Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis issued his judgment in the criminal case of Clare Webb Bronfman on October 6.
Frank Report calculates Bronfman could be eligible to complete her prison sentence in July 2026, with time off for good behavior. She will then be on supervised release [probation] for three years – until July 2029 – almost nine years from today.
After she is released, Clare will have to abide by standard probation conditions. She will have a probation officer and will have to report on a regular basis. She will not be able to leave the judicial district she lives in without getting her probation officer’s approval. The probation officer will also have to approve where she lives, which for Clare is not unusual. When she was in Nxivm, her Vanguard approved of where she lived and even what she ate. She certainly could not travel without Vanguard’s permission.
There are also some probation conditions specific to Clare: [My comments in bold and brackets]
UPON REQUEST, THE DEFENDANT SHALL PROVIDE THE U.S. PROBATION DEPARTMENT WITH FULL DISCLOSURE OF HER FINANCIAL RECORDS, INCLUDING … INCOME TAX RETURNS…
THE DEFENDANT IS PROHIBITED FROM … OPENING ANY ADDITIONAL INDIVIDUAL AND/OR JOINT CHECKING, SAVINGS, OR OTHER FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS… WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AND APPROVAL OF THE U.S. PROBATION DEPARTMENT…
[By keeping an eye on her finances, the probation department may be able to prevent her from suing Nxivm enemies.]
THE DEFENDANT SHALL NOT ASSOCIATE IN PERSON, THROUGH MAIL, ELECTRONIC MAIL OR TELEPHONE WITH ANY INDIVIDUAL WITH AN AFFILIATION TO EXECUTIVE SUCCESS PROGRAMS, NXIVM, DOS OR ANY OTHER NXIVM-AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS…
[This is significant. After she gets out of prison, for three years afterward, she cannot meet, speak on the phone, mail, or email anyone connected with Nxivm. Bronfman, the former director of operations for Nxivm, will not be able to resume her old role until at least 2029. This ought to afford a measure of relief to Nxivm defectors and enemies of Bronfman-Raniere.
[Clare complained when she was on home confinement for more than two years that she was terribly lonely since all her friends, almost everyone she knows, is in Nxivm. The judge is forcing her to make new friends.]
THE DEFENDANT SHALL NOT CONTRIBUTE TO THE BUREAU OF PRISONS (BOP) COMMISSARY ACCOUNTS OF ANY CO-DEFENDANTS OR PARTICIPANTS OF EXECUTIVE SUCCESS PROGRAMS, NXIVM, DOS OR ANY OTHER NXIVM-AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS.
[There are five other Nxivm codefendants. If all of them go to prison – Raniere, Nancy and Lauren Salzman, Allison Mack and Kathy Russell, then Clare cannot put money in their commissary accounts after she is out of prison. But Clare got 81 months which is likely to be a longer sentence than her codefendants except for Raniere. So, once out, she will not be allowed to put money in Raniere’s commissary for three years. It is unclear whether she can put money in his commissary while both are in prison. It doesn’t matter much since her sister Sara can afford to make the $400 per month commissary deposit.]
CRIMINAL MONETARY PENALTIES
Clare has to pay $96,605 in restitution to victim Jane Doe 12. She has to pay a fine of $500,000 and a forfeiture judgment of $6 million.
This is an example of how Clare was poorly represented. When attorney Mark Geragos cut her plea deal, it was believed that Clare would get two years in prison, [based on estimated sentencing guidelines] and a $6 million forfeiture,.
At the time, people said Clare bought off a longer sentence by paying the $6 million forfeiture.
She bought nothing. She is still paying the $6 million – and now she’s going to prison for 81 months.
There is a poetry in her having such a bad outcome. She abused the court system for years using dozens of high priced attorneys to overwhelm her enemies.
In her criminal case, she retained high-priced attorneys Mark Geragos and Michael Avenatti.
They both got into trouble during their representation of Clare. Avenatti was arrested for extorting Nike.
Clare Bronfman fainted in court when asked by the judge if he represented her.
Geragos was also in danger of being arrested for the Nike extortion and one suspects he could hardly focus on her plea deal since he may have been working on one for himself.
Her plea deal had loopholes. There was no guarantee of a maximum sentence – other than the maximum the law allows. No agreement from the feds on sentencing recommendations. Nothing but an open-ended agreement where she paid $6 million and could be sentenced to up to 25 years.
The slick part was that they read into the record that the estimated sentencing guidelines for her crimes were 21-27 months. This gave the gullible heiress the false sense of security that she would get two years.
The estimated guidelines meant nothing at all. She got 81 months.
The replacement for Geragos was attorney Ronald Sullivan, who handled the sentencing hearing.
He blundered spectacularly it seems. By sending her letter to the judge wherein Clare said she would not disavow Keith Raniere, Sullivan sealed her fate.
Evidently, Sullivan did not know the case and does not know the judge. It is important to know the judge because you have an idea of what his temperament is like and you can better judge what is the right and wrong thing to do.
The judge presided over the trial of Keith Raniere. If Sullivan read the transcripts from that trial, he would have known the judge’s opinion of the case. If he knew the judge, if he had been before him in the past, he would understand the judge’s likely reaction to a letter from Clare saying she would not disavow Raniere.
In the end, Clare got what she deserved – a long prison sentence. But never think Clare is the loser here. She lucked out. She is only going to be in prison for six years or so. With Raniere she was serving a life sentence.
I wager that one day Clare will realize that the luckiest day of her life was when she was arrested and, hence, placed on the high road of being separated from Nxivm and her ruler Raniere.
That road is long, and perhaps she will never disavow Keith, but thanks to the judge, she will at least have to wait nine years before she can even hope to serve him again.