Billionaire Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman and three other ‘sex cult’ members are arrested for ‘running pyramid scheme that took advantage of young women to enrich Nxivm leader Keith Raniere’
- Clare Bronfman was arrested on racketeering conspiracy charges on Tuesday morning and will be indicted in a Brooklyn court on Tuesday afternoon
- The heiress to the Seagram liquor fortune, 39, is accused of running a pyramid scheme in order to enrich Keith Raniere, the leader of Nxivm
- It was Clare and sister Sara who helped woo Allison Mack when she considered joining Nxixm, with the two said to have put $150M into the cult over 15 years
- Bronfman, 39, in the youngest daughter of Edgar Bronfman Sr, the former head of Seagram who was worth $2.4 billion at the time of his death
By Chris Spargo
The woman who helped fund Nxivm and the group’s leader Keith Raniere with her family fortune has been arrested and is set to be indicted on federal charges Tuesday afternoon.
Clare Bronfman, the heir to a multi-billion dollar liquor fortune, is accused of racketeering conspiracy in the new superseding indictment in the case.
That indictment also accuses Nancy Salzman, her daughter Lauren and Nxivm bookkeeper Kathy Russell of the same offenses.
Those three women were arrested in Albany and will be indicted there on Tuesday afternoon while Bronfman will appear in a Brooklyn court.
This brings the total number of members arrested to six, with leader Keith Raniere and his right-hand woman Allison Mack having already been indicted back in May.
Bronfman has hired Susan R. Necheles, one of the top white-collar attorneys in the country, to handle her case.
Leaders of the pack: The heiress to the Seagram liquor fortune, 39, is accused of running a pyramid scheme in order to enrich Keith Raniere, the leader of Nxivm (Allison Mack on left in May, Keith Raniere in an undated video on right)
‘Raniere and his inner circle, including the defendants Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman and Kathy Russell also known as “Prefect,” and others known and unknown, comprised an organized criminal enterprise (the “Enterprise”), reads the new indictment.
‘The principal purpose ofthe Enterprise was to obtain financial and personal benefits for the members of the Enterprise by promoting the defendant Keith Raniere, also known as “Vanguard,” and by recruiting new members into the Pyramid Organizations.
‘By promoting Raniere and recruiting others into the Pytu-id Organizations, the members of the Enterprise expected to receive financial opportunities and increased power and status within the Enterprise.’
Among the criminal offenses that members of this group allegedly carried out are ‘identity theft, harboring of aliens for financial gain, extortion, forced labor, sex trafficking, money laundering, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.’
Bronfman is not accused of sex trafficking.
It was however Bronfman and her sister Sara who helped woo Allison Mack when she considered joining the group according to multiple sources who previously spoke with DailyMail.com.
Mack was also aggressively recruited in hopes that she would become their Tom Cruise-like figure and publicize the group much like the actor had done with Scientology.
The Bronfmans helped with this by flying Mack private, all part of the $150 million the two have allegedly put into Nxivm over the past two decades.
Bronfman, 39, in the youngest daughter of Edgar Bronfman Sr, the billionaire philanthropist who was formerly head of Seagram.
Her mother is Rita Webb, the British-born second wife of Bronfman, who would divorce and then remarry Edgar shortly after Bronfman’s birth.
The couple’s second divorce split the family, with the girls living in England and Kenya with their mother while their father stayed in thew United States.
They would visit him in New York City as well as his nearby home in Westchester, and even took him to a Nxivm meeting at one point.
When she was 17, Bronfman began to compete in equestrian events, something she would continue to do for a decade.
She was ranked 12th in the country and 80th in the world at her peak.
Bronfman gave it all up though for Nxivm.
Mommy and me: Nxivm co-founder Nancy Salzman (left) and her daughter Lauren (right) were also arrested on Tuesday
‘I retired from a very successful career as a professional show-jumper because I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life,’ said Bronfman last year while defending Raniere.
‘NXIVM is that. As I said, the programs help. I am happy, healthy and financially moe successful than I have ever been.’
She and Sara both decided to not only join Nxivm but to relocate to upstate New York so they could become involved in teaching and training new members.
Bronfman went on step further though and became involved in organizing Vanguard Week, the annual week-long celebration of Raniere’s birthday brought together all of the group’s members.
The sisters were able to use their connections to attract big name guests like the Dalai Lama, who visited the group and made an appearance in Albany after the Bronfmans put up a $1 million donation.
That was done through the charitable organization they founded with Raniere, World Ethical Foundations Consortium.
That money comes from their grandfather, who founded Bronfman’s Distillers Corporation.
Samuel Bronfman was born in Imperial Russia but immigrated to Canada, where he later purchased another liquor company, Joseph E. Seagram & Sons.
He decided to change the name of the company given the success Seagram already had with their branded liquors such as Dewars and Seven Crown.
He purchased that company at the perfect time as Prohibition took effect in the United States, forcing many Americans to travel across the border to buy or consume liquor.
The company would even ship liquor to a few northern cities, breaking no laws since they were producing the product in Montreal, where it was legal.
His son Edgar would become CEO, and in 1933 took control of the first Seagram subsidiary in the United States.
This article (Billionaire heiress Clare Bronfman arrested on racketeering conspiracy charges with Nxivm members ) was originally published on Daily Mail and syndicated by The Event Chronicle.