Heiress faces sentencing in upstate New York sex slave case

A rich benefactor of the disgraced chief of an upstate New York self-improvement workforce is dealing with sentencing in a federal intercourse slave case

NEW YORK — A rich benefactor of Keith Raniere, the disgraced chief of a self-improvement workforce in upstate New York convicted of turning ladies into intercourse slaves branded along with his initials, is dealing with sentencing within the federal conspiracy case.

Seagram’s liquor fortune heiress Clare Bronfman is because of seem on Wednesday in federal court docket in Brooklyn. The stakes are top: Her legal professionals need a pass judgement on to offer her 3 years probation as an alternative of jail time whilst prosecutors say she merits 5 years at the back of bars.

The 41-year-old Bronfman admitted in a in charge plea remaining yr that she harbored any individual who was once residing within the U.S. illegally for unpaid “hard work and products and services” and that she dedicated bank card fraud on behalf of Raniere, chief of the crowd referred to as NXIVM.

In a letter to the court docket remaining month, Bronfman wrote that she “by no means supposed to harm somebody, alternatively I’ve and for this I’m deeply sorry.” Nonetheless, she mentioned that she couldn’t disavow Raniere as a result of “NXIVM and Keith a great deal modified my existence for the simpler.”

At trial, prosecutors advised jurors the 60-year-old Raniere’s group, NXIVM — pronounced NEHK-see-uhm — operated like a cult whose participants referred to as him “Leading edge.” To honor him, the crowd shaped a secret sorority constructed from brainwashed feminine “slaves” who have been branded along with his initials and compelled to have intercourse with him, the prosecutors mentioned.

Bronfman’s legal professionals have argued she merits leniency as a result of she had no direct involvement in probably the most stressful allegations and has a well being situation that would put her at better possibility for a coronavirus an infection if incarcerated. However in court docket papers, prosecutors argued she deserved a major punishment since, “There will also be little question that Raniere don’t have been in a position to dedicate the crimes with which he was once convicted have been it now not for robust allies like Bronfman.”

The defendant had lengthy been affiliated with NXIVM, giving freely tens of million of greenbacks to bankroll Raniere and his program of intense self-improvement categories. She additionally paid for legal professionals to shield the crowd towards a lawsuit introduced via its critics.

In conjunction with Bronfman, Raniere’s teachings received him the devotion of Hollywood actresses like Allison Mack of TV’s “Smallville.” Mack additionally has pleaded in charge and is watching for sentencing.

As a part of a plea settlement, Bronfman agreed to forfeit $6 million from a fortune prosecutors have mentioned is price $200 million. Additionally they are in the hunt for a $500,000 fantastic.

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