The great Vanguard not only stripped Clare Bronfman of scores of millions of dollars, and got her indicted but he made her wear a jockstrap too.
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On Clare Bronfman’s Purchase of Justice From the Department of Justice

Clare Bronfman pleaded guilty to two felony charges on April 19, which was Good Friday.  Some of her victims felt it was a bad Friday.

How could it be that the cruelest, most active Nxivm member, the financier of the vicious Keith Alan Raniere, got such an incredible soft plea deal – one that carries a sentencing guideline of 21-27 months? The only one of those who pleaded guilty who will serve less prison time is Kathy Russell.

A plea deal that did not include the serious charges of racketeering?

If Nxivm was a racketeering enterprise, how did its Director of Operations get off without pleading guilty to a racketeering charge?

Little Allison Mack – who had almost zero authority in Nxivm – had to plead guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy. Lauren Salzman, who like Clare, was on the executive board – pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy.  Nancy Salzman – a mere order-taker since 2009 for Clare Bronfman – pleaded guilty to racketeering.

But not Clare – not the wealthy heiress.  The Department of Justice allowed her to plead to two relatively minor felonies and spared her the more serious racketeering charges.

[I doubt her plea deal was a decision made by the Assistant US Attorneys handling the case. Someone with the kind of money Clare has would get her special approval at a higher level than the local Eastern District of New York office, I strongly suspect.]

One fascinating element of this case was that Nancy Salzman was accused of fraudulently doctoring a Nxivm video used in discovery in the Rick Ross litigation. This was a form of perjury and part of how Nxivm engaged in racketeering. They did a lot of racketeering in litigation.

But while they went after Nancy hard, the DOJ knew about Clare’s numerous acts of perjury in various lawsuits, far more serious than doctoring of a little video in a civil lawsuit.

Clare arranged to move the server that hosted Nxivm’s website from Saratoga County to Albany County to get four people criminally indicted – then lied about it in court documents.  Clare went to the grand jury in my case and perjured herself about the existence of a contract she had just testified in a civil lawsuit did not exist.

She perjured herself in criminal cases where people could be imprisoned. The evidence is there. Witnesses would testify. But she was not charged.

Yes, Nancy, who is not a wealthy heiress, had a hand in doctoring a video to edit out potentially damaging clips – in a civil lawsuit, an almost meaningless act [they did not win the lawsuit] and it was about money – no one was going to prison – and they hammered Nancy for that.

There is no justice for the wealthy or the poor. There is only money and there is punishment.

Clare, of course, did plead to two felonies – let’s hand it to the DOJ.  They did not let her off scot-free.

In America, to even charge an heiress is a grand gesture of equality. Then again, how could they not charge her? She was the guiltiest of the lot next to Raniere. Not charging her would have created the most gruesome of optics.

She was 10 times more culpable – and committed many more crimes than Mack or little Lauren Salzman. She funded the whole racketeering criminal enterprise, she and her sister, Sara.

The DOJ could not $ell her a free pass. They had to hit her with something. She was so damn guilty of so many crimes. The optics would have been simply horrendous. If justice is for sale in America, the people, aren’t supposed to know it.

Clare pleaded guilty to harboring an illegal alien for profit.

This is a joke of course – for she did not do it for profit. She has $200 million dollars [she used to have a lot more]. She did not need to cheat the government or her friend, the illegal alien, [readers know her – she is Sylvie {first names only] out of a mere $100,000 in pay.

It was not about the money. It was about the racketeering for which she was not charged.

Clare also pleaded guilty to identity theft – because she paid the late Pam Cafritz’s American Express Card – which Vanguard used after her death.  Again, Clare did not need to get involved in the bullshit use of a dead woman’s credit card for a couple of thousand dollars a month.

She could have given Raniere 1,000 credit cards – legally. Cosigned for him to have anything he wanted – legally.   These are pusillanimous charges.

She paid off dead Pam’s credit card after Raniere used it. This is what she was allowed to plead guilty to – ignoring the real crimes she committed.

Clare Bronfman destroyed people’s whole lives by suing them half to death – bankrupting them, intimidating them, terrorizing them, perjuring herself to ruin them and get them indicted – filing false claim after false claim after false claim.

And they nab Nancy for taking out a few seconds out of a video in a lawsuit against famous cult buster Rick Ross, a man who could easily defend himself and did so and won.

Was the DOJ serious about Bronfman? Or did they simply want some of her money – the $6 million fine she agreed to pay?

The beautiful part about Clare not being charged with racketeering is the government half-inoculated her from being sued by her many victims.

Just as she used her wealth to cheat in all her lawsuits against NXIVM’s enemies, she used her wealth again to buy “justice” from the Department of Justice.  Clare never pleaded to racketeering and, hence, those who have civil claims against her – and there are more than 80 victims who plan to sue her for ruining their lives – will have a harder run.

The DOJ almost gave her a clean bill of health.  This was a wise purchase she made from the Department of Justice. For $6 million, she may have saved herself $30 million or more – plus she got years shaved off her sentence.

