BROOKLYN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman has been sentenced to 81 months in prison for her role in NXIVM. She was sentenced for conspiracy to conceal and harbor aliens for financial gain and fraudulent use of personal identification information.
The Court also imposed a fine of $500,000 and restitution to be paid to the victim “Jane Doe 12” in the amount of $96,605.
There were nearly a dozen witness impact statements read aloud in the courtroom Wednesday morning by victims of Seagram’s liquor fortune heir Clare Bronfman in her involvement with the Clifton Park-based sex-cult NXIVM. Bronfman, 41, admitted in a guilty plea last year that she harbored someone who was living in the U.S. illegally for unpaid “labor and services” and that she committed credit card fraud on behalf of Keith Raniere, leader of the group.
The women spoke before the judge on personal experiences about how NXIVM, the “self-improvement group” that turned the women into sex slaves and forced them into getting branded with the leader’s initials, ruined their lives.
The women feel that Bronfman is never going to denounce Keith Raneiere and that she was an enabler in the case. Toni Natalie, known as Keith Raniere’s former girlfriend, spoke before the judges in the courtroom saying “Clare Bronfman was a pivotal part in trying to destroy my life.”
Barbara Bouchet also spoke in the courtroom, she said she was a self-made millionaire. She started from nothing and then built her way up, she is well known in the Clifton Park and Saratoga communities and said all of the work she had done was “totally stripped from her because of Bronfman and Raneire.”
Many of the witnesses read aloud statements describing how Bronfman and Raneire played a part in stripping them of their finances and all of their resources.
In a letter to the court last month, Bronfman wrote that she “never meant to hurt anyone, however I have and for this I am deeply sorry.” Still, she said that she couldn’t disavow Raniere because “NXIVM and Keith greatly changed my life for the better.”
Sentencing is underway in court. As part of a plea agreement, Bronfman agreed to forfeit $6 million from a fortune prosecutors have said is worth $200 million. They also are seeking a $500,000 fine.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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