Isabella Martinez is an American citizen who has been described as a victim of senior members of the NXIVM cult. In particular Martinez and Gabriella Leal filed a class-action suit against Sara Bronfman, a wealthy senior member of the cult.
The cult was organized like a multi-level-marketing pyramid scheme. Recruits initially thought they were going to receive business training "equivalent to an MBA". Recruits were asked to show their loyalty by submitting to a period of enslavement, to more senior members of the cult. They were asked to show their loyalty by submitting embarrassing evidence, that would make them vulnerable to blackmail. Recruits could advance to a more senior level by finding more recruits.
- Brendan J. Lyons (2018-09-20). "Sara Bronfman target of class-action lawsuit filed in Saratoga County: Seagram's heiress accused of financing, organizing NXIVM scheme". San Diego Times Union (BALLSTON SPA). https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Sara-Bronfman-target-of-class-action-lawsuit-13245338.php. Retrieved 2019-05-21. "The lawsuit filed on behalf of two former NXIVM students, Isabella Martinez and Gabriella Leal, seeks restitution for the thousands of people who allegedly were duped into taking high-priced courses that were no more than a multi-level marketing scheme. A related lawsuit was filed earlier this month in Kings County."
- "Another Seagram’s heiress sued in Nxivm ‘sex cult’ case". The News (Australia). 2018-09-05. https://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/another-seagrams-heiress-sued-in-nxivm-sex-cult-case/news-story/3500705a3fc515815f472d7cc40203fa. Retrieved 2019-05-21. "Ms Martinez and Ms Leal say they separately shelled out $US2400 ($A3300) for a five-day intensive set of Nxivm classes in San Francisco in 2016 — but never would have done so had Bronfman-Igtet not lied to them."
- Frank Parlato (2018-09-04). "Attorney Omar Rosales brings class action lawsuit against Sara Bronfman-Igtet for NXIVM fraud". Art Voice. https://artvoice.com/2018/09/04/attorney-omar-rosales-brings-class-action-lawsuit-against-sara-bronfman-igtet-for-nxivm-fraud/. Retrieved 2019-05-21. "Utilizing Frank Report and Artvoice to announce he was seeking clients who have taken NXIVM courses, Rosales is pursuing a legal theory that everyone who took the NXIVM courses were deceived into taking it – because Raniere – the fountainhead of the teachings – egregiously lied about his credentials and accomplishments."
- Matt Naham (2019-04-18). "New Documentary Will Spotlight NXIVM Sex Cult Investigation That Ensnared Smallville Actress". Law & Crime. https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/new-documentary-will-spotlight-nxivm-sex-cult-investigation-that-ensnared-smallville-actress/. Retrieved 2019-05-21. "Isabella Martinez and Gabrielle Leal claimed that Bronfman-Igtet was instrumental in “ensnar[ing]” them in the sex cult by convincing them to take Raniere’s “Executive Success Program” (ESP) courses on the idea that they were “equivalent to a ‘practical MBA’” courses. They said Bronfman-Igtet touted Raniere as “one of the World’s Smartest Men” and a judo champion, among other things, while exposing them to a fraudulent scheme meant to scam students out of “millions of dollars.” They allege that this money ($2,400 each for a five-day course) was then used to fund a criminal enterprise that allegedly included money laundering, sex trafficking and kidnapping. They also claimed Bronfman-Igtet didn’t tell them that Raniere had been sued and fined in the past for running an “illegal multilevel marketing business.”"