It is also ironic that while Parlato had started work in developing the Los Angeles properties he recovered for the Bronfmans, as soon as he was fired, all work ceased on the properties – many of which were in partial stages of construction – and the Bronfmans let millions of dollars of their investment go to foreclosure and neglect as exposed foundations made the construction worthless. They essentially abandoned the project and lost all their money anyway.
In order to invent a fraud he could prosecute perpetrated by Parlato, Anthony Bruce had to have some evidence.
Since the Bronfmans had signed no contract with Parlato on the development of the Los Angeles real estate deal, Bruce had only the Bronfmans verbal representations about what happened and how Parlato allegedly defrauded them.
He had another problem too. The events took place in early 2008 and as Bruce was getting ready to indict in late 2015 – some seven and half years later – anything said or done at the time was beyond the five-year statute of limitations for fraud.
Parlato had transparently told the FBI from day one of the investigation that he had sent sent Raniere a proposed written contract for the Bronfmans to sign – when he was in the midst of saving their investment – but did not sign after he recovered their investment – which was Parlato’s evidence of the Bronfmans’ bad faith.
If the Bronfmans had signed it they would have been in breach of it anyway for unilaterally firing Parlato without cause and denying him his share of the development contained in the proposal.
Nevertheless, Bruce ignored the facts of the case and took the unsigned 2008 proposal and turned it against Parlato. Bruce noticed that one of the terms in the proposal extended three years forward to 2011, which meant, had it been signed by the Bronfmans, it would be within the statute of limitations. What was the fraud? Parlato sold One Niagara, the collateral named in the proposal. But the proposal was never signed so Parlato had no obligation not to sell the building.
Based on the indictment, the discovery documents the government produced, reports of witnesses in the grand jury, and Bruce’s statements to defense lawyers, Bruce misrepresented to the grand jury that Parlato’s proposal was a fully executed contract signed by the Bronfmans which Parlato had violated.
To make it a case of fraud, Bruce had to hold Parlato to the terms of a proposed contract without holding the other party – the Bronfmans – to its terms. By inserting himself into a civil dispute and misrepresenting an unsigned contract, Bruce concocted a crime.
This probably required a hefty dose of lying by omission before the grand jury. This is precisely how Bruce converted the Bronfmans into victims in the Parlato case.