Barbara Bouchey will be one of the 10 victims of Clare Webb Bronfman who is scheduled to speak tomorrow at her sentencing. The judge has imposed a rule that speakers should speak no more than 10 minutes.
As of now, Frank Report does not know the identity of all the speakers, but we can confirm that in addition to Bouchey, Susan Dones will be speaking. It is not known if Sylvie will be speaking but I would expect, since she was the only actual victim that Bronfman admitted to victimizing, the prosecution will likely want her there. Sylvie is living in England and it is not known if she can travel here.
On Friday, Bouchey asked Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis if she can have a few minutes beyond the 10 minutes allotted. Here is the letter she wrote to Frank Report explaining her reasons. It will be followed by her letter to the judge.
Letter to Frank Parlato
I am sharing my letter written last Friday to Judge Garaufis regarding my appearance during Clare Bronfman’s sentencing hearing when I will read my victim impact statement.
Clare was a client of my financial planning company for a brief time (2005-2009). When I resigned from NXIVM in April 2009, I also terminated our advisor relationship. I had been wanting to terminate this relationship for a year previously due Clare’s disrespectful treatment towards me, which was influenced, and directed, by Keith Raniere as he knew my leaving was imminent.
Within eighteen hours of my resignation, I received legal papers threatening civil/criminal action. Little did I know that Keith’s retaliation to silence me for being the first whistleblower would subject me to a decade of the most malicious, wrongful litigation known by any of my attorneys, which was all funded by Clare.
The degree of pain and suffering due to their vexatious litigation has caused great devastation in my life, trauma, and irreparable damage to my professional reputation and business. My victim loss declaration submitted in USA vs Raniere et al under the eligible restitution categories, which totaled $14.0 million. Most have no idea the dear price that I paid over the years trying to expose, stop, hold them accountable, and bring about justice.
I fear that Clare’s stalking of me is not over. This is evidenced in her recent filing a few weeks ago. In spite of the fact she has been under house arrest over two years, now facing many years in prison, she has found loopholes to continue falsely accusing and slandering me, along with causing me further pain and damage.
This was done by her attorney, William Savino, in his character reference letter, which Clare submitted to the court. Mr. Savino, as her attorney, filed three civil lawsuits (all were dismissed with no wrongdoing cited), launched a year-long investigation by my CFP Ethics Board (case closed due to preponderance of evidence that I provided), had me arrested for a felony (charges that I got dropped), and had extortion charges filed against me in Mexico, which are pending to this day. Thankfully, the US Justice Department has entered notes in my USA Customs record, because every time that I travel, I am brought into a back room to be interrogated suspected of being a criminal – which is terrifying.
And, I am now very worried, and terrified, after reading Clare’s attorney’s recent Memo espousing her innocence, Clare’s letter to the Judge, and her attorney’s character reference letter. I strongly believe that I will never be safe from future harm by her, and Keith.
This is the reason for writing my letter to the Judge Garaufis, and to bring forth other information I feel necessary for him in making his determination of Clare’s prison time, restitution to victims, and any penalties to be imposed.
Over the years, you have demonstrated a commitment to investigating, and reporting, NXIVM’s abuse in order to help expose and stop them – something that I am deeply appreciative of. Therefore, I have decided to provide a copy of my letter to the Judge, including my Victim Written Statement, which was submitted last December containing facts never been told before.
Within this statement, there are names of individuals who participated in Keith’s smear campaign, which started a few years before I resigned, and sadly, continues to this day. It has now been almost fourteen years that my character has been wrongfully assassinated. I have refrained from revealing unfavorable information about certain ex-members, ex-girlfriends, and bloggers in the belief that “we” are all victims of Keith in the same way. I did not want to bring further pain to anyone, and instead, chose to focus on my main objective – which was to expose and stop Keith.
Therefore, I would kindly request of you that if you write a story, to not mention specific names who participated in this smear campaign. But rather, to do so in a generic fashion. I do not wish to “throw anybody under the bus” nor cause further harm.
I feel compelled to release this information about Clare (who continues to not disavow Keith evidenced in her letter to the Judge recently and about Keith, because I am in a self-protective mode right now. I do have emotional support from friends, but I do not have anyone in a leveraged position nor from the legal realm fighting for me. I have had to represent myself in many of these litigations, was unable to afford the legal advice necessary to defend against Clare’s army of prominent attorneys, and am in that same position today.
Unfortunately, instead of being able to celebrate the victory of my abusers being arrested facing many years in prison, and one in which I should finally feel safe from further harm – I am, instead, terrified, which is triggering intense PTSD experienced for over a decade.
