In Part 1 of this series, I chastised Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. and Duncan Levin, Clare Bronfman’s newest attorneys, for many of the “letters-of-support” that they attached to the “Sentencing Memorandum” they submitted to U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on August 28th.
I also went through several of the individual letters of her supporters and highlighted passages that were not particularly useful – or, in some cases, downright harmful – to Clare’s quest to get a lenient sentence from Judge Garaufis.
In this Part 2, I’ll continue to review more of those “letters-of-support” – and re-raise the question as to whether Clare’s attorneys actually read them before they made them part of their submission.
Antonio Aja, General Manager, Wakaya Club & Spa
It’s kind of hard to say “No” when your boss asks you to write a letter of support for her. Especially when your boss also employs your wife on a full-time basis.
And to his credit, Antonio stepped up and told Judge Garaufis how much he admires Clare’s “…discipline, honesty, hard work ethic, attention to detail and enthusiasm…” – which, oddly enough are the very same traits that made her such a wonderful, hands-on leader for the NXIVM sex cult. But her attorneys are trying to convince Judge Garaufis that Clare wasn’t involved in any of NXIVM’s criminal activities.
Antonio also goes on to point out how hard the last two years have been for Clare – not only for her but also for her many friends who have suffered because of the takedown of the NXIVM cult.
This ties in nicely with Clare’s own declaration to the judge in which she indicates how hard the last two years have been on “…a community where many of us thrived, felt purposeful, and really enjoyed our lives…”.
Barbara J. Gottlieb: One of Clare’s Accountants
Next up is another person who is employed by Clare – and who was in no position to turn down her request that she write a letter-of-support.
Barbara originally met Clare when she was retained to provide expert testimony in the Precision Development lawsuit. What Barbara failed to mention, however, is that she was brought in to offset the testimony of the first expert witness who had concluded that all the money that the Bronfman sisters had invested in the project was properly accounted for – and that nothing untoward had occurred.
The Bronfman sisters actually ended up suing the first expert witness – Ted Phelps – in order to shut him up. His insurance company forced him to settle the lawsuit rather than go to trial.
Barbara also mentions that she has spent a considerable amount of time with Clare in the past year while Clare has been under house arrest – and that she has “complete faith in Clare that she will go on to a lawful life and put tremendous effort to the good of society”. Of course, what Barabra failed to mention is that she’s now the listing agent on several of the properties that were part of the Precision Development project – which means she stands to make a lot of money as those properties are sold.
Nothing terribly wrong with Barbara’s letter. But I would have expected a little more from someone I was paying to say nice things about me.
Baron Stewart: Jamaican Mathematics Teacher
Baron met Clare at a party in Saratoga Springs, NY in 2004 – which is when NXIVM was trying to take over the small Upstate city. The party in question may have even been Nancy Salzman’s Birthday Party which was held at a large rented estate on North Broadway.
In any event, Clare has supported Baron’s “Whole Mind Development Project” for over 10-years – which makes him just another letter writer who is firmly attached to Clare’s cash titties.
Baron finishes up by stating that Clare “…has given her money to causes she believed would bring people more joy and reduce suffering, such as supporting projects that help those who suffer from Tourette’s syndrome and funding initiatives that attempt to decrease the violence in Mexico”.
Although he never admits it, Baron definitely sounds like someone who has been through the NXIVM curriculum more than a few times.
[Editor’s Note: Many of the letter-writers who were long-term members of NXIVM failed to disclose that information to Judge Garaufis).
Bibiana Huber: Creative Director for Mexican Architectural & Design Studio
Bibiana begins by telling the judge that one of the things that she values most about Clare is that she never asked for a discount on her fees.
She goes to reiterate the story of how wonderfully Clare cared for her father in the days before he died – a story that has been debunked by others who were there.
Clare had only one purpose in being around Edgar before his death – and that was to get him to admit, on tape, that he had been wrong about NXIVM being a cult and Keith being a con-man (To his credit, Edgar never did either – which must have really pissed off Keith).
Bibiana is another of the letter-writers who failed to mention to the judge that she was/is a hard-core member of the NXIVM cult.
Or that she’s married to Jack Levy, one of the current NXIVM leaders in Mexico.
What is it with these people’s memories?
William F. Savino: One of Clare’s Attorneys
Next, we have Wee Willie Savino, probably the most distinguishable of Clare’s attorneys.
Not because of his legal acumen but rather because of his total lack of ethics – and his willingness to use his connections to get innocent people indicted by having Clare perjure herself before a grand jury (Actually, he is equally well-known for his lack of height – and the worst hair-dye job in Western New York – but those are irrelevant characteristics for purposes of this analysis).
