Consultant went to NYS Attorney General in 2011, outlining alleged crimes of Raniere and was ignored

Joseph O'Hara
Joseph O’Hara, much like Sarah Edmondson did, tried to get authorities to investigate the Bronfman-Raniere criminal enterprise and was ignored.


Below is a fascinating email. It was written six years ago by Joseph O’Hara, a former NXIVM consultant who quit when he observed what he thought were illegal activities committed by the cult of Keith Raniere.

Mr. O’Hara sent the email to two investigators at the New York State Attorney General’s office. The complaint was ignored by law enforcement. Ironically, Bronfman/Raniere went after Mr. O’Hara and succeeded in bankrupting him and essentially destroying his life for years.

Other than the branding and blackmail scheme, Joe O’Hara called out the crimes of Bronfman-Raniere six years ago. Had it not have been ignored a good number of women would never have been branded or blackmailed.

Here is the copy of the email and the summary of Bronfman-Raniere crimes, Mr. O’Hara wrote for the New York State Attorney General’s Office. 


From: Joe OHara <>
Date: Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 12:35 PM
Subject: RE: Follow-Up
To: “Anita F. Barrett” <>, Brian Whitehurst <>

Summary of NXIVM-Related Issues

NXIVM is both a criminal enterprise and a cult that revolves around its founder, Keith Raniere a/k/a Vanguard.

NXIVM’s criminal activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Ponzi Scheme

NXIVM’s business model is a classic pyramid scheme that funnels money to those at the top – and that requires those in the lower tiers of the organization to keep recruiting more members.

In order to be promoted to the level of Sales Agent and start earning commissions, a member must recruit six (6) new members (No commissions are paid on the first six recruits). Thereafter, in order to continue earning commissions, all Sales Agents must recruit a specified number of new members for each sales period.

Coaches – and those who achieve even higher levels within the organization – receive a portion of the funds that are generated by their “lineage” of Sales Agents. When people leave NXIVM, their former income stream is automatically re-directed to the top tier of the organization.

Tax Evasion and Tax Fraud

NXIVM – and its related corporations, not-for-profit companies and trusts – do not file tax returns and/or pay taxes.

NXIVM’s leaders receive unreported income, have their living expenses paid for via NXIVM-related entities, hold few assets in their names, and generally live “off the grid”.

Immigration Law Violations

NXIVM has helped several immigrants obtain false documentation for their visa applications – and created non-existent jobs for other applicants.

NXIVM has provided unrecorded jobs and residences for several immigrant members whose visas had expired – and arranged sham marriages for others.

Money Laundering

NXIVM funnels in large amounts of cash from its Mexican operation through a series of post office boxes – and by having its members bring in large sums of cash across the Mexico/USA border.

NXIVM abuses the legal system by filing lawsuits whose primary purpose is (a) to punish and silence critics of the cult; and (b) to show current members what might happen to them if they leave the cult (During the past five years, NXIVM has filed more than a dozen lawsuits – and the vast majority of these have been against former members). At least six (6) people have been driven into bankruptcy as a result of NXIVM-related lawsuits – and NXIVM has tried to intervene in all of those bankruptcies.

The NXIVM cult serves as a recruiting ground for young women for Raniere/Vanguard – and the cult’s upper tier female members actively recruit new sexual partners for him. Several of the recruited women were under the age of consent when they first became sexually involved with Raniere/Vanguard.

NXIVM is currently conducting experimental research on a child whose mother is a member of NXIVM’s ‘inner circle”. This research is based on a model that was developed by Raniere/Vanguard – and includes a physical training regimen; a dietary program that primarily consists of fruits and nuts; speech lessons by five (5) “nannies” who each speak a different language;  and extremely limited contact with other children.


This kind of alleged criminality was ignored then and may be ignored now.  Meantime, the organization continues to expand its sphere of evil. For example, from one child in the [Rainbow] child experiment, it has grown to, according to the ESP statement last week, many children.  

Does Keith Raniere run a criminal operation?

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • […] This is something I had been looking for.  It could be argued that it is not a ponzi scheme it the people duped are receiving something of value (the courses).  However, that is where the professional, scientific, psychologists come in:  the courses are bunk.  Was O’hara an attorney?  He didn’t mention sex trafficking, wire fraud, or other offenses.  My personal experience is that state, local, and probably federal attorneys general do not respond much to citizen complaints.  (But of course these people all were out to indict each other and they acted a bit above most citizens.)  Where are the police? […]

  • Mr. O’Hara,
    Your efforts will be acknowledged. You clearly marked the trail for the state attorney general’s office which magnifies their responsibility today in light of the increased criminal products of the cult members’ criminal minds. Life may not be fair but karma is personal accountability that cannot be ignored.
    We were told you were another suppressive attorney which was funny as it begged the question why they kept hiring suppressive attorneys. We didn’t know you were hired as their consultant. With the tech and Vanguard’s superior teachings, I wondered why they did not better screen the people they hired to work for them?
    I am sorry you had to be dragged through the mud but thank you for speaking out and sharing what you knew and experienced. The Redemption Train is coming to town.

  • Every scummy thing was laid out to law “enforcement” 6 years ago and nothing happened!
    Amazing…..and very discouraging.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

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Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083