Thank you for all your dedication in writing about stories about NXIVM over the years, and for taking the time to consider reading my letter.
Letter of Barbara Bouchey to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis
Re: United States v. Clare Bron/man, et al.
Criminal Docket No. 18-204 (S-3) (NGG) (VMS)
Dear Judge Garaufis
I am respectfully requesting that I be granted more than the ” ten-minute limitation ‘ to read my Victim Impact Statement during defendant Clare Bronfman s sentencing hearing on September 30th•
By way of background this past Monday, US Attorney Tanya Hajjar in an email asked me ” approximately how long you would like to address the Court., to which I replied, 45-60 minutes. It appears this concerned her, and later that day an email was sent that you had, ” directed that all statements addressed to the Court at sentencing should be no longer than 10 minutes.‘
We had several emails, and a call in which she offered to submit a request on my behalf, or I could mail my letter direct to you. Although she did not think you would change your mind. I then emailed your Deputy asking how best to deliver my letter which prompted Attorneys Hajjar and Levy to call me. I was informed to not send a letter accepting the ten minute limitation. However, I still wanted to send a letter and allow for the chance you would reconsider the limitation. I was then told my letter needed to be sent to them, and they would forward it to you…
I shared with them my observation of eight Judges presiding over the Enterprise’s litigation against me, and found them to be open-minded, consider new information re-evaluate and then decide. Sometimes, they changed their minds. I have learned to not assume what a Judge thinks. It is with this understanding, that I write this letter. In no way do I mean to be disrespectful of Attorney Hajjar’ s opinion, nor of your preference for ten minutes. It is to be heard and afforded the chance you may grant more time.
If after considering my request, and still hold firm to ten minutes then I will respect and honor this.
Your Honor, this has been twenty years of having NXIVM in my life in a significant way. Most years were wrought with enormous abuse and devastating effects resulting in damages of $14 million as documented in my Declaration of Victim Losses submitted December 12 2019.
I am a victim of Clare who has:
- made false allegations bringing five civil lawsuits in two state against me·
- had my Certified Financial Planning (CFP) Ethics Board perform a year-long investigation;
- had me arrested under a false felony charge
- made attempts with five government agencies to have me arrested under a false extortion demand
- but got one filed in Mexico (still pending);
- and dragged me into six litigations against detractors labeled a “hostile witness” accused of being the ‘ring- leader” conspiring with their adversaries and the media to destroy them.
- NXIVM and Bronfmans each filed $10 million defamation claims
It is important to note that my CFP Ethics Board had a Tribunal Trial and closed their investigation ruling in my favor. All civil lawsuits were dismissed with no wrongdoing cited.
The criminal charge was dropped. This litigation lasted eight years costing me $700,000 to defend myself. At times, I was unable to afford an attorney, and represented myself in five litigations – which was a frightening, daunting task.
The most painful and damaging thing was the Enterprise’s smear campaign falsely accusing me of being a sociopath pathological liar and criminal – all to discredit and silence me. This was also propagated in my hometown [Albany] and in the courts with media coverage thereof. When ex-members left in 2017 exposing DOS, some still believing the smear campaign further fueled it. Unlike many victims in this case, my name did not remain anonymous.
Instead, I have appeared in hundreds of negative stories for eleven years. This caused irreparable damage to what once was an unblemished professional reputation for decades and to my thirty-five-year financial planning firm…
This will be the first, and only time, that I get to address the court as my abuser/tormentor Clare, is present, to share twenty years of devastating effects. Many believe that my appearance can have an impact upon Clare, and or your determination of prison time, restitution and penalties.
1 am sixty years old and everything that I worked hard to build has been destroyed or lost. This includes:
- my reputation·
- $2.0 million in retirement savings
- 2/3rds of my clients left with $500,000 in annual revenue from front-page news stories·
- my company’ s valuation dropped $2.5 million,
- my home sold at a $500,000 loss, and
- I had to sell clothes and jewelry to raise money for legal bills.
All this loss is a direct result of the Enterprise’ s egregious litigation – which was funded by Clare.
I am told by many that the Enterprise’s retaliation to silence me is far more egregious than most having been the first whistleblower influencing eight key members to resign (aka NXIVM 9) closing down two centers, causing over I00 members to leave. The Enterprise chose to make an example out of me to instill terror in case anyone left speaking unfavorably. I have endured more than most public persecution, humiliation, and damage since 2009 for things that I never knew – nor did.
