Seagram’s heir to the liquor fortune, which provided financial support to NXIVM’s disgraced leader Keith Raniere, faces a federal judge on Wednesday when she could face up to five years in prison.
Clare Bronfman, the 41-year-old daughter of late philanthropist and Seagram CEO Edgar Bronfman, admitted in a guilty plea last year that she was harboring someone who was living illegally in the United States for “work and services” not paid and that she had engaged a credit card fraud in the name of Raniere, who was convicted last year for turning women in her group into sex slaves bearing his initials.
Prosecutors want US District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis to sentence Bronfman to five years in prison, arguing his financial support was the foundation of the NXIVM group, “Nexium” said.
She has donated tens of millions of dollars to NXIVM, which has a program of intense self-improvement courses.
“There is no doubt that Raniere would not have been able to commit the crimes for which he was convicted without powerful allies like Bronfman,” prosecutors said in court documents.
But defense attorneys are just asking for probation, arguing Bronfman had no direct involvement in NXIVM’s more troubling activities. Additionally, Bronfman’s attorneys said she had pre-existing health issues that made her particularly vulnerable to coronavirus if sent to prison.
Bronfman claimed in a letter to court last month that she “never intended to hurt anyone like I did and for that I am deeply sorry.
But she also argued that “NXIVM and Keith have changed my life greatly for the better.”
As part of a plea deal, the heir to the drink has already agreed to forgo $ 6 million on a fortune that prosecutors said is worth $ 200 million.
Raniere and NXIVM are best known for the involvement of “Smallville” actress Allison Mack in the group’s leadership structure.
Last year, Raniere was convicted of multiple counts, including racketeering, sex trafficking and possession of child pornography linked to his group which operated near Albany.
Raniere and Mack await sentencing.