[In fact, she may be sentenced to house arrest – which would allow her to travel freely by day and just have to be home at night – at any number of homes she owns].

And Clare can make the argument that she was never found guilty of racketeering. All she did was pay a credit card bill for a dead woman and cheat on a visa application with her friend.

And in broad daylight, we watched the sale of justice. The DOJ gets $6 million – and Clare gets off easy, really easy.  And, best of all, the money – the $6 million – will NOT go to victims.

Bronfman will pay slightly under $100,000 to Sylvie – for lying on Sylvie’s visa, for the money Sylvie would have gotten if Clare had actually paid what she claimed she was going to pay her on her visa application.

$100,000 for Clare is like $100 for the average American. [And $6 million for Clare is like $6,000 for the average American.]

As a side note, you have to consider how vicious Clare really was to the people she and Raniere hated. It was she who kept the “Enemies List”. It was she who led the hacking attacks and litigation to put innocent people in prison.

She loved being a criminal. She loved being brutal. She is like the executioner who, while pretending she does it for society, [for Nxivm’s noble mission] loved to pull the switch.

Even for the petty crimes she pleaded to, it was just pure warm spite that drove her to do them.

At Raniere’s behest, and from the bowels of her own natural depravity, she lied [when she did not have to; she has $200 million] to Immigration & Customs about how much she was going to pay her friend Sylvie by about $20,000 a year or so on a visa application.

[$20,000 per year? That’s like $20 to Clare.]

When Sylvie came here, Clare made Sylvie kick back the money. Not because Clare needed the money. No, she just needed Sylvie poor. Not confident. Not prosperous. Not able to easily pay her bills. Not strong but weak. Dependent. This was part of the Bronfman-Raniere racketeering conspiracy.

They had to lie to get her into the country. They could have paid her what they said they were going to pay her. But that would be enough to make her strong and independent.

So Clare – saying it was all about ethics – made Sylvie kick back. It was stupid for a wealthy heiress to break the law – to commit a felony – for less than $100,000.

This is the same woman who lost, along with her sister, Sara, $68 million in commodities under Raniere’s guidance and did not blink. The next day she and her sister invested and would have lost, but for me, another $26 million or more in real estate in Los Angeles.

It was not about money. It was racketeering in the truest sense. Do you think Sylvie was the only one? There were dozens of Sylvies and the DOJ knows the names of all of them.

Clare is a woman who likely spent more than $50 million in legal fees to sue the bejesus out of Raniere’s enemies – and who committed fraud every inch of the way – perjury and fraud – costing her enemies millions and – she gets charged with a felony to defraud US immigration authorities so she could pocket less than $100,000?

That is not the point. She committed lots of crimes. Sylvie was not the only illegal immigrant who came through lies.  Kathy Russell admitted to doing it with Loreta Garza. But Clare had a hand in that too and with Balu and Sahajo and so many others.

Clare was behind most, if not all, of NXIVM’s illegal immigration activities. It was about keeping women poor. That was Bronfman and Raniere’s racket. Poor immigrants can be controlled and they can’t tell on you either for they have participated in the lie and in the crime.

If the Feds wanted to nail Clare, they could have charged her with a dozen immigration fraud charges – and dozens of other crimes.  And those victims, like Sylvie, would have gotten $100,000 each.

Instead, the DOJ pocketed $6 million. Sylvie got $100,000.

Clare’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, is a super lawyer. He got Jusse Smollett off with zero time. I am not sure what that cost, or who paid it, but somebody got something to be sure.

Maybe Geragos will get Clare off with home confinement, maybe a suspended sentence.  Things are done by degrees – mostly for the optics – when you buy justice.

In the end, there will be little punishment for an heiress who abused and broke the law to punish others for more than a decade.

At a regular department store, you buy electronics at the electronics department, pet food at the pet department, men’s clothing, women’s clothing, home and garden, cosmetics at the appropriate departments.

And in America, you buy justice at the US Department of Justice.

Only there, you need a lot of money.

One rascal, a cad, a criminal named Emiliano Salinas – his father has so much money – at least 10 times and maybe 100 times what Clare and her family have – he bought justice too or his daddy Carlos did. Emiliano didn’t even get indicted. That Salinas deal cost a hell of a lot more than $6 million.

Yeah, for you and me, there is an avenging lady called Justice represented [poorly] by those who blaspheme and mimic in her name. She can be bought off, sold short. But bring your checkbook.

Maybe it’s the same everywhere where men and women are, the same corruption of power.

Sure, they’re going to jam the rascal, the now likely penniless Raniere. That’s easy. That the crowd will cheer. No need to sell him justice for he has no money to buy it.

But his evil twin, his truest disciple, the one who committed, next to him, more crimes than anyone, she bought hers for $6 million.

Raniere will go to prison for 20-30 years or life, whichever is shorter. And Clare who should have been right with him in a year or two will be living abroad – perhaps alternating between Europe and her island paradise in Fiji.

They don’t call it a plea bargain for nothing. No, not for nothing. But it was a bargain alright.

About the author

Frank Parlato

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