One of the considerations in the sentencing of Clare Bronfman to 81 months in prison was her history of vexatious litigation. Her attorney, Ronald Sullivan argued that every lawsuit was meritorious and that she won most of her lawsuits.
Sullivan told the court, without providing evidence, that “most of the litigation claimed to be vexatious was, in fact, successful in courts of competent jurisdiction.”
Her victims said she funded litigation against them for years for no purpose other than to destroy them. Four women in particular spoke at her sentencing to discuss the relentless nature of Bronfman-funded litigation. They were Toni Natalie: here ; Susan Dones: here; Barbara Bouchey: here; and Kristin Keeffe: here
They claim that Bronfman could afford a battery of attorneys and sue in various courts making her opponents spend all their money – and causing them great emotional and psychological damage.
Since there is a wide disparity between what Clare’s attorney claimed and what her victims say – and since the sentence is going to be appealed – let us take a look at Clare’s record of funding lawsuits.
Of 40 lawsuits, Clare was victorious in three cases.
Most cases were dismissed without a victor, other than the lawyers.
The following list of cases are ones where either Clare was a party or she funded the lawsuit, usually along with her sister, Sara.
- Raniere v. Natalie – Intervention in bankruptcy case. Judge Robert Littlefield sized up Raniere’s litigation against Toni Natalie as follows: “The individual challenging the Debtor’s [Natalie] discharge is her former boyfriend; this matter smacks of a jilted fellow’s attempt at revenge or retaliation against his former girlfriend, with many attempts at tripping her up along the way.”
- Salzman v. Natalie – Intervention in bankruptcy case [Dismissed]
- Natalie secured a restraining order against Barbara Jeske, a longtime member of Raniere’s inner circle, after she’d videotaped Jeske tampering with her mail.
- NXIVM v. Rick Ross [Dismissed]
- NXIVM v Morris Sutton, Rochelle Sutton, Stephanie Franco, a spin-off from the Rick Ross case [Dismissed]
- NXIVM v Paul Martin, PhD., and Wellspring Retreat, Inc., a spin-off from the Rick Ross case [Dismissed]
- NXIVM v John Hochman M.D., a spin-off from the Rick Ross case [Dismissed]
- NXIVM v. Interfor, a spin-off from the Rick Ross case [Dismissed]
- NXIVM Et Al v. O’Hara, Rutnik, and Polit [Dismissed]
- NXIVM v Douglas Rutnik [Settled for $100,000, a victory]
- Bronfman v. O’Hara – Intervention in bankruptcy case [Dismissed]
- NXIVM v. Metroland [Dismissed]
- People v. O’Hara – Albany County Criminal Case [NXIVM/ESP and Clare Bronfman sought to have O’Hara indicted in Albany County (NY). NXIVM made arrangements for Nxivm’s in-house Legal Liaison to be placed in the Office of the Albany County District Attorney as an unpaid Legal Intern. The indictment was dismissed on June 19, 2007 by Albany County Court Judge Thomas Breslin who noted that the instructions that were given to the Grand Jury by the District Attorney’s Office were “…so brief as to fail to provide appropriate legal instruction – and “…inadequate to comply with…Criminal procedure Law”. [Dismissed]
- Sitrick and Company Inc. v. NXIVM Corporation – Unpaid bill [Stiffed company so they won.]
- Salzman v. Continental Airlines – [Nancy Salzman alleged Continental lost her laptop – and sued for $700,000 for lost data in the laptop. [Dismissed.]
- Bronfman v. O’Hara – Intervention in bankruptcy case [Dismissed]
- Precision v. Plyam Et Al [Clare won but got no money because they bankrupted the defendant.]
- Bronfman v. Yuri Plyam – Intervention in bankruptcy case [Settled for a fraction of the money spent in legal fees, a victory]
- NXIVM v. Dones – Intervention in bankruptcy case. Judge Brian D. Lynch said, “NXIVM’s claims and litigation tactics were disproportionate and largely lacking in merit,” in dismissing nearly all claims against Dones. [Dones won.]
- NXIVM v. Woolhouse – Intervention in bankruptcy case [Judge Lynch chastised NXIVM. He wrote: “Her ‘sin’ was to attempt to walk away after discovering that NXIVM was not what she thought or hoped. In return, she was labeled as ‘suppressive,’ a term that NXIVM applies to former associates who leave the company or whom NXIVM perceives to be its enemies, and subjected to protracted litigation from two large law firms and a phalanx of attorneys.” [Woolhouse won]
- NXIVM v. Bouchey – Intervention in bankruptcy case [Dismissed]
- NXIVM v. Bouchey – NYS Supreme Court – Dismissed
- Bronfman v. Bouchey – NYS Supreme Court – Dismissed
- NXIVM v. Bouchey – California SLAM case – Dismissed
- Bronfman filed a complaint against Bouchey with FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) – Dismissed.
