NXIVM Sex Cult Financier Clare Bronfman to Appeal 81 Month Prison Sentence

The daughter of billionaire and former Seagram liquor chairman Edgar Bronfman is sentenced to 81 months in prison, longer than the five years that prosecutors had sought in the case.

AceShowbiz - Seagram's heiress Clare Bronfman has been sentenced to over six years in prison for her role in sex-trafficking scheme involving actresses including Allison Mack, NXIVM. The former equestrian got 81 months, more than the five years prosecutors had recommended in the case.

Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis handed down the sentence on Wednesday, September 30 and ordered that she was remanded to custody shortly after the hearing. She will also be required to pay a $500,000 fine.

In announcing the sentence, Judge Garaufis condemned Bronfman for using her wealth to control her victims. "She used her incredible wealth and attempted to use her social status and connections not only to support NXIVM's work, but also as a means of intimidating, threatening, and exacting revenge upon individuals who dared to challenge its dogma," the judge said. "It does concern me that she continues to stand by Raniere."

Her attorney Ronald Sullivan said that they will immediately appeal the decision. "The decision was clearly an abomination. It was outrageous. It was a miscarriage of justice," said the attorney, who previously had asked for no jail time.

Acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme, meanwhile, said in a statement after the sentencing, "Bronfman twisted our immigration system to serve a reprehensible agenda, and engaged in flagrant fraud to the detriment of her victims and in the service of a corrupt endeavor. With today's sentence, she has been held accountable for her crimes."

Bronfman, who is the daughter of billionaire and and former Seagram liquor chairman Edgar Bronfman, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to conceal and hide illegal aliens for financial gain, and fraudulent use of identification. As her sentence loomed, she continued to support cult leader and founder Keith Raniere, who was convicted of sex trafficking, racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child and human trafficking charges.

Before the sentencing, Bronfman said, "I have made mistakes, I'm sorry for the time and resources I have taken from the court. I'm immensely grateful and privileged because all over the world, people are praying for me because they know my goodness. It doesn't mean I haven't made mistakes."

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