Clare Bronfman (r) with one of her attorneys, William F. Savino, frequent collaborators on the infliction of joy.
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Seagram Heiress Clare Bronfman may have lied to FBI/ DOJ in Western District of New York, committed perjury; What will the WDNY do?

With the Eastern District of New York U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuting the Clare Bronfman-financed and led sex-slave cult, having secured indictments of sex-slaver guru, Keith Raniere, and actress Allison Mack, will the Western District of New York U.S. Attorney’s Office pursue obstruction and false statements charges against Clare Bronfman and those that assisted her in making those false statements to the WDNY?

If the WDNY declines, the question is “why not?”

The Eastern District U.S. Attorney’s Office has alleged in its complaint against Raniere that Bronfman has spent millions on attorneys to silence the cult’s critics and ex-slaves. Did she tap that trust money to toy with, abuse, and manipulate the Western District U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute an ex-employee, Frank Parlato?

—Backstory—

In 2007, the publisher of this publication entered into an agreement with Clare Bronfman to help secure the Bronfman sister’s [Clare and Sara’s] real estate in Los Angeles, after a contractor in Los Angeles had mismanaged the project. After securing ownership of the properties for the heiress, Parlato was summarily terminated. Bronfman breached the employment contract and engagement.

The Bronfmans did not immediately sue or criminally complain against Parlato, as they needed his assistance in the civil suit against the L.A. contractor, in the case of Precision v. Plyam.

Parlato assisted the Bronfmans in that civil suit, which they won, unaware that as soon as Parlato helped them secure a successful $10.3 million verdict, they would turn on him, filing a civil complaint alleging fraud, and initiating or furthering a criminal complaint in the Western District of New York.

By 2011, the Bronfmans, and through their attorney, William F. Savino, were communicating with at least the IRS and, likely the FBI, regarding an investigation of Parlato. By at least as early as 2014, Savino was communicating with the FBI, misidentifying evidence he presented on behalf of his clients, the Bronfmans and Executive Success Programs, an entity controlled by the Bronfmans.

In 2015, Parlato was indicted in the WDNY for, inter alia, defrauding the Bronfmans by wire of an interest they allegedly had in the One Niagara Building, a building Parlato developed in Niagara Falls, NY. The WDNY U.S. Attorney apparently tired of that allegation, and by May 23, 2018, after nearly three years of the pending indictment lingering in the WDNY federal court, the WDNY U.S. Attorney superseded the indictment, curiously dropping the Bronfmans from the list of alleged victims of fraud.

—The “Lying” Crimes Defined—

Perjury is defined under 18 U.S.C. Section 1621 as “having taken an oath…in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify…[truthfully][and] willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true.” Simply put, lying under oath.

Another federal crime, 18 U.S.C. Section 1001 makes it a felony to “falsify, conceal, or cover up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact” or to make or use false writings or documents knowing them to be false, or to make fraudulent written statements. The elements of the crime are a statement, falsity, materiality, specific intent, and agency jurisdiction. The FBI and the IRS are within that contemplated jurisdiction. While the Federal Government may have been deceived, it is not even necessary to demonstrate that they were deceived.

Federal Courts, such as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Godwin, have held that       § 1001’s purpose is to protect the government “against those who would cheat or mislead it in the administration of its programs[.]” The crime applies to oral as well as written statements. As to the materiality requirement of the crime, statements intended to misdirect government investigators qualifies as material, even if the statements could not have succeeded. In the WDNY, the materiality requirement is met when the false statement is capable of influencing or affecting governmental function.

Also, attorneys acting at the behest of clients can also, under certain circumstances, violate this law. Indeed, within the Second Circuit, attorneys who act with a reckless disregard for the truth of statements or even make conscious efforts to avoid learning the truth of statements presented to the government can be liable for making false statements.

The Possible Crime Committed: Perjury and False Statements

Evidence suggests Clare Bronfman misled law enforcement in the WDNY. In her March 2011 civil testimony in California, Clare testified under oath that the $1 million dollar agreement between her, her sister, and Parlato was not memorialized or agreed to in a Letter of Intent where Parlato was to receive one-third of the profits of the business venture.

The beginning of the 2008 Letter of Intent (above), unsigned by Clare and Sara Bronfman, to which Clare testified in California she did not agree to.