In his letter, Willie tells the judge how over the years, Clare has become more than just another well-paying client.
He’s been dining with her “repeatedly” – which is not the way most people would describe a pleasurable experience.
And he’s even been to her horse farm.
Willie also admits that he’s “not very spiritual” – which translated into normal English means “I have no principles or ethics whatsoever and will do anything to earn a buck – as is evidenced by the fact that I’m writing this letter-of-support on behalf of one the cruelest and most inhumane bitches I’ve ever met”.
Robert D. Crockett: Another of Clare’s Attorneys
Bobby Crockett – who, at various times, has also represented Keith Raniere, NXIVM, and Kristin Keeffe – is the next attorney to offer up his support for Clare.
Compared to the tripe that Willie Savino wrote, Bobby sounds like a Pulitzer Prize finalist – and also like someone who has taken his share of NXIVM courses (which he has).
“Clare is an intelligent ethicist and humanist. Clare considers the ways people can improve themselves. She is articulate about her beliefs. Her humanism consumes her conversations and thoughts”.
OMG…It sounds like something the Pope might write in explaining why he was conferring sainthood on some woman who spent her entire adult life working to feed the starving children in Bangladesh.
But then, Bobby slips up – and resorts to prevarication in his effort to convince the judge to Clare a light sentence.
“She has established various organizations, including those apart from Keith Raniere and NXIVM [sic] to pursue her objectives”.
Oh, really, Bobby? Well, why didn’t you just list a few of those independent organizations so that Judge Garaufis could see just how independent Clare is from Keith and the NXIVM cult.
Wouldn’t it be great if Judge Garaufis asks Clare about these independent organizations before he sentences her?
If the judge does that, Clare is definitely going to have another fainting session.
Brenda Clyne: Nicki Clyne’s Mom
As soon as Clare’s lawyers read the words “I am the mother of Nicki Clyne…”, they should have run this letter through the shredder.
Brenda goes on to tell the judge that she has attended a 16-day NXIVM intensive – and one V-Week at Silver Bay to honor Keith Raniere.
Although she neglects to tell the judge that her daughter, Nicki, has now taken over as the head of the DOS slave society – and that Nicki is also the head of the dancing troupe that appears every Friday night to entertain Keith Raniere and his fellow MDC prisoners – she does tell the judge that she “…can understand how Albany and ESP/NXIVM became (Clare’s) family and community”.
Thanks, Brenda, that’s just the sort of info that will convince the judge to separate Clare from the clutches of the cult for at least 4 years.
Brett Diamond: NXIVM Member
Brett is a financial analyst who starts out by telling the judge how helpful Clare was when he “…relocated from Manhattan to Clifton Park to participate in NXIVM University”.
Seriously, Clare’s attorneys thought it was a good idea to get a “letter-of-support” from someone who got conned into enrolling in NXIVM University?
Oh, how I wish all these letter-writers had chosen to appear in person so that judge Garaufis could ask them questions after they finished reading their letters.
I can just picture the judge leaning forward in his chair and saying “Tell me some more about NXIVM University, Mr. Diamond. What was your major there – and what sort of degree did you earn”.
Carolina López Patiño: NXIVM Member
We’ll close this Part 2 with a review of the letter-of-support that Carolina wrote on behalf of Clare.
After explaining that she came to the U.S. to be part of the coaching team for the physical training program called Exo/Eso, Carolina goes on to tell the judge that she lived – along with three other young women – in a house that was owned by Clare.
And then she drops in this little nugget: “What I knew, from other people, was Clare was one of the few people close to Mr. Raniere and that she was one of the most important people inside the organization”.
WTF…If you’re her attorneys – and you’re trying to convince the judge that your client didn’t know anything about the numerous illegal activities going on in the NXIVM cult – is that the kind of information you want to send to the judge?
And Soon, the Other Side of the Story
On Monday, September 14th, the prosecution is scheduled to respond to the “Sentencing Memorandum” that was submitted by Clare’s attorneys.
And whereas Clare’s attorneys have recommended that Judge Garaufis not impose any prison sentence on Clare, it is 100% certain that the prosecution will have a very different recommendation.
Former prosecutors, other criminal defense attorneys and courtroom observers have voiced a variety of opinions as to what Tanya Hajjar and her colleagues will recommend.
While we here at the Frank Report don’t have any inside information as to what that recommendation will be, I personally think that it will be in the 4-5 year range.
Soon, we’ll know how long Clare will be spending in prison.
What we may never know is just how much her “letters-of-support” may have contributed to the length of that sentence.