Last Friday, Clare Bronfman and Kathy Russell pleaded guilty to charges related to the Nxivm cult case in a New York federal court, according to CNN. The overarching allegations are that this group, Nxivm, practiced sex trafficking and racketeering.
Bronfman is an heiress to Seagram’s liquor and has been reported on by The Jewish Voice throughout this case. The charges to which Bronfman pleaded guilty were “conspiracy to conceal and harbor people who were not in the United States legally for financial gain and fraudulent use of identification,” CNN reports. Visa fraud was the charge to which Russell pleaded guilty. Along with being described as a cult, Nxivm has been alleged to be a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are illegal in the United States because they eventually collapse. The math never adds up. Multilevel marketing is legal, although its similarities make it rife for criticisms.
“From a Smallville actress turned alleged top recruiter to heiresses and billionaires, the cult Nxivm has cycled through a host of famous and influential followers,” is how The Daily Beast described the way Nxivm operates. “Formerly known as Executive Success Programs, Nxivm is the brainchild of Keith Raniere, who was just arrested in Mexico on sex trafficking charges. As The Daily Beast previously reported, Raniere has been accused of creating DOS, a “sorority” in which female “masters” recruited “slaves” who were reportedly branded with Raniere’s initials and, according to FBI official William Sweeney, “considered [Raniere’s] sex slaves.”
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