I was Clare’s Financial Adviser, and she entrusted intimate details of her personal life, fears, dreams, and goals. For seven years I witnessed her develop into a humanitarian wanting to make a difference in the world. I observed Keith begin to deceive, manipulate, and take advantage of Clare. I witnessed him fill her head with false innuendo and say derogatory things about her to his inner circle, and to me. I believe if she knew this, it would deeply disturb her.
Because of my intimate relationships with the defendants, inner circle, and was Clare’ s Financial Adviser I have knowledge that refutes Clare s claims of innocence, which will be undeniable to her. I believe that I can say things in my statement before the court in a way no other victim may do – things that can help Clare to see the “real” Keith – not the false one she believes – and how he influenced, molded and used her value to carry out his secret, dark addictions abusing many women and his delusions of grandeur schemes – perhaps, most is unbeknownst to her?
Clare is not an ordinary citizen but one born into a privileged life of wealth, power and influence. She has been horribly misled and used by Keith and lost her morality compass along the way.
When she emerges from prison, she will still possess enormous wealth and prominence in the world. I ask myself is it not incumbent upon us to help her see things about Keith how he conned and skillfully concealed from her the ‘wolf behind sheep’s clothing’?
Is it not imperative that we do everything possible to help her ‘connect the dots’ and see how she too, was a victim of Keith? To understand he had the precision of a master surgeon skillfully influencing and extolled value from her to satisfy his crazy addictions and abusive ways? If we cannot get a crack in the window I fear there may be no hope in rehabilitating her. And, when she leaves prison she might go on to do more harm – again.
I, and many others , will never be truly safe, if she does not realize all that she did. Based on her recent filings she appears to be in denial shows no remorse, and claims she is innocent.
And so, I am not a victim who wants to just share the devastation endured, but rather, I am a humanitarian who understands the wolf inside of Keith taking me years to see before leaving. I, like Clare, got involved for what I believed were programs and a philosophy to improve our lives and those of others. I still believe that deep within Clare there exists a lot of good.
She has the ability someday to accept responsibility for harm caused to many, reconcile, apologize, make amends, and rebuild her life and become a “true” humanitarian – something she still envisions for herself. I believe when I speak , that I can help her to see things – not seen before.
It is for these reasons that a ten-minute limitation is not enough time to convey what I feel is needed. And I ask, do we not owe it to Clare to have every opportunity to learn, hear, see things not revealed before? I ask, if seven weeks was worthy for a trial to prove crimes, enormous abuse and devastation to many lives – is it also not as equally worthy for us to spend a meaningful amount of time to help Clare understand how she played a key role in all of this? Can her sentencing hearing present a “fork in the road”, a crack in the window, and give her a glimmer of hope to find her way back to her “true worth” and “morality compass” – once again?
One more small request, I understand that I am allowed a victim advocate or close friend to be with me when I speak. This would bring me great comfort and help ease immense anxiety and fears about speaking publicly about very personal things – and – seeing my abuser Clare. I would like my dear friend, Ellen Holland to be next to me. I do not have good eyesight and if she were in the back-courthouse seating, then I would not see or feel her presence.
Ellen is also an ex-member and victim of NXIVM being one of the NXIVM 9 but chose to not write a victim statement. How fitting for her to be by my side as – WE – were the first courageous whistleblowers shooting a devastating blow across NXIVM’s bow creating chaos; thereby launching a campaign and media to expose them.
I am reminded of the famous quote by Margaret Mead hung in NXIVM s center:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it‘s the only thing that ever has.”
Indeed, there is no doubt it took some very brave ex-members and others fighting mightily regardless of the risk and harm that would befall us over a decade to bring about this day – where justice has been serve d.
In conclusion thank your consideration, and I appreciate your valuable time in exploring my request which I hope you might grant. I have found you to be fair, reasonable, and thoughtful in your decisions.
I watched you each day during the trial treat all parties with respect, compassion, and dignity. You and the Prosecutor’s team have renewed my faith in the legal system and government authorities, which sadly, failed me miserably even with knowledge that the enterprise was doing corrupt, abusive things.
I am forevermore grateful that you did not turn a blind eye taking on a daunting task to hold the defendants accountable, and see that justice is served. By doing this, you gave to me, and many others a sense of safety not known in an awfully long time. I trust that you will make what you deem a fair decision regarding my request.
One more thing, I was not a part of DOS, nor did I testify. My name has been in headline news for eleven years including many parts of my victim statement. Therefore, I am fine, and request that my letter and exhibits be posted on Pacer.
Due to the Enterprise’s smear campaign this could pave the way for the public to learn the true version of my story help clarify many things, begin to restore my reputation and help me in rebuilding my life.