It’s only the beginning.
There is more to come, with additional prosecutions of Nxivm players likely.
In the meantime, permit me to say that, if Keith Raniere was an appetizer, Clare Webb Bronfman will be the entree. She is not only guilty of numerous crimes for which she can [and likely will] spend many years in federal prison, but she has some $200 million to seize – to be carved up between the FBI, Homeland Security, IRS, DOJ (EDNY & NDNY) and perhaps there will be some left for her victims.
No, it’s not over.
Now, that the trial is complete – and Keith Alan Raniere is on ice for years to come – the investigation and prosecution of the rest of the Nxivm gang of criminals will get started in earnest.
I will be reporting it all in advance of the rest of the media – as I have done right along.
Still, yesterday was a whale of a day. The sea monster was harpooned, and everyone, I think, was a little taken aback, when the jury came back so quickly.
On June 19, the jury found sex-slaver Keith Alan Raniere guilty on all counts, including, significantly, sex-trafficking, which comes with a minimum 15 years’ federal prison sentence. This means he will be housed in a maximum security facility. [A sentence of more than 10 years requires a prisoner to be lodged in a maximum security federal prison.]
Ironically, yesterday’s date, June 19th, the date it became official that Raniere would lose his freedom, is Juneteenth, or Freedom Day.
Juneteenth commemorates that, on June 19, 1865, slavery was abolished in Texas. More generally, the holiday celebrates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America. Since that date, 154 years ago, slavery [at least in name] has been largely abolished in the US — until Raniere tried to bring it back – with the old terms – masters and slaves – with him as master and with women only as slaves.
He told his top slave women that slavery was a new form of female empowerment.
In the old days, the government enforced slavery. Now that they don’t do that anymore, Raniere had to enforce his slavery through blackmail and branding. He called his master-slave organization “DOS.”
And I had the distinct pleasure of announcing its existence to the world, on June 5, 2017, in a story called Branded Slaves and Master Raniere; Sources: Human branding part of Raniere-inspired women’s group.
It was the story that led to the cratering of Nxivm and, four months later, to the publishing of a New York Times story, Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded, [which credited Frank Report for breaking the story] which led to the DOJ EDNY commencing an investigation into Nxivm which led to Raniere’s arrest.
Yesterday, will be forever known to those involved in Nxivm, and the fight to end its reign of terror, as Vangone Day. It is fitting that Vangone Day is also Juneteenth.
Yesterday, when the jury found sex slaver Raniere guilty, there was jubilation in the courtroom. Mark Vicente looked as though he was about to cheer the jury. He said of the verdict, “It’s sort of surreal.”
A number of people gasped. Susan Dones showed sheer delight.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis commended the jury after their verdict with these fine words:
“Members of the jury, this concludes your jury service. On behalf of the Court I would like to thank you for your professionalism and your attention to this very, very difficult case. You should be very proud of the role you played. You’re excellent citizens. You’ve given a great deal of your time and your energy to this pursuit. And we are honored by your participation in this trial. At this time you are discharged.
And the jurors went away. Moments later Vanguard went away. He was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom – now a slave himself of the state.
Barbara Bouchey arrived moments after the the jury was discharged and Vanguard was gone. She did not get to take a final look at him.
She was weeping when she learned of the verdict – that Keith was convicted on all counts. It’s not clear why she was crying when she heard Keith was guilty and would be gone for years to come – perhaps for all time.
Keith was her former, she thought, mostly monogamous boyfriend [she only knew of him having sex with three other women, she said] and she admitted, time and again, that she was deeply in love with him. That may have been why she was crying – for now, the man she loved so dearly, was gone forever from her visage.
Or she may have been crying out of sheer relief because he could no longer torment her, which he did for years.
She was in the hallway outside the courtroom and said of her former boyfriend, “There is goodness in him. But there’s this dark side that’s crazy.”
