maximum term of imprisonment is 15 years. There’s no minimum term of imprisonment….. 

“Sentence is imposed … on the two counts can run consecutively or concurrently….

“Now, the government has made a prediction as to the calculation of your guideline….. Assuming the defendant pleads guilty today and accepts responsibility, the government is predicting that the defendant will have an adjusted offense level of 16, and assuming she is in Criminal History Category I, that her guideline would be 21 to 27 months in the custody of the Attorney General. Is that your current prediction?…

“Now, in this plea agreement letter that’s dated … April 19th, 2019 …  there is an agreement regarding your [Bronfman’s] right to appeal your sentence.

“The agreement letter says, and I want to make sure you understand this, that by signing this agreement, you agree not to appeal, or in any other way challenge the sentence I impose upon you if it is 27 months or less. If I were to sentence to you more than 27 months in jail, and you believe there was a legal or other error in my doing that, you would then have the right to appeal your sentence to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Do you understand that?

“THE DEFENDANT: I do, Your Honor.

“THE COURT: Do you understand that you have the right to appeal only if I sentence you to more than 27 months?

“THE DEFENDANT: Yes.

“THE COURT: Do you understand that even if the sentence I give is you more severe than what you may be thinking or hoping you will receive, you are still going to be bound by your guilty pleas and not permitted to withdraw them, and you will not be able to challenge or appeal that sentence as long as it is 27 months or less, as we have discussed?

“THE DEFENDANT: I do, Your Honor.”

***

So what does this new order mean?

The government and Clare will both be permitted to submit information or evidence to persuade the judge as to what they think is a proper sentence.

Clare must have her initial argument submitted by December 30th.

The government will then have until January 3rd to respond to Clare’s submission – and she will have until January 6th to submit her final argument to the Court.

The fact that the judge announced in advance he is considering an upward departure on sentencing guidelines not only bodes ill for Clare, but it may also be sending a message that the judge may be contemplating the same for at least some of her co-defendants.

Bronfman will be the first Nxivm defendant to be sentenced. Raniere is next (He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 17). Raniere will be followed by Kathy Russell.

Speculation:

It is my guess that the judge was horrified during the trial to learn about the brutal nature of Nxivm and the monster Raniere. He also became aware that Bronfman funded and enabled the entire Nxivm operation. Without her, there would have been no Nxivm at the scale of harm it achieved.

I suspect the judge has received numerous victim impact statements and letters from interested parties concerning Clare and the other defendants’ sentences.

No doubt many of these were heartfelt letters from victims and many mentioned the brutal and sinister role Clare Bronfman played in Nxivm.

No one who knows how Nxivm operated, could fail to have been aghast that Bronfman was facing one of the lightest of sentences among Nxivm defendants when her plea deal was announced.

That has changed now. There may be true justice coming for Clare Bronfman and for her victims.

I have heard it perhaps 100 times, from victims afraid to come forward: They admitted Raniere was likely to be in prison for a long time but again and again they told me that Clare will be out in just two years and she will be – knowing her nature – out for blood and vengeance.

Now the calculus may be different. The brutal female monster of Nxivm may be sequestered from harming others for longer than 27 months. This would be true poetic justice since next to Raniere, she was the most dangerous and wicked.

The crimes she admitted to are but a tiny fraction of the crimes she committed.

If she is sentenced to more than 27 months, Clare will be able to appeal her sentence. It might even mean – though I personally doubt it –that she will remain free pending appeal.

I think the most likely outcome is that Clare will be sent to prison upon or soon after sentencing.

If she gets a longer sentence, her many victims will sleep much better in their beds that night.

 

Clare Bronfman

A source tells me that the presentencing report may have gone badly for Clare which might be reason the judge has announced the possibility of an upward departure from sentencing guidelines in advance.

Another media source told me that in all his years of covering the courts, he has never seen a judge announce in advance an intention to give a defendant an upward departure.

 

 


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    • I think the judge is trying to ensure that whatever sentence he hands out will not be overturned on appeal (Clare has the right to appeal any sentence that is more than 27 months). By giving her a chance to state her case for a sentence that is within the guidelines, he will be able to claim that he took those factors into consideration before he decided what her sentence will be (She’ll still appeal – but because the judge forced her to put forth her arguments before he pronounced sentence, she won’t be able to claim that he didn’t consider those factors).

      Without getting too far into the complexities of sentencing in federal courts, I also think that the judge will classify his sentence as a “variance” from the Sentencing Guidelines rather than as an “upward departure”. Those who want to understand the difference can read the article at: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/white-collar-and-criminal-law/insight-federal-sentencing-to-vary-or-depart-from-the-guidelines

  • …….Clare Bronfman is cutting off her ankle bracelet and fleeing the country…

    ….You don’t have to be Nostradamus to predict that…..

      • L’chaim! Whatever happened to the Lolita Express? By the way, the New York prosecutors have just admitted to having found that they’ve lost the security videos from Epstein’s first, failed “suicide attempt.” It’s beginning to look like a winter wonderland, and the Bronfmans might want to be far from the madding crowds. There is some January 2020 vision coming, and the fallout for relatives of Clare Bronfman could be a big drag. I wonder if Clare still has her Wakaya spot in Fiji, but maybe nobody speaks to Clare anymore. She and her big mess has kept going on and on like a stubborn woodpecker.

