Bronfman Seeks Hearing to Prevent Being Sentenced for Crimes ‘for Which She Was Not Charged and for Which She Did Not Enter a Plea’

Clare Bronfman

Attorney Ronald S. Sullivan has made a motion for a hearing prior to sentencing to try to ensure Clare Bronfman’s sentence is not impacted by crimes alleged in her “Pre-Sentencing Report” that she did NOT plead guilty to and for which she was not charged.

Bronfman is scheduled to be sentenced on September 30.

Bronfman pled guilty to identity theft and harboring an illegal alien for financial gain.  At the time she took the plea deal, the sentencing guidelines for those crimes were estimated to be 21-27 months.

The “Pre-Sentencing Report”, which was prepared by the US Probation and Pretrial Services Dept., reportedly includes victim impact statements by dozens of former Nxivm members that allege a host of other crimes Bronfman committed.

After receiving the “Pre-Sentencing Report”, Judge Nicholas Garaufis indicated he is considering an upward departure from the 21-27 month estimate.  Her plea deal permits her to appeal any sentence above 27 months, but does not prevent the judge from sentencing her to anything up to the maximum sentence of 10 years for identity theft and 15 years for harboring an illegal alien. He could conceivably sentence her to 25 years if he were to use the maximum sentence for each crime – and have the sentences run consecutively rather than concurrently.

Sullivan seeks a Fatico Hearing, a hearing specifically designed to allow a judge to determine whether allegations in a “Pre-Sentencing Report” that are disputed by the defense should be considered in deciding punishment.

The letter gives his arguments and also provides a clear summary of what is in Bronfman’s “Pre-Sentencing Report.”

Ronald Sullivan seeks a Fatico Hearing to try to prevent Clare Bronfman from being sentenced for crimes she did not plead guilty to.Here is the letter:

August 13, 2020

Hon. Nicholas G. Garaufis

United States District Judge United States District Court Eastern District of New York

Re: U.S . v. Bronfman, 18-Cr.-204 (NGG)

Dear Judge Garaufis:

We are the incoming counsel for Clare Bronfman.

We write to respectfully request a Fatico hearing to clarify for the Court which facts the court properly should rely on in fashioning a sentence for Ms. Bronfman.

Unfortunately, the Presentence Report (“PSR”) contains a series of demonstrably false and outrageous claims that invites the Court to sentence Ms. Bronfman on the basis of unfounded innuendo and ungrounded inference. Significantly, and to name but one example, the PSR makes the remarkable claim that Ms. Bronfman “used her wealth to support . . . [enumerated] crimes.”

This, in effect , invites the Court to consider various and sundry crimes for which Ms. Bronfman has not been tried and and to consider evidence adduced in another’s criminal trial [Keith Raniere’s trial] to draw adverse inferences against Ms. Bronfman.

Undersigned counsel conferenced with the Government, and it declined to join in this request.

The PSR relies on purported “facts” and invites inferences that, put simply, are not supported by competent evidence. One of the more outrageous and unsubstantiated claims in the PSR is that Ms. Bronfman “participated in efforts to secure and recruit immigration status for non­ citizens so they could … become sexual partners for Raniere.” This is plainly false and misleading.

A Fatico will show that:

1. DOS was a secret society.

2. DOS and NXIVM are independent entities, each with members not involved in the other.

3. Clare Bronfman had no knowledge of DOS until it was later exposed in the public press, and even then had no knowledge of any of the sexual allegations, or details until they were disclosed in the course of Mr. Raniere’s trial or in pretrial discovery.

4. Clare Bronfman did not fund any “sex cult.”

5. Clare Bronfman did not fund or provide any financial support to DOS or its operation whatsoever.

6. Clare Bronfman did not violate immigration law to recruit or procure anyone to come to the United States for the purposes of forced labor, sexual assault, or for human trafficking.

7. Clare Bronfman did not violate immigration law by harboring five additional aliens.

8. Clare Bronfman knew nothing about any sex trafficking.

9. Clare Bronfman did not facilitate any sex trafficking.

10. Clare Bronfman did not provide any financial support or facilitate sex trafficking whatsoever.

11. Clare Bronfman had no knowledge of Mr. Raniere or any other NXVIM member having sex with underage children.

12. Clare Bronfman did not provide any financial support or facilitate anyone having sex with underage children whatsoever.

13. Clare Bronfman did not fund general NXIVM operations.

14. NXIVM made tens of millions of dollars by providing an executive coaching product that more than 17,000 thousand individuals purchased over the years.

15. NXIVM was self-sufficient and not reliant on Clare Bronfman’s financial support in order to continue its operations.

16. Clare Bronfman did not fund the subsistence or lifestyle of Keith Raniere.

To be clear, we are not seeking any undue or unwarranted delay. On the contrary, having now spent more than two years under house arrest in confinement awaiting her sentencing date before this Court, virtually entirely for reasons out of her control, Clare Bronfman wants nothing more than the chance before Your Honor to explain why she got involved in NXIVM and what happened from her perspective.