Raniere’s lawyer, Marc Agnifilo was there and told Bouchey, thinking she was pleased by the conviction, “Congratulations. I hope it helps. I really do.”
Susan Dones did not agree that there was goodness in Raniere. She said, “I think he’s incapable of having goodness.”
Toni Natalie looked emotional but very happy, triumphant really, as she and Catherine Oxenberg walked hand in hand out of the courtroom. Catherine was all smiles.
Outside the courthouse, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Richard Donahue held a press conference in Cadman Park. He thanked the FBI, IRS, Homeland Security, New York State Police, his own team of Moira Kim Penza [whose eyes were moist with tears] Mark Lesko and Tanya Hajjar, and bizarrely even the US Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of New York for their help [that was really surreal]. And he thanked the judge and most of all, the jury.
“Keith Raniere’s crime spree has ended and his victims will finally get justice,” US Attorney Donoghue said.
As he walked away from the press conference, everyone – and it is perhaps a little odd – in fact surreal – everyone – including hardened, jaded, hard nosed reporters – erupted into cheering.
Next it was time for the Catherine and Toni show.
The press gathered, the cameras rolling. They asked Catherine how her daughter India felt about the verdict.
“She’s in shock and I’m in shock.”
A reporter called Catherine a hero for bringing information to the FBI. Catherine said there were many heroes.
She was asked how India was feeling.
Catherine said, “She was like all the other young women who suffered at the hands of this monster, Keith Raniere. No one is unscathed. But she’s not broken. She’ll be the stronger for it … Today I’d say was the end of a hellish nightmare.”
Toni wore a navy and white striped “jail” blouse to court. She had suspected that this would be the day the jury would reach a verdict.
“I wore this so (Raniere) would know what he would be looking at for the rest of his life,” she said.
Someone asked her about Keith’s prediction made to her some 20 years ago, that “I will see you dead or in prison.”
Toni said, “I’m still alive and he did not win.”
Catherine said there are 1000s of abusive cults and anyone can be susceptible to being indoctrinated.
Toni said that all the people in Keith’s inner circle helped enable his criminal enterprise, adding “No one intends to join a cult.”
It started to rain as the conference continued.
Catherine said she plans to continue to work to keep raising awareness, adding that her book, ‘Captive”, was meant for all family members whose loved ones are in a cult.
As the rain came down the two women walked away.
Recalling that, throughout the trial, Keith scribbled on post-it notes which he constantly handed to his lawyers, before going, Toni turned and said to the media, “Now everyone, be sure to send Keith some post-it notes.”
Here are some photos taken by our correspondent, Dianne Lipson, outside the courthouse after the verdict.
18 commentsOn Toni Natalie and Catherine Oxenberg Cheer Up Media After US Attorney Donoghue Is Cheered
Frank, please give us the scoop on how Keith’s appellate attorneys will be paid, since Bronfman has obviously cut him off.
He’s been calling those women (who cut plea deals) bitches and traitors according to Claviger, so I really doubt that Clare Bear will want to pay for his appeals.
Maybe his appeals can be financed with Pam’s money?
Regardless of Heidi’s stupid theories about Salinas, I just don’t think any rich Mexicans will be helping Keith with appellate fees, since they’re trying to lay low and cut off all connections with NXIVM.
Emi’s slut wife even sold her Albany home. They want nothing to do with NXIVM now. Heidi is FULL OF SHIT.
I just don’t think anybody from Mexico will help Keith now that he’s a convicted sex slaver, racketeer and public enemy #1.
I mean, Yolanda Cortez might remain loyal but that bitch is BROKE and has no money, so she’s WORTHLESS to Keith.
How will he pay for appeals? Tell us, Frank.
If not, then KISS MY BUTT you arrogant prick.
If Raniere tries to use Cafritz’s money, he will have to give it up, he already claimed he’s broke. The only way that money can be used is if it was legitimately transferred to someone else, and not as a result of trying to move it “under the table.” Raniere will be assumed to be guilty, as he’s a convicted felon, so he has a major barrier to access that money.
