Editor’s Note: This is Part 7 of the “From Prison: Keith Raniere” series on the subject of his codefendants’ innocence.
In this article, Raniere writes about Clare Bronfman who was sentenced to 81 months last September and immediately remanded to prison. it is important to note that this was written by Raniere prior to her sentencing, and he appears to believe that she would have received a sentence close to what the sentencing guidelines suggested – a sentence between 21-27 months.
By Keith Raniere
Clare was the first friend I ever had with an authentic British accent. She was an equestrian jumper and came to me for coaching. Although I have never “jumped horses,” I model athletics from a physics and psychological perspective with a unique toolset. I believe I did aid in her success and ultimately, before she retired, she ranked eighth in the United States. Much of her success is her diligence and mature, independent pursuit of her goals.
When I met her she also lead her personal equestrian team, ran her horse farm with full staff, and was a self-made capable manager. Once she retired, she became more active in NXIVM eventually over-seeing all of the attorneys, investigators, and consultants. As a lay-legal student she excelled to the point of admiration from a number of accomplished attorneys. She has had little formal education yet she has the ability to learn almost any subject and direct and guide multifarious professionals.
As a philanthropist, she took the responsibility of her inherited wealth very seriously. She has strong moral values and refuses to invest in things which do not support them. She has been a vegan for many years and is mindful of participating in only non-violent causes and investments. When it comes to causes in which she believes she is generous; when the initial arrests occurred, she created a defense fund and irrevocably donated a very large sum of money (a notable portion of her wealth) for use by a large list of people.
Clare is one of the most trustworthy people I have ever met. We developed the deepest of relationships over time and of ail people, strategically, she thinks the most like me.
Even in this case, I would come up with an idea, express it to my attorneys, and Clare would express the exact same thing.
She is both noble and caring; strong and efficient; yet thoughtful and generous. She has been my greatest support in many ways and throughout this process. I think of all people, in tested trust, thinking, and sharing, she is closest to me, and I to her.
During the hardest times of my life she provided unwavering support, care, and love. She is a great example of strength and toughness — but always with a deep, sensitive, interior. I love her and respect her, but in addition I am grateful for all she has done in my life. She has helped make what light I have show brighter.
Motivation to Plea:
Clare stands to lose a lot of material wealth.
The victims. although they denied any thoughts of any civil actions on the witness stand, are represented by a civil class-action lawyer who has stated he will be filing a civil suit for the victims.
Although Clare is innocent, she is also a main target of hate.
Before Clare was indicted, because she was a target, she would inform the prosecution when she left town, where she was going, and when she was coming back. The guidelines for her pled offenses are between 22 and 27 months — none of the charged offenses involved violence, drugs, or weapons.
Here is the telling result: with all this considered, the court required her to post a $100 million dollar bail bond, an ankle bracelet, be restricted to home confinement, and have no contact with anyone, including family, but her attorneys. I believe Clare has reason to think, as I do, circumstances are political and unjust.
Since she was able to plead guilty to strictly non-RICO charges, she minimized her material exposure. It was my opinion before she plead, that if she could plead she should.
Clare’s plea was very well crafted.
It is based on a superseding information for her alone. There are two counts. In both counts the prosecution puts in extra information to bolster the case proper.
Count one is Conspiracy to harbor an illegal alien for financial gain. It is my understanding Clare hired this person and the person did not do the work required; instead of firing her, Clare kept her on but didn’t pay her.
Clare should have fired her and that would have forced her to go back to Mexico. She was a community member and friends with a number of people in the US, so she wanted to stay very much. Shortly thereafter, she married another community member. The prosecution was sure to state that this charge was based on the core conduct of their RICO enterprise in Act 11 — that is a matter of opinion and irrelevant to the plea.
Clare’s second charge was use of false identification facilitating tax evasion. Here the prosecution said I was trying to evade taxes through use of a credit card, and it is related to the RICO charge.
They stated “which is based on the same core conduct as Racketeering Act 14 of count two,” “that by facilitating Keith Raniere’s use of Jane Doe 7’s credit card, Bronfman aided and abetted tax evasion by Keith Raniere” (and they also added, “as part of a scheme to allow him to falsely portray himself as a renunciate” this statement has nothing to do with any charge, is defamatory, and is not true).
What Clare said in her plea was much different and true.
“l knowingly facilitated the use by another person of a deceased person’s credit card,” “and the person using the credit card did not intend to pay taxes on the income received in the form of payment for goods purchased on the credit card.”
