Clare Bronfman, left, arrives at Federal court with her lawyer Mark Geragos in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Friday, 19 April 2019. Bronfman has pleaded guilty to charges after her in a sex trafficking conspiracy case against an upstate New York self-help group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
NEW YORK – An heiress pleaded guilty on Friday in a sensational case accusing a cult-like upstate New York group of the creation of a secret harem of sex slaves for the group of self-anointed spiritual leader.
Clare Bronfman admitted in her plea in federal court in Brooklyn that she was someone who lived in the U.S. illegally for unpaid “labour and services” and that they committed credit card fraud on behalf of Keith Raniere, the lead of a group called NXIVM.
Bronfman – the 40-year-old daughter of late billionaire philanthropist and former Seagram chairman, Edgar Bronfman Sr. told the judge that she had wanted to help people by NXIVM, but ultimately dishonoring her family.
“Your honor, I was given a great gift of my grandfather and father,” Bronfman said. “With the gift, comes immense privilege and, more importantly, an enormous responsibility. It does not come with a possibility to break the law.”
She added: “For this, I am truly sorry.”
As part of a plea agreement, Bronfman agreed to lose $6 million. She faces up to 27 months in prison at sentencing on July 25.
The plea means Bronfman will occur, a process beginning next month with Raniere, who face a conspiracy to explain that his inner circle of loyalists made, a secret society of women who were forced to have unwanted sex with him. Prosecutors say that some of the women were branded with his initials as part of their initiation.
Three other co-defendants, including TV actress Allison Mack, have also pleaded guilty. Mack is best known for her role as a young Superman friend on the series Smallville.”
Bronfman was made a long time connected with NXIVM to give away tens of millions of dollars of her fortune to bankroll Raniere and his program of intense self-improvement of the classes. They also paid for lawyers to defend the group against a lawsuit brought by the critics.