Well, I don’t know, Scott. If KAR inherited Pam’s money legally (meaning the estate was properly probated – although KAR does not tend to take care of details), and the proceeds do not stem from the criminal enterprise, he could very well have those funds available to use in the appeal. Agnifilo will have to appeal, to complete his duty to his client – unless KAR wants to assert “ineffective counsel,” in which case Marc will have to recuse himself and left another lawyer handle the appeal.
I do not know if KAR faces any penalties for lying on his asset disclosure form when arrested in Mexico.
The nice thing is that KAR was roundly convicted on all seven counts, so I think the chance of getting them ALL overturned seems remote to me.
I also like the fact that Agnifilo failed to make a motion to resume the cross examination of Lauren, which the Judge said he would have considered if raised.
I feel things are in pretty good shape. I think that with Raniere in the position he is, and with Clare potentially facing more charges, people should feel reasonably safe to disclose and discuss more information if they so desire.
Awesome news and recap! TY
Fuel the jet. Flight plan Fiji.
Clare Bronfman is a person who has lived her life as a gangster at Raniere’s right hand. She was Raniere’s attack dog, his enforcer, his economic terrorist, his destroyer of lives and livelihoods and a persecutor of the wholly innocent. She is a despicable person who needs to be brought to face the full force of the law. The people she sought to utterly destroy, have the right to see justice done.
This is written with such beauty and passion. Thank you Frank. I can’t imagine the backlash you must have received from everyone (even friends thinking “WTF is he doing with his life?!), during this journey. But now, you are Legend. Love that epic VICE piece on you.
Congratulations again to everyone that played a role in bringing Keith Raniere to justice.
You did not just achieve justice for yourselves…..
……. you saved countless women from becoming future victims.
No more young girls or women will ever again be victimized by Keith Raniere!!!!!
Enjoy your triumphant victory over evil !!!!!
Amen. Unless it’s the prison groupies. And they are asking for it.
In this era of “Me too,” it’s amazing he got to operate scot free for so long.
Congrats, Toni and Catherine!
Frank… how do you feel? What was your thoughts and emotions after you heard the verdict?
I will answer that question SK in a post very soon. Thanks for asking.
I’d be interested to see a detailed analysis of Bronfman’s finances. From what could readily be found, here’s what I’ve been able to piece together that Bronfman has:
* $200 million that she inherited before or after the death of her father, to which she had access; that amount is now so reduced by her spending, that she had to have her sister’s help to make $100 million bail
* $200 million in old trusts, that may be tightly written and virtually untouchable, from which she typically would get only interest and dividend income.
And so Raniere is “now a slave himself of the state” – ah, yes, the former mastermind of NXIVM is now a sort of nexi:
“Nexum was a debt bondage contract in the early Roman Republic. The debtor [a nexus] pledged his person as collateral should he default on his loan.” Nexum became infamous for abusive sexual exploitation of nexi.
p.s. Now that Vangone Day has been fixed on the calendar, are we going to have something like a parasites’ get-together at Lake George in August?
Ironically, it took about two years for both the Emancipation Proclamation to reach Texas (obviously, there was no hurry to spread that “news” in those days) and about two years to convict Raniere after he was arrested.
Frank, Clare’s fortune is not subject to asset forfeiture. Federal asset forfeiture only takes the fruits of criminal conduct and there has never been any suggestion that her millions came anywhere but from her Seagrams family fortune.
There could be massive fines.
“The sea monster was harpooned, and everyone, I think, was a little taken aback, when the jury came back so quickly.” I wasn’t taken aback, and said so a few days ago in a comment to the effect that when the entire courtroom (jury, gallery, and even the judge) laughs at you in open court, it’s all over. It took the jury five hours to tell each other about their favorite memory from the trial, and it would have been over in two hours except for the laughing.
Research note from Mexico (respected magazine)
“Así fue la inauguración del centro ESP México en 2006”
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