 

The 2008 Letter of Intent (above) contemplated that Parlato would be compensated one-third of the profits of the venture. Clare testified she did not agree to this, but approximately three months later, in the WDNY Grand Jury, she testified that this was an agreement that she recalled entering into.

In the California case, Clare testified that the $1 million dollar agreement between her, her sister and Parlato and Parlato’s compensation were separate agreements.

Excerpt from Clare’s 2011 civil testimony stating that there were two separate agreements for $1 million and for payment for his services.

As to Parlato’s compensation Clare testified that she paid him $30 to $35 per hour.

Excerpt from Clare’s civil testimony in 2011 that she had been paying Parlato $30 to $35 per hour.

Then, less than three months later, in the Western District of New York, before the Federal Grand Jury, as was unsealed on Pacer.gov. in Parlato’s motion to dismiss the federal indictment against him, Clare testified that the Letter of Intent was their agreement that she entered into with Parlato.

 Before the Federal Grand Jury in the WDNY in 2011, and only three months later than her California civil testimony, Clare completely changed her tune from the California civil case, where it did not help her civil claim that she entered into the Letter of Intent agreement with Parlato. 

Problematically for Clare, fast forward a year later, and Clare reverted back to her California story (more or less), again under oath, but this time in a New York State court, that the $1 million was “loaned” without a written agreement.

 

In this civil, verified complaint from 2012, Clare, under oath, alleged that there was no written agreement, contradicting her Federal Grand Jury testimony.

Testimony aside, misrepresentations and outright falsehoods that Clare might have made to WDNY investigators outside of the Grand Jury, in interviews and other correspondence may be the basis for a Section 1001 charge. It appears highly likely that Bronfman misled federal prosecutors in the Western District of New York in order to obtain an indictment of Parlato. Indeed, as EDNY prosecutors are aware, Bronfman has paid millions to attorneys to secure indictments and litigiously harass ex-cult members and critics, as well as ex-employees, such as Senator Gillibrand’s father.

Bronfman, by herself or with her attorney, William F. Savino, may have deliberately misled prosecutors, lying about a material fact: the agreement entered into with Parlato, i.e. the Letter of Intent, which Clare testified elsewhere was never entered into. In testifying that it was an agreement entered into, Clare provided evidence that was intended by her to form the basis of wire fraud.

Excerpt from the 2015 indictment of Frank Parlato, Jr., where Parlato was alleged to have defrauded Clare and Sara Bronfman by wire. They are referred to as “C.B.” and “S.B.”

Bronfman may have misled prosecutors in Buffalo that she had signed the Letter of Intent, where one prosecutor was under the misapprehension that she was in possession of a copy of the Letter of Intent signed by Bronfman, in 2015, over four years since the investigation into Parlato had started.

Only the WDNY prosecutors and federal agents know what statements were made to them by Clare Bronfman or her attorney/s. But it may very well warrant their investigation into whether or not Clare and or her, or by and through, her attorney misled them into prosecuting Parlato under the theory that Parlato defrauded them.

As to Bronfman’s attorney, William F. Savino, it appears he might have acted with a reckless disregard for the truth in suborning Clare’s perjury in 2012 in the verified complaint, and any misrepresentations he might have made to federal law enforcement during the course of their investigation in order to achieve an indictment of Parlato. In fact, sources say that Savino frequently communicated with former AUSA Tony Bruce, and continued to press for Parlato’s indictment.

Bronfmans’ 2012 Verified Complaint against Parlato bears Savino’s signature. Public filings show Savino has represented NXIVM, a Bronfman entity, since at least 2009, and continued to represent Bronfman during and after her perjurious testimony. 

If Savino made false statements, recklessly, to federal prosecutors in connection with his sex-cult financier client/s, he may be in legal hot water.

Curiously, the WDNY has since dropped the Bronfmans from the superseding indictment of Parlato. It may want to revisit what statements were made to federal law enforcement to cause it to pursue a fraud case. Should they do so, Clare Bronfman, and possibly Sara Bronfman, could grace Buffalo once again, as defendants in a criminal action for lying to the FBI, and or committing perjury.

 

Clare Bronfman (r) with her legal muscle, William F. Savino (l)

About the author

Artvoice

Artvoice

News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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