Seagram’s heiress charged with aiding NXIVM group called a ‘sex cult’
An heiress to the Seagram’s liquor fortune has been arraigned on racketeering conspiracy charges in connection with her work with a self-help group in upstate New York that is accused of branding women and forcing them into unwanted sex.
Clare Bronfman pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday. Her lawyer said she did nothing wrong. She and three other people associated with the NXIVM organization were taken into custody and charged with racketeering conspiracy, the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn announced.
A former competitor in international equestrian show jumping competitions, Bronfman is accused in an indictment of taking a number of steps to help NXIVM’s founder and leader, Keith Raniere, exercise control over members of the group, including identity theft, intercepting electronic communications and money laundering.
Raniere was arrested in Mexico this year and brought to the U.S. to face charges that he, along with an adherent, the TV actress Allison Mack, coerced followers into becoming “slaves” to senior members.