  • This is the first time I’ve ever heard of something like this order from Judge Garaufis. What would be motivating it? How was the order explanatory? People are aware that Judge Garaufis can sentence as he decides and that he would be taking the hard work of other legal representatives into account when he delivers Bronfman’s sentence.

    I like the order but am not the Judge and am an emotionally-charged bystander. To me, Raniere, Nancy Salzman, Clare Bronfman and many other Nxivm/DOS individuals have been operating in society as hardened, criminal fanatics. Obviously they were acting with deep perversion and cruelty, even to one another, never mind to their designated “enemies.”

    Although right now, I could submit a long list of reasons that (I think) Clare Bronfman was acting as a criminal underboss and “treasurer.” She has been undercharged so far, for what criminal actions she has done or should have to prove, in court, that she hasn’t done. To observe that Clare Bronfman pretty much told the court that her loyalty lies with Keith Raniere told it all. But there’s plenty more.

    In court, essentially Clare Bronfman said that she was born into great privilege and should’ve known better than to act as she has acted. The truth is that most people of lesser economic means very often choose to live honorable and respectable lives.

    Not many of us poorer people got our GED at age 40 while wearing an ankle monitor under home confinement, either. Bronfman made her own choices.

    Her privileged and unearned wealth sure as hell didn’t do much for Clare Bronfman, did it. But she thought she had seen a lot of good in Raniere’s organ, or did she use another euphemism? Clare Bronfman displayed herself in court as saying that she thought she was doing good.

    Are you kidding me? Somebody tell me what’s good! Clare Bronfman is hitting middle age as a fanatical dingbat and abuser who is getting what’s coming to her. I hope that the legal catastrophes, the ones she has earned for herself, are only just beginning. Bronfman is still completely into the Raniere mumbo-jumbo, it would appear, and so is her sister, Sara Bronfman Igtet. You know the beat goes on.

    Judge Garaufis would know considerably more details about each of the Nxivm criminal defendants than I would. He could’ve given the same timing requirements contained in his order upon sentencing Bronfman in court. Nothing can be initiated until after his sentence has been given. So was this court order what we call “shots fired” or has Judge Garaufis got some facts in his hands right now? Say about what is going to happen next, maybe Judge Garaufis already knows something.

    Was Judge Garaufis wearing a Santa suit beneath his robes? In case he was, joy to the world. Still, how come he do dat? What’s up?

    • I think the judge is trying to ensure that whatever sentence he hands out will not be overturned on appeal (Clare has the right to appeal any sentence that is more than 27 months). By giving her a chance to state her case for a sentence that is within the guidelines, he will be able to claim that he took those factors into consideration before he decided what her sentence will be (She’ll still appeal – but because the judge forced her to put forth her arguments before he pronounced sentence, she won’t be able to claim that he didn’t consider those factors).

      Without getting too far into the complexities of sentencing in federal courts, I also think that the judge will classify his sentence as a “variance” from the Sentencing Guidelines rather than as an “upward departure”. Those who want to understand the difference can read the article at: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/white-collar-and-criminal-law/insight-federal-sentencing-to-vary-or-depart-from-the-guidelines

    • If I understand you correctly, my source is the judge — his order which came out today where he said he was “considering” a sentence above the sentencing guidelines.

  • Can authorities in Alaska get together with the DOJ and look at Keith’s and others emails before, during, and after Kristen Snyders disappearance ?

  • Could this just be a democrap New York scam that will allow Clare to appeal and have her sentence cut down to almost nothing? Hope not

  • Of course Clare is getting a longer sentence, because her own lawyer Dennis Burke (Bangkok) sold her out, badly, in order to protect the real client he was hired to protect — who to this day, has still not been charged with a crime.

    Burke is counting on Clare to not have the boldness to sue him for conflict of interest, malpractice, abuse of trust, and outright fraud! However increasingly it’s looking like her best path to a successful appeal is uncovering the truth about the only federal prosecutor to resign after being called a “liar” by the DOJ Inspector General in the history of the United States, Dennis K. Burke.

    Imagine paying your own lawyer good money only to have him sacrifice YOU, while he made deals to save another defendant behind your back, then your former lawyer follows up those acts by routinely insulting your looks and appearance on Frank’s blog. Yes, Dennis Burke is a backstabbing scumbag. Yes, “Bangkok” is Dennis Burke. He just admitted as much this week in a letter to Frank.

    If I were Clare Bronfman, I’d be fuming mad at my former lawyer. But hey, maybe he’s denied it and that’s good enough for her…I mean it’s possible there really are people naive enough to pay good money to a lawyer, only to have their own lawyer sell them out…and then believe their lawyer (who was previously called a “leaker and a liar” by the Dept. of Justice Inspector General) when their former lawyer denies selling them out….talk about gullible……..sad!