However, having reviewed the entire record, we are concerned that Your Honor will be presented with purported facts unsupported by objective reality. The PSR makes sweeping, unsupported, and unsupportable claims that Ms. Bronman “‘funded” crimes for which she was not charged and for which she did not enter a plea.

Even more, in a telephonic conversation with the Government, it explained that one ground for seeking an upward departure from the Guidelines is Ms. Bronfman’s “conduct around the edges.” Such opaque claims contribute to undersigned counsel’s concern that the Court will be exposed to a host of claims not properly vetted and contextualized by a Fatica.

Clare Bronfman has taken full responsibility for what she has done wrong, pleaded guilty and agreed to forfeiture and restitution. She did what she pleaded guilty to, and she expects to be punished for that. But having pleaded guilty prior to Keith Raniere’s trial, she, of course, had no advocate at Mr. Raniere’s trial to challenge claims made about her. Ms. Bronfman’s role was discussed in the third person, at times leaving the impression that her role was something far worse than it was.

(See e.g., Reuven Fenton and Emily Saul, Seagram’s Heiress Clare Bronfman pays feds $6M over role in Nxivm, N.Y. POST (Aug. 14, 2019)

We have real concerns, based on the PSR and informal conversations with the government, that what has come to light thus far and what the government may seek to argue at sentencing does not adequately explain Clare’s role and leaves behind an unfortunate number of material misimpressions as well as outright inaccuracies and unsupported allegations of fact.

All we ask is that Clare Bronfman be sentenced for what she actually did, and not based on what she did not do, notwithstanding uncorroborated allegations and innuendo to the contrary. We submit under seal our objections to the PSR for the Court’s review and respectfully seek leave to present evidence on the factual inaccuracies in the PSR.

Respectfully submitted,

Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. Counsel for Ms. Bronfman



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Frank Parlato

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S Todd
S Todd
3 years ago

Interesting process of law. If Bronfman appears before the court will the Judge get to ask her questions? What Bronfman did to Sylvie was horrific. She groomed her. Her money controlled her. She knew and aided manipulation so Sylvie did not consumate her marriage for a year plus. 27 months does not seem enough! And I sure don’t feel that her mansion/penthouse time should count as time served. If she gave restitution to Sylvie in civil court in the 10 million range, then I might find a downward or softer 21-27 months.

Bronfman did great criminal harm to another. She should pay her fair time in a real prison.

All persons are equal under the law.

S Todd
S Todd
3 years ago
Reply to  Frank Parlato

That was for back pay. Not restitution for the harm and suffering she perpetuated by control and abuse of a 17 year old who for the next 13 years dominated her into KAR sex toy.

3 years ago

I’m sorry but I cannot believe that a woman with a grade 11 education, who placed her trust in a man purporting an IQ of 240, and who claimed to be the most ethical man in the world, had the ability to discern his duplicity, much less the capacity to engage in all the crimes listed by her lawyer in the objection.

In my opinion, it was Raniere pulling the strings from the word go. Others at the top were controlled facilitators. The fact that Clare even disregarded the advice of her father and the advisor he sent to assist her tends to demonstrate the power of influence that Raniere wielded over her.

All the women were taken in, including financial planners, actresses, lawyers, doctors, – these aren’t stupid women. They were educated and had experience in the world and positions of responsibility. If they could be taken in – if doctors could be drawn into activities that destroyed their lives and medical licenses, wealthy women allowing their life savings to be lost gambling on the market, how can you say that Clare, with less than a high-school education, should somehow be held even more accountable?

Indoctrination into a belief system is a well-known science, and I would love to compare the steps to the process used in Nxivm/ESP.

No. I think Clare was an idealist who was controlled covertly by a very cunning man who compartmentalized many aspects of the organization, who hid things Clare did not need to know, (as Lauren testified that Raniere didn’t want Clare involved with DOS) and justified his other actions as “serving the good”

Also, this blog has been merciless with her and has possibly influenced many people who were on the fence in terms of their opinion of her, or who hope to cash in on her wealth, since she is the only one of the Nxivm crowd with any money. The class-action lawsuit is actually a lawsuit against Clare by another name. And those looking for a payday could have a natural propensity to push their agendas through victim-hood.

3 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

News flash Clare Bronfman passed her GED test and has a high school diploma.

Clare is just as smart as Scott Johnson. So there!!!!

Jesus H. Christ! Frank how much longer are you going to tolerate the haters!!!!

3 years ago

I have to agree that nothing said in court should affect the length of the punishment of Clare–because she could not defend any new charges–so her sentence has to reflect only on what she pled guilty to.

Unrelated—her photo at the top of the post shows that her face has pretty good bone structure, and with proper makeup hair and clothing she could be reasonably attractive, especially since her thin body includes decent breasts. Does America’s Next Top Model ever film in prison?

3 years ago

Ronald Sullivan and his wife have (or had been) so engaged with students for years, including upon a personal basis, if one is aware of their work(s) at Harvard. It is a disappointment to me that he took on the defense of Clare Bronfman, lawyerly though it is.

