Clare Bronfman, heiress to the Seagram liquor fortune, pleaded guilty Friday to her role in a secretive society of women sex slaves.
The guilty plea on two counts — conspiracy to conceal and harbor illegal aliens for financial gain and fraudulent use of identification — allows Bronfman’s to avoid a trial in the case set to open May 7.
Keith Raniere, 58, the founder of the purported self-help group Nxivm who has already been charged with sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy, now stands alone as a defendant in a case.
Raniere, who was arrested in Mexico last year, is accused of creating a secret society called “DOS,” a pyramid scheme of more than a dozen women “slaves” and “masters” with him — the sole man — at the top.
Bronfman now faces up to 25 years in prison but the government’s sentencing guidelines would see her incarcerated for up to just 27 months. Her sentencing hearing is set to take place July 25.
The 40-year-old philanthropist and former equestrian showjumper is the daughter of Edgar Bronfman, the late Canadian chairman of liquor giant Seagram whose net worth was estimated at $2.6 billion.
Bronfman was accused of using her wealth to fund Nxivm to the tune of more than $100 million.
She was a member of the executive board of the group, which shot to notoriety for its initiation rites including the branding of its members with the founder’s initials.
The money is said to have financed court summons against presumed enemies, fake identities to access data and to help Raniere use the credit card of a deceased ex-mistress.
Besides Raniere, the five other people accused in the case have now all pleaded guilty.
Allison Mack, an actress in the “Smallville” television series, has pleaded guilty to racketeering and conspiracy for allegedly recruiting women to the purported mentorship group, whom US prosecutors say were forced to have sex with its leader.
Television network HBO said Thursday it would produce a documentary series on the case.
‘Outrageous and criminal behavior’: Internet blows up at graphic video of Buffalo Police pushing over an elderly man
On Thursday, footage emerged of police in Buffalo, New York pushing an elderly man to the ground, and refusing to help him as he lay bleeding profusely from a head injury.
The footage triggered immediate outrage on social media.
Horrible. I pray he’s ok. https://t.co/wL2gcNeAIT
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) June 5, 2020
WATCH: Protester bled from his ear after being shoved by police — cops say he ‘tripped’
SHocking video from Buffalo, New York was posted online on Thursday after a large group of police confronted a lone protester -- and then violently shoved him.
"Shortly after Buffalo’s curfew started, city police and State Police swept through the area of Niagara Square directly in front of City Hall to clear the area where a protest was finishing. An unidentified, older man was hit shoved by two officers in the line. The man lost his balance and fell to the pavement, audibly hitting his head with blood running out from under his head," WBFO-TV reports.
Trump aides are compiling candidates to replace Mark Esper if Trump decides to fire him: report
On Thursday, Politico reported that although Defense Secretary Mark Esper's job appears safe for now, aides to President Donald Trump are compiling a list of potential nominees to replace him if the president changes his mind and decides to fire him.
"An administration official and two people close to the White House say staffers in recent days have pulled together a list of possible candidates for Defense secretary if Trump does choose to fire Esper," reported Lara Seligman, Daniel Lippman, and Meridith McGraw. "At the top of that list is Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who was Esper’s No. 2 before taking the Army job last summer, the people said. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), an outspoken Trump ally who has previously been considered for the position, is also in the mix, according to one of the people."