- Bronfman filed a complaint against Bouchey with Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. – Dismissed
- Bronfmans pressed for criminal investigation by the district attorney of Saratoga County to charge Bouchey with extortion – Declined.
- NXIVM/Raniere attempted to get Toni Natalie indicted on bank fraud with US Attorney Western District – Declined
- Raniere et al filed a complaint against Toni Natalie with the New York State Liquor Authority/Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control – Dismissed
- The Bronfmans sisters filed complaints against Yuri Plyam with the National Futures Association (NFA) – and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Both complaints were denied because the Bronfman sisters never had any trading accounts with Mr. Plyam. It should be noted that the Bronfman sisters “loaned” approximately $65 million to First Principles, Inc. in order to cover Mr. Raniere’s losses in the commodities account that had been established in that entity’s name. [Ddismissed]
- Clare Bronfman v. Parlato – NYS Supreme Court, Civil case. Bronfman alleges there was no written contract covering a $1 million load/advance she had paid to Parlato. Parlato is countersuing for $7 million. [Pending]
- Clare Bronfman filed a criminal complaint against Parlato in the Western District of New York. Contradicting her sworn affidavit in the civil case, Clare told the Grand Jury there was a written contract covering the same $1 million loan/advance she had paid to Parlato. – [Bronfman charges dismissed]
- NXIVM v. Canaprobe – Montreal, Canada: Clare Bronfman alleges that after she hired Canaprobe to spy on U.S. federal judges and others and obtain their bank records and other personal information, the company provided her with fake records. [Dismissed]
- NXIVM v. Toni Natalie, Vanity Fair, Albany Times Union, Jim Odato, Suzanna Andrew, John Tighe. Joseph O’Hara, Barbara Bouchey, and others – Civil Computer Trespass Case [Bronfman perjury caused the judge to dismiss the case].
- People v. Natalie Et Al – Criminal Computer Trespass Case [Case dismissed] [Bronfman perjury caused the prosecutor to drop the case.] Tighe pled guilty to this and other charges. [Partial victory]
- Raniere v Keeffe [child custody] Raniere denied he was the father of a male child and created an elaborate story about the child being an orphan. Keeffe and the child fled from Raniere in 2014. Raniere then, claiming he was the father, sued Keeffe for custodial rights. [Dismissed]
- Raniere v. Microsoft & AT&T [US Court Northern District of Texas] Raniere claimed he invented a technology these companies use. Was unable to prove ownership of patents. Created a fictitious document transferring ownership from the true patent holder. Was caught. Case dismissed. Raniere was admonished by the judge for lying and sanctioned $1.2 million. [Dismissed]
- Raniere v Global Technologies. Raniere sued in Washington State Court to prove he owns patents that were not issued in his name. He had no written contract or documentary proof. He alleges he made a verbal agreement more than 20 years ago. The patents are the same ones he was admonished for lying about in federal court in Texas. [Dismissed]
- NXIVM [Mexico] v. Toni Zarattini, [and Toni Natalie, Joseph O’Hara, Barbara Bouchey, and others] alleging criminal extortion. Mr. Zarattini’s ‘offense’ was quitting ESP and allegedly telling others about the practice of branding women etc. [Dismissed]. Clare forwarded letters to her Mexican attorney to threaten whistleblowers.
- NXIVM/Clare Bronfman attempted to bring criminal charges in Vancouver against Sarah Edmondson. [No action taken]
The results of 40 lawsuits and over $30 million in legal fees are that Clare won three cases and lost 36, with one pending.
However, if you judge a victory as ruining the life of your adversary, Clare, arguably was very successful.
Toni Natalie, Joe O’Hara, Susan Dones, Kim Woolhouse, Barbara Bouchey, John Tighe, Jim Odato, Kristin Keeffe, Toni Zarattini, Sarah Edmondson, Suzanna Andrews, a number of DOS members, and myself, experienced significant financial losses fighting Clare’s inordinate wealth and less than scrupulous litigation style.
In the end, Judge Nicholas Garaufis seemed to side with the victims who claimed Clare abused the legal process – using her wealth in order to ruin enemies financially and emotionally.
If you count the 41st case she was involved in, the only case she did not initiate, her criminal case, she lost that one.
She is now a loser in the same arena she sought to destroy so many others.