How can he overlook the line drawn in the sand, between those who really want to help and to mentor young people, versus entitled smog pits like Clare Bronfman? Who is he allowing himself to become, another Dershowitz, who is so repugnantly lost and encrusted underneath his maddened and ossified egoism? Goddamn it all, use your education and good fortune faithfully. Walk the walk and talk the talk, and be who you are. Dream bigger. But what else is new, eh? The serpent and the apple.

3 years ago
Reply to  Shivani

What can you expect from a Ronald Sullivan who hasn’t paid taxes for 7 years and now has to pay a million dollars of tax debt?

I wonder, if someone doesn’t pay taxes for that long, isn’t that a punishable tax evasion?

3 years ago

Yawn. The judge will approve a Fatico Hearing and sentence Bronfman to a long sentence. LOL

Good luck with the appeal, it is impossible to determine what the judge was thinking about when he handed the sentence down and he knows all of the tricks, but hey, it’s billable hours for Bronfman’s lawyer, so it’s all good. LOL

3 years ago

Wearing Face Masks Can Kill You.

Inmate found strangled with mask issued to prevent coronavirus spread

3 years ago

—Wearing Face Masks Can Kill You.

Are you for real?

3 years ago

In a related story Raniere’s fellow MDC inmate Ghislaine Maxwell is ion isolation to protect her life.

‘FOR HER OWN SAFETY’ Ghislaine Maxwell at serious risk of being beaten or killed by fellow prisoners, prosecutors reveal
Joseph Gamp
Aug 14 2020, 12:13 ETUpdated: Aug 14 2020, 12:24 ET

GHISLAINE Maxwell is being held in solitary confinement in a notorious Brooklyn jail for her own safety, prosecutors have said.

The British socialite, 58, remains in custody at New York’s Metropolitan Detention Centre, awaiting trial over her alleged involvement in the crimes of paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Prosecutors say Maxwell remains in isolation for reasons of “safety, security, and the orderly functioning of the facility”

Maxwell, 58, has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and eventually abuse three girls from 1994 to 1997, and committing perjury by denying her involvement under oath.

In a letter dated 10 August, Maxwell’s lawyers objected to her being subjected to round-the-clock surveillance and numerous body scans at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

They say she belongs in the general population rather than in her cell for 21 hours a day.

Maxwell was arrested last month when FBI agents raided a property in New Hampshire.

She now faces charges of enticement of minors, sex trafficking, and perjury, though denies wrongdoing.

The circumstances of Epstein’s death meant she was initially placed on suicide watch, having to wear paper clothes and sleep on a bare mattress.

Those conditions have now been eased, but she remains in solitary confinement.

Recent court filings show her lawyers claim that she is being held in “uniquely onerous conditions”.

Prosecutors said Maxwell was isolated for reasons of “safety, security, and the orderly functioning of the facility,” and that it was appropriate to closely monitor new inmates facing a “strong likelihood” of many years in prison.

They nonetheless said jail officials agreed to give Maxwell 13 hours a day to review materials for her scheduled July 2021 trial, rather than the normal three hours.

Prosecutors also said they have acted “expeditiously” in turning over materials, and Maxwell can request victims’ names and make other motions in December after discovery is finished.

In a letter on Thursday to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, prosecutors also said it was “at best premature” to require they identify three alleged victims named in Maxwell’s indictment.

Lawyers for Maxwell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

3 years ago
3 years ago

What do you think, Frank?

As much as I hate to say it I tend to agree with the lawyer on this one.

3 years ago
Reply to  Frank Parlato

Frank, you spent years publicly flogging Clare Bronfman accusing her of endless crimes. Now, you are trying to convince readers that she is a victim of a flawed legal system. You can’t have it both ways. The only thing I can conclude is that no one should bother to listen to you because you are now trying to undo years-worth of articles, and are in full contradiction mode. You are like a sports player who just switched teams.

3 years ago
Reply to  Frank Parlato

Frank, are you now repudiating what what you wrote in this article? It sure looks to me like you have changed your tune since then.

“Ah, Legatus!— Almost 200 Pages of Victim Impact Statements — Clare Bronfman Sentencing Likely to Be Pushed Back to April”

Clare went with option number 1 – no fixed sentence.

All she had in her plea deal was an estimate from the prosecution of what they thought the sentencing guidelines would be – 21-27 months.

Guess what? They were wrong. They helped make it wrong too, by going out of their way to contact alleged victims and persuade them to submit victim impact statements. They helped rustle up victims – which, in turn, impacted Clare’s likely sentence.

Or to say it another way, they sweet-talked Clare into taking a plea deal that they said they estimated would be 21-27 months – and got her to pay a fat $6 million fine – thinking no doubt that Clare would think her big fine had bought her a lighter sentence. Then the prosecution went out and did everything in their power to cock up the sentence by getting victims arrayed against her to help persuade the judge that their estimate of 21-27 months was entirely wrong.

And they say there is no such thing as karma.

This is exactly what Clare did to many people with her tricky, below the belt, litigation strategies.

Make a deal – partly by her word [and not signed agreements] then work against the person behind their back to sink them. Clare was good at ruining people’s happiness.

And some 100 victims are coming forward to prove it.

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.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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