Who knew Clare Bronfman was so religious?
But her sentencing has been postponed until April 23, evidently so she can celebrate Passover.
It was originally argued that everyone would finally be ready for sentencing, the prosecution, the defense, the Probation Department, and the judge, on April 8.
So what was the problem?
Passover started that very night.
Here is the judge’s order:
ORDER: As April 8, 2020 is the first day of Passover, Clare Bronfman’s sentencing is ADJOURNED to April 23, 2020 at 10:00 am in courtroom 4D South. The parties are DIRECTED to confer and establish a schedule for sentencing submissions under which all submissions will be filed by no later than April 13, 2020. The parties are further DIRECTED to file a letter setting forth their agreed-upon schedule, which the court will so-order. The court will not grant any further requests to adjourn Ms. Bronfman’s sentencing. Ordered by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on 1/30/2020.
I think this is curious.
For one it tells us that the date is now certain. Clare will be sentenced on April 23, unless of course she flees the country.
For another, is the fact that the judge did not sentence her during the day, since Passover does not start until nightfall.
This suggests that Clare will leave the sentencing hearing in handcuffs and immediately be trundled off to prison.
Had sentencing occurred on the day Passover starts, as some seemed to have wanted, and she is immediately handcuffed and taken into custody, it would mean that the pious heiress would have been caged just as dusk came and Passover started.
To put it in perspective, it would be like sentencing a Christian on Christmas Eve.
If the judge planned to give her time, as some defendants get, between sentencing and when they have to report to prison, it would not have mattered if he sentenced her by day before the night when Passover begins.
Clare signed a plea deal last April, which did not guarantee her sentence but included the weasel-worded provision that the DOJ estimated her sentencing guideline to be between 21-27 months. This was not binding on the judge.
It is ironic. She signed her plea deal on April 19, 2019, which was the day that Passover started in 2019.
Funny, Clare probably celebrated Passover, if she celebrates Passover at all, with the notion that she got off easy and her attorneys made a real fine plea deal for her. Little did she know her plea deal was rubbish.
The Pre-Sentencing Report came in December, during Hanukkah, and according to the report, pious Clare was made to look like a holy terror. The Probation Department made its own estimate of sentencing guidelines and it is far higher than 21-27 months.
The judge admitted he was considering giving her a longer sentence than the 21-27 months suggested in her plea deal.
Clare became a victim of the same legal system she used her money to abuse others with for years.
In any event, Passover begins on the evening of April 8 and ends the evening of April 16 – that is on a Thursday. Clare will be expected in court the following Thursday, April 23, where the good judge will mete out her sentence.
My guess is it will be at least four years and possibly as long as 7.
And while the good judge was kind enough to delay sending the surprisingly religious Nxivm defendant to the clink during the holidays, I never knew Clare to take the slightest interest in Jewish holidays, not while her lord and master Keith Raniere managed her piety.
Passover is not a Nxivm holiday.
Passover is rooted in, like most religious holidays, rather dubious historicity. It is based on the story of the entire population of the kingdom of Judah making a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. It is also based, as most Christian holidays are, on a more ancient earth festival — in this case, a spring festival connected with the offering of the “first-fruits” that crop up in spring to God, in this case, in the Land of Israel, barley.
Like many religious holidays, Passover melds older, earth-based festivals with the purported history of the people who celebrate it. Passover began as an agricultural feast but was subsumed into the narrative of Israel’s deliverance from oppression, thanks to their partisan God’s intervention.
It is fair to argue that Clare Bronfman being sentenced to prison on Passover would be inauspicious for it would be offering one of the most rotten fruits God ever made [to a place where she belongs] on a day when God is supposed to be worshiped.
On the other hand, one could argue, God is delivering the many people who Clare oppressed.
Maybe, in the future, Clare’s sentencing might be considered a religious holiday. It is rare, perhaps historic, when elite, moneyed families lose a member to prison anywhere in the world, unless they murder someone and, even then, they often get off with fancy lawyering and money paid.
Clare, of course, stupidly got convicted for minor financial crimes that amounted to a tiny fraction of her net worth. She is to lose her freedom for the theft of less than $300,000, with a net worth – counting offshore holdings – estimated at $300 million.
No one this rich ever stole so little and wound up going to prison.
We know Clare did not commit crimes for money. She did not harbor Sylvie in the US to steal $100,000 from her in unpaid wages. Nor did she use dead Pam Cafritz’s credit card to enrich herself by a paltry $200,000. The money went to Raniere and the Am-Ex bill was paid, in any event.
The heiress allowed herself to commit comparatively small financial crimes for Raniere because she loved being his holy stooge.
Of course, she committed a lot of other crimes that she was not convicted of, and, ironically, based on the Pre-Sentencing Report, she will be, in effect, sentenced for them anyway.
Some estimated 100 victim impact statements are in the hands of the judge. [I wonder how many of these were provided by Neil Glazer and from his clients?] Her sentencing will be guided, in part, by these victims’ statements.
In the Book of Exodus, God helped the Israelites escape from slavery in ancient Egypt by inflicting 10 plagues upon the Egyptians before the Pharaoh would release the Israelite slaves.
In the Book of Nxivm, Clare inflicted hundreds of plagues on the slaves of the Lord Raniere and helped keep women bound in slavery until the FBI arrested the scoundrels.
In the old story, the last of the plagues was the death of the Egyptian first-born. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the Lord knew enough to pass over and not kill the first-born in these Jewish homes, hence the English name of the holiday.
In modern times, the DOS First Line Masters were instructed to mark their slaves’ pussies with the initials of the Lord. And if they tried to escape, Clare would not pass over them but punish them, using her enormous wealth to hire Mexican and US attorneys to threaten them with arrest and financial ruin.
It’s too bad the Lord Passed Over Raniere’s father and mother’s home back in 1960.
Regardless of how improbable either the Passover story or the Nxivm branding story sounds, the important thing is that Clare is going to be sentenced and is going to prison.
There will be no Pass-over for her; the law will not spare her. If her sentence is long enough, her reign of terror is over, and like the old Israelites, the Nxianites will be free at last, their years’ long threat will have Passed-Over and they may enjoy, even celebrate at last.
Now what remains is for Neil Glazer to take her to the cleaners.
Apropos of that, Glazer said, speaking of recovering some money for the victims, “Raniere, the leader of this group, had within his inner circle, a group of heiresses to the Seagram’s fortune. It’s not going to be easy. It never is, but they have some assets. Some of them are in trusts that we might have to litigate. It will be interesting.”