    Watch for another “it would have been impossible for me to sell out Clare” denial letter from Bangkok, soon…There’s few things Dennis fears in this world more than the truth being exposed about his conflicts and lies!!

  • I believe that upward departures are appropriate for all of the NXIVM 6 perps, and the judge announced it for Bronfman because of the semi-expectation her sentence would not be severe, given the plea deal she made, at great financial cost to her, for a change. The length of time the abuses occurred, money it cost people defending themselves against the Bronfman legal abuse, severity of physical, mental, and financial abuses, number of people abused, etc., all point to upward departures and consecutive, not concurrent sentences.

    The Feds better be keeping a close eye on Bronfman, this has flight risk written all over it. I think she should be put in jail pending sentencing. Either way, it’s a great way to spend your Holiday season, isn’t it, Bronfman? LOL

  • Congratulations, Toni Natalie. You go girl. You did it again. She is single-handedly taking down them all. The prosecutors sought her advice. The judge looked at her for her reactions at every key interval. And Toni sent a letter to the judge demanding he give Clare a longer sentence. And He did.
    This will all be in her next boo.

  • In the Federal system, the Judge does not have to follow the plea agreement. He or she may issue a sentence that is above or below the guidelines. Once the Defendant pleads guilty, the Defendant cannot withdraw their plea.

    So, if Clare wishes to go back and is not happy with the possible upward departure, too bad.

    Also, sentences within the guideline range have a presumption of reasonableness. However, Courts of Appeal have found that sentences above the guideline range may be justified and are Constitutional if there was a level of violence, fraud, mayhem, or criminal conduct that shocks the conscience and allows or justifies an upward departure.

    Last point. If and when Clare is sentenced, she will probably be taken into custody immediately and not given a prison report date due to her being a flight risk, her ability to travel overseas, and the fact that her co-Defendant, the illustrious Vanguard, was found hiding in Mexico.

    • I would add that as part of her plea deal, Clare retained the right to appeal any sentence that is above the agreed-upon Sentencing Guidelines range of 21-27 months. So, while you’re 100% correct that she can’t withdraw her guilty plea, she can, in fact, appeal any sentence that is above 27 months – which she will undoubtedly do.

      While it’s possible that she is taken into custody on January 8th at the time she is sentenced, her attorneys will undoubtedly argue that since she has not violated the terms of her “house arrest” since she was first indicted, she should be given a later “report date”. They may also argue that she should be allowed to remain out on bail until all of herv appeals have been exhausted (See Shelly Silver case).

      • so I understand , sorry, she can appeal only the portion of the sentence above 27 months? and if she were successful in her appeal, it would drop only to 27 months and not further. And could time be added on during an appeal?

        • Based on the wording in Clare’s plea deal, I believe that she would be appealing her entire sentence. Here’s what Judge Garaufis said about that during the hearing in which she pleaded guilty: “If I were to sentence to you more than 27 months in jail, and you believe there was a legal or other error in my doing that, you would then have the right to appeal your sentence to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit”.

          So, for those conspiracy theorists out there, you can now claim that the judge’s decision to sentence Clare to more than 27 months is part of a scheme to get her sentence reduced to less than 21 months by the appellate court.

      • I think that Sheldon Silver’s corruption case was much different because his (first) trial conviction was overturned on appeal and while he was again convicted at his second trial, the appellate court didn’t have much faith that the second conviction would stand up on appeal (again). Also, Speaker Silver was 75 at the time and that may have helped keep him out on bail during the appeals process. Joe Bruno, the Majority Leader who was 81 at the time, remained free on bail during appeal and then had his conviction vacated by a federal appeals court. (He was then charged with a cadre of new crimes and not convicted.)

  • You’ve also heard that claim about Bronfman getting just a slap on the wrist from people who like to imagine they somehow know how the system works. Though we still have yet to see how it actually pans out.

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the other new story about sentencing for others being delayed. Could the prosecutors be trying to put the squeeze on Bronfman somehow?

    • There is nothing to squeeze out of Bronfman, she is a dried up old witch. As the story accurately states, NXIVM would have been a tiny dot of a problem without her and her sister’s money. You put the squeeze on the lower level perps, you put the high level perps in prison. That’s how it works.

      • Bronfman has to know about all sorts of key high-level goings on that could help with the prosecution of others – particularly if she were willing to testify to them.

        Bronfman seems to me like the sort of person who may reconsider her involvement in NXIVM, flip and try to portray herself as having had her “humanitarian” instincts completely taken advantage of, which could make her a candidate for cooperating with the prosecution going forward. Nancy Salzman, who plead without a deal, appears to be uncooperative and without remorse.

        • You don’t get it. Bronfman funded numerous legal attacks. The DOJ won’t be interested in what she has to offer. We don’t know whether Mommy Dearest Salzman made a deal or not, these things are not always made public ahead of time.

Frank Parlato Investigates

Frank Parlato Investigates

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, many others in all five continents.

His work helping 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 featured prominently on HBO’s documentary “The Vow” and acted as lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.”

Parlato will be featured in an upcoming episode of American Greed.

If the whole world stands against you sword in hand, would you still dare to do what you think is right?

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