Some background for the uninitiated, or those just confused by the convoluted history.
Keith Raniere, through NXIVM and funded by the Bronfman sisters’ fortune, has a long history of using lawsuits in civil court, and using its connections to prosecutors to push criminal charges, against his critics, particularly defectors from the cult.
The most recent criminal case was Federal charges that two journalists (James Odato of the Albany Times-Union and Suzanna Andrews, writing for Vanity Fair), a lawyer who did work for NXIVM but stopped when he discovered illegalities (Joseph O’Hara), a Saratoga blogger (John Tighe), and Toni Natalie Foley (Raniere girlfriend from the Consumer BuyLine Inc and very early NXIVM era) had hacked into NXIVM computers.
The federal charges against all 5 were dismissed in September 2015, when evidence was presented that the complainant Clare Bronfman knew that the charges were brought after the statute of limitations had expired.
Suzanna Andrews countersued NXIVM for intentionally misleading the court. She did not prevail, but on the technicality that the charges were dismissed within a “safe harbor” time-limit intended for “questionable contentions” (rather than malicious ones).
There was a separate New York State investigation into hacking, resulting in NY State charges against Tighe, O’Hara, Foley, and also Barbara Bouchey (Raniere girlfriend who left NXIVM in 2009 after Raniere had lost her life savings in the commodities market). The Time-Union has an interesting story on the extraordinary efforts that NXIVM made to push the criminal case.
Tighe plead guilty to the state hacking charge, perhaps because he was also under indictment for child pornography found on his computer (which some have alleged was actually planted there by NXIVM’s own hackers).
Today’s news that Bouchey, Foley, and O’Hara were offered and accepted “adjournment in contemplation of dismissal,” which is essentially equivalent to the charges being dropped, indicates that the court saw no merit in the charges.
Since Clare Bronfman personally signed the charges, her entire fortune would be in the crosshairs of a countersuit. Bouchey will have no trouble getting top-notch lawyers willing to bring that suit, for their typical 30% contingency fee.