Here is the underlying situation; I suspect you will find the prosecution’s conduct as objectionable, and fraudulent, as we do:
Pam Cafritz was my life-partner for almost 30 years. About 15 years into the relationship we took on a third partner and the three of us have been together for well over a decade.
Pam gave this partner unfettered use of her credit cards and I believe some were labeled with this partner’s name. I was the sole beneficiary of Pam’s will, and her executor, trustee, and health proxy.
I had to make the inconsolable, irreconcilable decision to disconnect Pam from life-support — the most sad and difficult decision of my life. All of Pam’s money and property are supposed to go to me. The estate and trust were set up, but not completely executed (unbeknownst to us).
Both my remaining partner from this union, and myself, continued to live and pay expenses from the estate. There were no taxes due yet, and any taxes due would be paid on Pam’s personal income and the gross of the estate. Expenses are not taxable; they are post-tax. use of the credit card is not taxable, it is post-tax (because those moneys are accounted for and taxed before the credit card is paid).
I never used the credit card — not even once. The living partner from this union would not owe taxes on the credit card expenditures no matter what (in addition she is a Mexican citizen). There could never be any taxes due, and the prosecution knows this.
Imagine having your 30-year life-partner die, having sole control over all the estate, hiring a top accounting firm (including one of the past commissioners of the I.R.S.) to work out any mis-steps, and pay any potential taxes due, and having the prosecution charge you with tax evasion. It is deeply disturbing the government would be so ugly, abusive, and fraudulent: this is consistent with the tone of the whole case.
Clare’s plea was inaccurate (“l knowingly facilitated the use by another person of a deceased person’s credit card,” “and the person using the credit card did not intend to pay taxes on the income received in the form of payment for goods purchased on the credit card”), but consider the nature (and knowing untruth) of the prosecution’s charge: To evade taxes the taxes are supposed to be assessed, and due. Not only the taxes not assessed, there could never be any due. Normally with such a charge the prosecution brings in an I.R.S. agent who testifies about the taxes assessed, and thereby evaded. Obviously this could never happen. How did the court, and prosecution (including the prosecutorial office of the district), allow this?
It is also important to note the unjust, prejudicial nature of the prosecution’s approach: the prosecution brings in irrelevant uncharged, accusations during a plea. This only serves to influence the public, media, and the judge with hate. No legitimate prosecution would ever do this or need to do this.
- (Forfeiture) Clare paid $6 million in forfeiture. This might be used for “crime victims” which is of course sad if there is actually no crime. Although with any action of this destructive size there are victims, crime or not, in our case there are many opportunists. Most of the witnesses in my case are represented by the same, civil, class-action lawyer.
- (Innocence) Clare is innocent. Although I do not know of the first crime of which she was charged, I do know the person involved. I think this person was anxious to stay in the community (she ultimately married a man from the community). I heard Clare paid her a good deal of money as restitution. This seems very wrongful for, although Clare supposedly did not pay her for the time she was employed, this person insisted on not working for the pay. Clare should have just fired her.Clare plead honestly to the second charge, not echoing or agreeing to what the prosecution said they would have to prove in court. This charge is not only untrue, but completely unfounded and does not meet several of the basic elements. It is stunning this charge was posed by the prosecution or allowed by the court.
- (Exposure) I hope Clare has minimized her exposure with this plea. She will live to do many positive things in the world with her wealth. She is far more conscientious, and mindful of social outcomes, than many with her resources. The world would be better if more people of substance were more like Clare.
- (Coercion) Clare was forced by a coercive, wrongful situation, to plea to charges that never should have been charged. I believe she did the best she could against terrible abuses of power. She plead precisely, and intelligently, against wrongfully charged crimes. She avoided telling any untruths as much as possible.
- (Our Meeting) It increased risk to Clare’s outcome for her and I to meet, so we did not.
- This prosecution stems mainly from my actions, unorthodox lifestyle, and prejudicial hate built up over decades. Although the allegedly criminal activity is absolutely false, and all the people accused are mindful, considerate, and good, this whole situation stems from my life decisions. The tragic, wrongful, results of even rightful actions, in this case, are still my responsibility.
- Over the years, because of a full agenda and many relationships, I at times forced Clare to fend for herself in difficult situations. Instead of taking our same values for granted, thereby spending less time with her, I know now to rejoice in the similarity of values and celebrate them with more together time.